This is the second part of the series from Proverbs 3:1-12.
Command One: Do not forget wisdom’s teaching but let your heart keep wisdom’s commands. (Proverbs 3:1)
Reason: length of days, years of life, and peace (3:2)
Dictionary.com gives these definitions for steadfast:
1. fixed in direction, steadily directed
2. firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc.
3. unwavering as resolution, faith, adherence, etc.
4. firmly established, as an institution or a state of affairs
5. firmly fixed in place or position.
Our command is to not let this firmly established love and faithfulness forsake us. (abandon, desert, renounce, give up entirely)
I like the metaphor of binding around your neck. The notes on 3:3 in The Reformation Study Bible say that this indicates wisdom will beautify one’s life. Instead of adorning ourselves with jewelry or things like silver or gold, we should adorn ourselves with wisdom which is not fleeting.
If we are to “let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake us” but we are to “bind them around [our] neck” it sounds that it should be obvious that we have not neglected these two things. If I bind something around my neck it will be visible to others. Everyone I pass, come in contact with, and spend time around will notice I have something bound around my neck.
This is exactly what is meant. That not only should we not neglect steadfast love and faithfulness but we should be sharing them and they should be overflowing from our life into everyone’s life we come into contact with. When you talk with people, meet people, and pass people every day, do they or can they say that you are made of steadfast love and faithfulness?
The second phrase is “write them on the tablet of your heart.” This thought goes along with the first command in chapter 3:1-2. Which is the command of “let your heart keep my commandments.”
To write something on the tablet of your heart means to memorize/apply/ make it a part of you. When something has been written on the tablet of your heart, it is so much a part of you that you don’t have to struggle to make it happen, it already happens without much effort.
The question of application here is: Do you struggle with demonstrating steadfast love and faithfulness or is it a natural attitude/action of yours? If you are working hard at it, it means you are binding it around your neck, yet it hasn’t been completely written on your heart. If there is no sign at all then you may be ignoring this command altogether, and that is sin. You need to repent and get your heart right.
And finally in verse 4, we see the reason/promise: you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Favor and good success, both, are what I desire to find in the sight of God. However, what is interesting to me is that this verse promises I will find those also in the sight of man. Which makes me think about the fact when man sees these qualities in my life, it is an opportunity to share what God has done in my life. It is a window of opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.