Occasionally I am so tired when I sit down to write for this blog, I actually fall asleep- sitting upright at my computer desk; that’s what happened yesterday. It usually starts out with an, “I’m just gonna rest my eyes for a minute” then ends an hour and a half later with a neck ache and I crawl into bed for the night. So while looking up a particular Scripture to write on about sleep, I found this thought provoking one I’d rather write on.
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My son, keep your father's commandments, and do not forsake the law of your mother; bind them upon your heart forever, tie them around your neck. When you go, it shall lead you; when you sleep, it shall keep you; and when you awake, it shall talk with you. Pr. 6:20-22
Here we have the author speaking to his son reminding him to follow the commandments and law of his parents. Notice, he doesn’t say rules as in household rules to follow, like those a parent normally gives to their children. Instead, he uses commandments (both of God and man) and law (Decalogue or Pentateuch). So here he is talking of the Scripture and how we are to tie or bind it to our hearts (feelings, will, intellect- that which makes us who we are) and around our necks, imo like a valued necklace- treasured and kept close to me.
In the Jewish culture, all the children were to be fully instructed on the sacred Scriptures. Parents of Jewish faith take their job as instructors in God’s Word and ways very seriously. Much like Christian parents, they try to instill their faith into their children by teaching the Word and by their daily lives. Teaching and participation of children is even included in their festivals (Ex. 12:26,27).
And these words which I command you this day shall be in your heart. And you shall carefully teach them to your sons, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. Dt. 6:6,7
(King Josiah read to)…all the people, from the small even to the great. And he read all the Words of the Book of the covenant… 2Kn. 23:2
Back to the verses in Pr. 6, we are to bind them -the Word- to us, treasure it, but why, what are the benefits to us? When we go (walk, travel life’s path…) the Word will lead / guide us in the way we should go. Obviously, that would take some of the stress and strain off our decision making and because we are trusting God, we would not be worried. The Word will guard us as we sleep. I remember one time I was being chased in a dream by someone evil and I turned and said, “In the name of Jesus leave me” and it did. Instead of waking up in fear, I woke up in peace.
But the real thought provoking claim is the third part: it will talk to you. Hmmm. The Word will talk to me? Talk here means to ponder, converse, commune, declare, meditate, etc. So, in effect, the Spirit of the Lord that dwells within us (2Tm. 1:14) uses the Word we tie or bind to ourselves to speak to us, cause us to ponder the Lord and His ways, commune with the Word (Jesus- Jh. 1:1,14). It declares the truth, just and pure ways (like the angel on the shoulder, it’s the Word inside us that speaks for us to do right), it debates within us to help us make righteous choices, and it rises in our minds so that we think on the Lord and His Word. In other words, the Scriptures transform our hearts, minds and lives: it guides, it guards, it speaks to us…
that is if we bind the Word to our hearts and wear it around our necks.