1. ¶ My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.
2. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
3. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.
4. Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
5. That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.
THE study of wisdom in the word of God is here commended to us with affectionate earnestness, and with a beautiful variety of imagery. Let us ponder these valuable rules for practical application.
Let the whole mind and heart be occupied with it. Keep it as the daily means of life. (Chapter 3:21, 22; 4:4, 13. Isaiah 55:2, 3. Jeremiah 22:15.) Sir Matthew Hale told his children — ‘If I omit reading a portion of Scripture in the morning, it never goes well with me through the day.’ Lay it up (Chapter 10:14. Deuteronomy 11:18. Luke 2:19, 51) carefully, not on our shelves, but on our hearts. Let the whole Word of God be our precious treasure. Receive the promises from his grace with simple affiance, and the commandments from his holiness with ready obedience. Stand with your eye in the land of promise; but with your feet “in the land of uprightness.” (Psalm 143:10.)
Maintain a jealous regard for the law. What care is necessary to keep the apple of the eye — that most tender part of the most tender member! (Deuteronomy 32:10. Psalm 17:8. Zechariah 2:8.) With the same care preserve the integrity of the law. Let every part of it have its full weight. To explain it away, or to lower its requirements, breaks down the barrier, and gives an easy entrance to temptation. The sensual sinner is often a covert infidel.
Let it be at hand for constant use. Bind them upon thy fingers (Chapter 3:3. Deuteronomy 6:8; 11:18); that, being always in sight, they may be always ready for the present moment. And for their practical influence, write them upon the table of thine heart. Oh! my God! this is thy Almighty work (Isaiah 26:12. 2 Corinthians 3:3.) But thou hast engaged to do it for thy people (Jeremiah 31:33.) I “take hold of thy covenant.” Lord! Seal thy promised grace.
Let it be the object of tender affection — as our sister — our kinswoman. It is her embrace that throws the harlot’s beauty into the shade. Man must have his object of delight. If wisdom is not loved, lust will be indulged. The Bible therefore — not merely read, but the cherished object of familiar intercourse — proves a sacred exorcist to expel the power of evil. (Chapter 2:10, 16; 6:23, 24; 23:26, 27.)