“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22
The Proverbs are the wise instruction of a father to his son. What a blessing when God provides wise parents to instruct children! But, of course the greatest instructor of all is the all-wise Heavenly Father who teaches His beloved children through His word.
These verses note the intensity of this father’s instruction. It is not casual or care-free. There is an urgent call to cling to God’s counsel, to hold fast to the truth of Scripture. The admonition to keep these words in the heart is essential. It is one thing to know God’s word in the head, and there only. But how important it is for the word to deeply saturate and influence our hearts! Our hearts are continually in need of correction, guidance, Divine perspective, and hope. This comes from the word of God.
When you hear God’s word preached, pray that God would help you keep it in the depths of your heart. When you read, memorize and mediate on Scripture, ask God for it to be lively and impactful to your soul, rather than merely dry and impotent facts.
In the passage, the father tells the son, “These words are life to you!” Let us not treat the word as care-free and insignificant, but urgent and necessary for life.