Proverbs 3:1-2, A Helpful Reminder

“My son, do not forget my teaching,

    but let your heart keep my commandments,

for length of days and years of life

    and peace they will add to you.”

Proverbs 3:1-2 ESV

Who doesn’t need a reminder now and then? Here’s a gentle and helpful reminder that gives life.

Perhaps you’ve heard someone say, “You are keeping the letter of the law, but not the spirit of the law.” By this they mean the heart and intent of the law is disregarded while the technical details of the law are obeyed.

Here, I think wisdom is aiming for the spirit of the law by saying, “let your heart keep my commandments.” It is possible to keep the details of a particular commandment without doing so from the heart. And, that is how some unbelievers view the life of faith … as simply a list of rules to obey. However, a fair reading of the biblical text reveals that God doesn’t give rules/commandments “just because.” Rather, through His commandments God guides us to a desired outcome.

In this text, for example, the desired outcome is length of life and peace. The path to that destination is keeping wisdom’s commandments from the heart, not just by rote.

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