Proverbs 4:20-22, 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.
Here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept, precept upon precept.
Again this father emphasizes his word.
Always emphasizing the hearing ear and here he brings the eye into the picture.
The word is not to depart from thine eyes.
This father knows that his sonís eyes need to have a guardian.
He knows that this world caters to the eyes and that the world system of corruption is built around the eye.
So there must be a guardian of the eye.
What is to guard the eye?
My word is to guard the eye for he says let my words not depart from the eyes.
The picture that the father presents to the son is of his word as an ever present sentry on duty at all times guarding his eyes.
Son, the world will present your eyes with great temptations designed to turn your ear to its seducing calls.
This father knows that just telling his son to not give in to the worldís alluring sights will not accomplish what he desires for his son.
He must be armed with the fatherís word in order to resist the call of the world.
So first things first in the sonís life.
Incline thine ear unto my sayings.
This word incline means to stretch or spread out or it means to cause to yield.
We have spoken of people, including you and I, who at times incline their ear elsewhere listening to an adjoining conversation instead of your sparkling words?
You know that they are not inclining their ear to you but they have inclined it elsewhere.
This is what the father insists not happen in his sonís life.
The world wants you to listen to it while pretending to listen to the word of God.
Jesus said it this way: Matthew 15:8, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
So this father is warning his son of this very thing.
It is easy to make a show, but that is not what this father is interested in.
God is not honored with a show but is honored by that which is from the heart.
The measure of inclining is in how the words of the father stick to the heart of the son.
Where must the word rest in the son?
It must rest in the heart.
Keep them in the midst of thine heart.
David said it this way in Psalm 119:11, Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
As a treasure to be guarded David kept the word of God in the repository of his heart.
Not a surface keeping of his word, not an outward appearance keeping of his word, but a heart keeping of his word.
Not that which the Pharisees worked at coating, not the sepulchers which they dutifully painted white for a show, but that of the heart.
This fatherís wisdom is not interested in sepulchers which indeed appear beautiful outward but are within full of dead menís bones and of all uncleanness.
He was not interested in having his son appear righteous unto men, but within, full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
But I am afraid this is not the norm for parents to seek.
Most parents are happy to simply get an appearance of cleanness and make little effort to affect the heart.
What do Christians school teachers seek?
Are they interested in having a controlled class with well behaved children or are they interested in affecting the heart?
You can have the former without affecting the heart?
For man looks on the outward appearance but God looketh on the heart.
So it is natural to look on appearance but supernatural to look on the heart.
And man can only do that by looking on the heart though the eyes of God, his Holy Word.
And the more you magnify the Lord the larger he is and the larger his word is and the easier it is to look on the heart.
For you look upon the heart with the magnifying glass of the word of God.
Therefore the admonition of the father is to incline thine ear unto my sayings.
What will happen if the son does this?
The fatherís words will stick and be kept in the midst of the heart of the son.
They are there to build solid, rocklike walls of the heart that will defend against the onslaughts of the world, the flesh and the devil.
For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
Jesus told us that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Jesus Christ is the Word. The word is Life.
And in order for that life to be operative it must be in the heart.
Word on the surface does not mean life.
It is simply the white wash of the sepulcher.
Many simply apply the word to the outside and try to live a life of appearance only but it simply boils down to a sepulcher full of dead menís bones.
Even the word of God can be used as a white wash.
But this father is intent on a heart change in his son, not simply an outward conforming to rules and traditions.
Not a conformance so that he can be seen of men as a moral upright member of the community.
This father is interested in how God sees his son so he instructs in: Go to Proverbs 4:23