“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments…” – Proverbs 3:1
In order to fully appreciate the first two words of Proverbs 3:1, you need to either be a loving parent or the child of one. I don’t know how else to put it.
But if you are not a parent, or if you have never experienced the love of a caring father, let me see if I can explain the emotion I sense in these opening two words.
I hear begging. I hear pleading. I hear crying.
I can feel the tenseness in the temples. I can feel the tightness in the chest. I can feel the weight on the shoulders that push one down to the floor.
I can feel the pressure put on knees as prayer is being offered up. I can feel the grip on the pen as it’s squeezed mid-sentence, the fingertips turning white as one searches for the right word to pen next.
“My son…” It’s an address used 27 times in Proverbs; three times in this very chapter. They are the words of a parent who has been down the road of life, found the potholes, suffered the pain, and longs for nothing less than his children to avoid unnecessary suffering.
Can you put yourself in that position? Imagine knowing the worst that life has to offer: all of the people out there who want nothing more than to destroy your kids, the most precious people in your life, those gifts from God…and you’ve now got one shot to give them the best advice you know.
“My son!” “My daughter!” Do you have children? Do you ever wish you could know just for once that they were really, truly listening to what you are saying? You pray that they will enjoy long life and peace (v. 2), but the odds are they will forget what you tell them, so you say “tie this around your neck” (v. 3).
And yet, we have the Word of God…
…a letter from our Father…
How often we must break His heart!