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Proverbs 7: 1-3, My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.
The Proverbs father says: Keep my words.
This word "keep" means, not just to hedge about, but to hedge about as with thorns.
Not a boxwood hedge or an azalea hedge, but a hedge with thorns.
The father purposes to plant over time a hedge with thorns completely around his son with his words.
For a hedge with thorns provides much hurtful resistance to passage.
The fatherís words given to the son throughout the sonís life, are to provide a barrier to the son that only willful and vigorous rebellion by the son will penetrate.
And penetration is designed to bring hurt and pain.
That is the kind of hurdle that the fatherís words are designed to place in front of his sonís progress through life.
For the father loves his son and intends to provide this hedge to keep the son within that love.
Isnít it interesting that the fatherís love is expressed by his words placing a hedge with thorns around his son.
The father must make his words serious business, for the lack of obedience to his words will bring serious and eternal consequences.
Do you get the tone of the scriptural message here?
Do you see that the fatherís word is treated with respect?
Do you see that the fatherís word is not given lightly or in frivolity.
Do you understand that when this father speaks everyone listens for this is a Biblical father?
I rarely if ever witness this kind of respect shown a father today but I believe it is the Bible way.
There is way too much of a pal to pal relationship between fathers and sons today.
The Bible way is not equality between the father and the son.
The Bible says to honor thy father and thy mother, it does not tell the father to honor the son or daughter, but that is mostly what we see today.
This father then goes on to say: lay up my commandments with thee.
Now laying up something means to put away for another time, it means to hide, or to hoard, it means to put in reserve.
Ladies use this term when they can vegetables.
When they can vegetables they say they put them up but putting them up means to lay up food for future use.
So the fatherís commandments are to be like putting up canned goods.
His words are to be on the shelf of the sonís life to be drawn out by the son when the need arises.
Father will not be on the shelf but the fatherís words will be on the shelf.
Fathers need to arm their children with ammunition that will be available when they are no longer here.
Father may be mortal, but his words can be eternal.
So the fatherís commandments are to become a part of the son.
They are to be there to meet needs that will come to bear in the sonís life.
They are to be ammunition that can be hurled at the enemy to defeat the enemy.
My first duty station as a newly commissioned ensign was at the Naval Ammunition Depot in Hastings, Nebraska.
We could not have been stationed farther from any ocean than in Nebraska.
It was not considered choice duty but it was a good place to start.
What was that depot for?
It was for the laying up of ammunition for use in the two wars of World War II, one in the Pacific and one in the Atlantic.
It was placed midway in the country for two purposes.
One, it was protected from the enemy by distance and two, it was equally distant from both wars and ammunition could be as easily shipped to one war as to the other.
But that ammunition was laid up, some of it for many years.
My wife and I arrived there in 1961 and there was a program to disarm much of the ammunition because of its age.
It had done its duty.
It was laid up in case and the case never arrived for that ammunition but it was there just in case.
That is what this father is preparing his son for.
Every possible enemy attack.
Lay up my commandments with thee.
Be an ammunition bunker for my words and my commandments.
Expect a sneak attack in your life but be ready with all the ammunition of my words and commandments at your disposal.
For there is a reason for my commandments and my words.
Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
Keep my commandments, and live.
So there is the reason for the hedge about the son.
There is a motive to the fatherís purpose.
There is an expected outcome that the father wants to see in his son and that outcome is life.
Keep my commandments, and live.
Life, son, is what itís all about!
Where on this earth can you get this kind of interest on a worldly investment.
Nowhere of course, but how many fathers couldnít care less about investing words and commandments in their sonís life, but instead invest multitudes of words in the temporal investments of this life.
Proverbs 7: 1-3, My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. 2Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. 3Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.
This father continues with this same emphasis when he says to his son to keep his law as the apple of thine eye.
Now the fatherís law is the fatherís precepts, the fatherís principles, the fatherís convictions.
There is no caution on the part of the father in telling his son to adopt his convictions, to keep his principles, for the fatherís convictions or principles are built on the truth of the Word of God.
The apple of the eye is the ee-shoneí , which means the little man of the eye which is the pupil or ball of the eye
Keep my law as you would keep the ball or pupil of your eye.
What man does not do all in his power to keep his eye.
No one keeps his eye open when a missile is flying to it.
No one sacrifices his eye for his leg or his arm or his hand.
The errant missile is perceived, the eyelid slams shut, the arm is raised in protection, the hand takes what blow is meant for the eye, without thinking of itself.
The eye is spared, but the hand may be lost.
God has so made the body with a priority of sacrifice.
Certain parts are sacrificial and certain parts are not.
The hands or legs are sacrificial but the eye never sacrifices itself for another part of the body.
It never gives itself up for another part of the body.
And that is what the father uses to teach his son how important his words, his commandments and his law are to be.
Keep my law as you would keep your eye, at all costs.
Never give up my words, my commandments, my law, never compromise my word.
Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
Bind them upon thy fingers
Have you ever tied a string around your finger to remind you of something and then you forgot what the string was to remind you of.
That action used to be used a lot in the funnies when I was a boy but you do not see it much any more.
Well, I have never tied a string around my finger but I have written notes on my hand for the purpose of a reminder of some important duty.
We are here told that in a spiritual way we are to bind words, commandments and law upon our fingers.
What are fingers?
What is the purpose of the fingers.
Why must fingers have binders and reminders upon them?
Well fingers, along with the hands, are the keepers of the house as we are told in the book of Ecclesiastes.
Fingers are most important to the body for they support every necessary function of the body.
Fingers bring food to the mouth.
Fingers enable us to put clothes on the body.
Fingers are used to clean the body, to inspect the body, to groom the body.
How would we scratch that itchy part without the fingers?
Fingers are used to hold the Bible up to the eyes to see so the Word of God can be read.
Fingers can be used to play musical instruments to the glory of God or they can by used to produce noise to curse man.
We are told in Proverbs 6:12 and 13, that, A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. 13He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;
So fingers can even be used to communicate good or evil.
They can be teachers.
Fingers can speak words of blessing or they can speak words of cursing.
Fingers were used to strap explosives around the bodies of young people in Israel for the purpose of killing innocent people.
Fingers that were not bound by the Word of God were right in the middle of the hijacked airliners that were used to wreak havoc on Sept 11, 2001.
This father knows that it is imperative that the fingers of his son be bound by his words, his commandments, and his law.
Fingers on the hands of sinners need the Word of God to guide those fingers in their proper use, for without the Word of God fingers will be used for all kinds of evil.
Bind them upon thy fingers:
This word "bind" means to knit together.
Every admonition that this father gives to the son in this passage emphasizes again and again the quality of un-removability of the words, the commandments and the law that this father impresses upon his son.
The best word to describe the fatherís actions is inculcation.
Inculcate means: To impress by repeated statement or admonition; to urge on the mind; to teach persistently and earnestly.
The act of inculcating then is the impressing of principles on the mind by persistent urging or teaching.
So this father intends for his words to be so impressed on his sonís mind that his fingers will be used only to bring glory to God.