O my son, give me your heart. May your eyes take delight in following my ways.Proverbs 23:26
The proverbs of Solomon contain a wealth of instruction regarding the necessity of the righteous person to stay within the boundaries of God’s wisdom. The writer appears to be conveying all of this information and instruction to his child. As a parent wants to instill their children with all of the right information they can, he continually reminds him to maintain what is right in the face of surrounding adversity.
Proverbs 5:1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my wise counsel.
Proverbs 6:20 My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
Proverbs 7:1 Follow my advice, my son; always treasure my commands.
In the fourth chapter, in typical Hebraic fashion, he lays out a string of admonitions that support and strengthen one another:
My son, pay attention to my words. Open your ears to what I say. Do not lose sight of these things. Keep them deep within your heart because they are life to those who find them and they heal the whole body. Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it. Remove dishonesty from your mouth. Put deceptive speech far away from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead and your sight be focused in front of you. Carefully walk a straight path, and all your ways will be secure. Do not lean to the right or to the left. Walk away from evil.Proverbs 4:20-27
The root of remaining vigilant and keeping one’s way pure is centered on the heart: “…keep [my words] deep within your heart…Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it.”
A pure heart means a pure walk. In like fashion, when we keep God’s word deep within our hearts, our walk becomes more sure. Dishonesty and deceptive speech disappear. Distractions from the way of truth become less frequent. Our way becomes more firm as we stay on the path laid out for us. We find the strength to walk away from evil.
Yeshua instructed his followers that what one says, and thereby does, comes from what is within the heart:
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil person out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.Luke 6:45
The vigilance to stay on the right path begins in the commitment to keep our hearts pure. By remaining faithful to the deep truths God has placed there, then, just like the child of Proverbs, we can find deep reserves of strength to always do what’s right, and bring forth “good treasure” for his purposes.
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