1My child, remember
my teachings and instructions
and obey them completely.
2They will help you live
a long and prosperous life.
3Let love and loyalty
always show like a necklace,
and write them in your mind.
4 God and people will like you
and hold you in high esteem.
A book with 500 pages can be daunting. If I have a book of this nature recommended to me I will most often look to Amazon for an executive summary. If I’m really honest, there are times I’ll read that, a few of the reviews and then decide to stop. The idea of wading through the whole script seems just too daunting a task.
Even when it comes to the Bible, the depth, breadth and sheer volume can be overwhelming.
It struck me as I read this passage that this was in many ways the executive summary of what God is speaking to us about in scripture. Oh, there’s no question it isn’t the whole story. There is so much richness you would miss, so much depth and beauty, so much understanding and instruction you wouldn’t have if this was all you read. But what an amazing summary of the benefits of a life lived in the light of God’s revelation through Christ.
Over time I have come to believe that the essence of scripture is God revealing his plan for our lives, best lived in relationship and community with himself and each other.
What we find in the first four verses of Proverbs Chapter 3 is an outline of how life can be lived to the fullest. Longevity and prosperity come from remembering his teachings (which presupposes studying), and obedience. Verse three goes on to introduce the imagery of a necklace to illustrate the importance of love and loyalty. Other translations refer to this as a “binding”, hence the words “write them in our mind”. Bind yourself with the love of Christ and loyalty to him and then let it show.
The pay-off, so to speak, is that we are successful in relationship with God and our fellow travellers.
Father God, give me the guidance and strength to enter your Story through Christ. Help me to bind his love and my love intricately together so that I might bring his love to a world in need. May my loyalty to you permeate every thought and action.