Proverbs 3:21,22,  My son, let not them (wisdom and understanding) depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

For the seventh of 23 times in the book of Proverbs this teaching father addresses his son by the endearment, My son.

This is not a casual endearment for this endearment reveals this father's understanding of his God given relationship to this child.

This father fully realizes that he is responsible to God to present his son to God as a living sacrifice wholly acceptable to God.

This father knows that Romans 12:1, says,  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

He knows that this is a decision that his son must make but he fully intends by wisdom and understanding to position his son so that he will make this decision to present his body as a living sacrifice to God.

This father understands that rearing children means rearing children for God.

That is his purpose and he understands that this is accomplished by heeding God's word and God's word alone.

So he instructs: My son, let not them (wisdom and understanding) depart from thine eyes:

This is the same as saying keep your eyes upon Jesus

This is what the writer of Hebrews meant when he wrote: Hebrews 12:2

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

My son, let not them (wisdom and understanding) depart from thine eyes:

This word depart does not indicate that wisdom and understanding leave the son.

But it indicates that the son leave wisdom and understanding.

Depart means to turn aside.

It means to be froward.

To go backwards while looking forward.

It is what the second son did when he told his father that he would work in the vineyard but he did not go.

Matthew 21:28-30,  But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

As far as his father was concerned he was going forward to the vineyard but in reality he was going backwards.

He was departing from obedience.

He was departing from wisdom and understanding.

So letting not wisdom and understanding depart from your eyes means the same thing that James expressed in:

James 4:8,  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

What is the result of not drawing nigh to God?

Will God draw nigh to those who depart from him? No!

You are a free person in this regard.

God is not going to interfere in that freedom for he only desires those to know him who want to know him.

Those who will go after him who long to know him.

"keep sound wisdom and discretion"

The word "keep" is to guard.

It does not mean just having something as you would some treasure.

You may not even remember where you left that treasure but this "keep" indicates that you are standing guard over sound wisdom and discretion.

You know where it is at all times.

The verse in Proverbs 4:23 describes what this father is saying:

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

This diligence also means to guard the heart.

As a guard who keeps the door, only lets in those approved to be let in, we are to keep out of the heart that which corrupts and only let in that which purifies.

This was David's heart when he wrote in Psalm 101:3-7,  I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.

Psalm 141:3-4,  Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

David had a plan. David meant business!

In doing this David meant to keep sound wisdom and understanding from departing from him.

Sound wisdom means that wisdom that is substantiated.

That wisdom that is supported.

That wisdom that has substance.

That wisdom that is a working wisdom, that has a practical outcome.

James gives us its distinguishing marks from the wisdom that is worldly and the wisdom that appeals to the flesh.

James 3:17,  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, (clean) then peaceable (designed to bring peace), gentle (appropriate), and easy to be entreated (good for persuasion), full of mercy (compassion) and good fruits (brings good results), without partiality (not a respecter of persons), and without hypocrisy (a hiding under a false appearance).

This is the wisdom of God that this proverbs father desires his son to keep.

For no wisdom is sound but that which is taught by the word of God.

Then son, keep discretion.

Discretion means that discernment which enables a person to judge critically of what is correct and proper, united with caution (not jumping to conclusions).

That person who is not equipped to judge critically of what is correct and proper is open to the wickedness of this world and is susceptible to the wiles of the devil.

This father knows that wisdom, understanding, and discretion will be real life unto his son's soul.

They impart to life true happiness because true happiness is knowing God.

True happiness is not in wearing fine gold jewelry but in wearing wisdom and understanding and discretion.

This is what the proverbs father desires for his children and he works to get it for them.

Proverbs 3:21,22,  My son, let not them (wisdom and understanding) depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

Our proverbs father has been careful to instruct his son to not let wisdom and understanding depart from him.

In other words, son draw nigh or come close to God and he will draw nigh or come close to you.

And this is to be a continual closeness, a closeness without vacations or lapses.

He is to "keep" which means he is to guard sound wisdom and discretion as though he were a sentry guarding the weapons of war at the battlefront.

Always vigilant, always on duty, lest he take his eyes off that which he is to guard and the enemy attack.

This father agrees with Peter's admonition to be sober, to be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

That is the kind of mental attitude this son is to have, because that kind of understanding of the adversaries of this life will drive him to flee to the place of refuge that is the Lord.

For as Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:12 writes,  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Why do we on many occasions miss that sweet communion with God, that fleeing to his everlasting arms.

Is it be because of unbelief, thinking that all is right with the world and we do not feel the danger of the world?

Many, because of unbelief, do not know the slippery road upon which they walk every day.

Asaph the writer of the 73rd Psalm came to this conclusion when he examined the foolish and the wicked.

Asaph was envious of their prosperity and their strength.

He saw them full of pride corrupt, seemingly getting away with wickedness and sin.

But until he went into the sanctuary of God he did not understand.

Until he drew nigh or near to God he lacked understanding of their end.

But when he came close to God, until he fled for refuge to God he had not the eyes to know that God had set them in slippery places.

His understanding was opened, to God casting them down into destruction as in a moment where they would be utterly consumed with terrors.

The wicked and the foolish know not the enemy, they know not the danger of relying on the flesh.

They simply walk though this life as if everything is OK and they say life is good but they know not the one in whom is Life.

This is pride of life as though life were man made and depended upon man to continue.

Christians of little faith do not flee to the one who by his word tells them of the ever present danger of relying upon themselves.

The quest of man is to be self reliant so that he will not be God reliant.

Every technological development results in an ever increasing divide between God and man.

But this father desires that his son think in long range terms.

Think beyond this life son, and ask yourself the question, How do I know the way to God's home when the time comes.

What will I bring to God's great harvesting?

Think long range son, not just for today.

Oh how this father stresses to his son the need to stay close to the one who is wisdom and understanding.

For there is great reward to those who flee for refuge to the Lord.

There is great reward to those who believe the word of God that says:

Ephesians 6:12,  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

And only by knowing the mind of God, only by knowing wisdom can we be ever sensitive to the enemies of God.

Son, if you know God, if you keep his wisdom and discretion there are multitudes of benefits which come to those who rest in his everlasting arms.

Those arms that are always underneath and ready to receive those who flee to him for refuge.