The YouTruth in Proverbs 3:3
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”
As Christians, we are commanded to make love and faithfulness an ever-present part of our character and witness. This is not news to most of us. We hear this throughout the Scriptures. There is also something implicit in the passage that must not miss. If we don’t do something to prevent it, love and faithfulness will escape from us. It is our job to recognize this and to know what to do to prevent it.
Thankfully, the verse immediately follows with the preventive measures. The instruction to bind them and write them on tablets seem a little obscure, but what they really are telling us is, start from the inside out.
Writing love and faithfulness on the tablet of your heart is, to Christian believers, turning areas of our heart over to the power and leading of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. It is surrendering our attitudes or actions that are not loving or faithful to God and asking Him to transform us into His likeness in these areas. This is the cool thing about writing upon the tablet of a believer’s heart—we don’t have to do the writing ourselves! We can turn over the writing to God who is (let’s face it) far more qualified to do the writing than we are anyway.
Binding love and faithfulness around your neck is taking what God has written on the inside and moving it out in the open where all can see it. It is translating the loving, faithful desires of the heart into loving and faithful actions that bless those around you in His name. It is not just wearing a cross necklace around your neck, which would seem to meet the literal expectation. It is the outward demonstration of love and faithfulness that allows those around you to understand who Jesus is and how much He loves each of those you interact with every day.
The YouTruth in Proverbs 3: 25-26
“Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
for the LORD will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.”
Yikes! Sudden disaster doesn’t sound like very much fun. Ruin doesn’t either. God has much to say about avoiding both in today’s passage. To get the full blessing of God’s message it will be important to dial in to the context provided by this passage so we don’t “over-apply” it and face disappointment as a result.
In this chapter of Proverbs, a father instructs his son in the seeking and application of wisdom. As a reader of this chapter today, you get to live vicariously through this father and son relationship. You can also understand that, at its core, the passage reflects the relationship your Heavenly Father longs to have with you. The preceding 24 verses instruct the son that Wisdom is found in God alone, and to vigorously seek after Him to attain true Wisdom. So our passage above relies heavily on this context. Therefore, if you seek after God for Wisdom, He will be, by definition, by your side. And if you have God by your side, He will keep your foot from being snared.
Think about snaring for a minute. When an animal gets its foot snared in a trap, there are usually deadly consequences. Even if the animal can somehow wriggle free, it escapes with significant injuries. In either case, disaster and ruin are good descriptors of the outcome. There are similar consequences for you, if you disregard God’s Wisdom and pursue a path without it. God does not want this for you! He knows how devastating the consequences will be. He loves you so much and desperately wants you to avoid this disaster and ruin. He also wants you to live a life without the debilitating effects of fearing these things.
Seek after God for wisdom today, and fear not, for He will be at your side. Make today a “snare-free” day!