Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. – Proverbs 3:3-4 ESV
The Book of Proverbs is packed with God’s wisdom, short spurts of wisdom- what some might call “T-shirt slogans”. These nuggets are easy to understand, and because they are simple in concept, the lack of confusion tends to lead to an easier sense of application to our life. Many of the eternal truths in the Bible have to be carefully mined, like gold, deep underground. However, the book of Proverbs is like a mountain stream littered with nuggets, just waiting to be picked up. Proverbs is sometimes called the ‘Book of Wisdom’. Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon, and even the book of Psalms can be considered to fall into the same category. In the New Testament, the NEW AGREEMENT, the book of James- considered the most practical book in the, “New Agreement”, should fall into the same category. The Book of Proverbs was to show the Jews the “Right Way to Live”, the “God way” to maneuver the complexities of life with simple concepts, a foundational moral\Spiritual code. Today it still serves as the same LIGHT unto our path, the way of the ‘Narrow Path’ talked about by Jesus Himself. (Matthew 7:13-14) The 3rd Chapter of Proverbs is one of the most instructional Proverbs on TRUSTING IN THE LORD. It has guidance for the young, and the old.
Leader, one of the most famous verses in the book of Proverbs is in Chapter 3, v 5-6, which comes right after today’s verse. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths”. To the writer of this Proverb, it seems as though we cannot do verses 5-6, unless we first do verses 3-4. The writer of Proverbs 3 was King Solomon, and he was the wisest man to ever live according to God, and His Word. “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. This was similar to the SHEMA, a reminder to the Jewish People of God’s Love, Deliverance, Mercy and Calling on the Jewish People. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) Just like in today’s passage, when you put something on full display everywhere, it is NEVER FORGOTTEN, that means, this is REALLY IMPORTANT! We know that LOVE is important to God because HE IS LOVE! (1 John 4:8) The Bible is full of scripture about the defining characteristic of a TRUE follower of Jesus Christ is LOVE. (John 13:35)
Conduit, 1 Corinthians 13 is called the LOVE chapter and in this chapter we are told; Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13) Notice what Solomon attached to this most important quality of a Christian, LOVE- FAITHFULNESS. To help with understanding the word, faithfulness, let us go backwards- which is a common theme in studying the Bible. Sometimes we need to go BACK to the Old Testament, to understand things in the New Testament. The Word ‘STEADFAST’ is attached to the verb LOVE. Understanding this word will help us understand faithfulness. Steadfast means to be firm and unwavering. That is the type of love that God tells us is to be combined with faithfulness and BIND THEM AROUND OUR NECK. Like a necklace, that we see every time we look at ourselves in a mirror. We feel the necklace around our neck and sometimes we can hear it as it moves around our neck with our movement in life. It is a CONSTANT REMINDER. The Hebrew word rendered “faithfulness” is emunah, which literally means “firmness,” figuratively means “security” and morally means “fidelity.” To be faithful is to be reliable, ‘steadfast’ and unwavering. Faithfulness is one of the characteristics of God’s ethical nature. It denotes the firmness or constancy of God in His relations with men, especially with His people. It is, accordingly, one aspect of God’s truth and of His unchangeableness- God is immutable! The third word in this verse that we need to understand is, FORSAKE. Forsake means to quit or leave entirely; to desert; to abandon; to depart from. God gives us this reassuring promise many times, again, showing us this is a molecular quality of God. Deuteronomy 31:6-8 God’s promise that “I will never leave you nor forsake you” is found in multiple books of the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments. With this promise, we can be assured that He is always with us and encouraged to always be with God in faith and in spirit. In today’s verse we can see the constant message of our LORD and HIS character and the desire for GOD to IMPUTE those same qualities to those who choose to pick up their cross daily and follow HIM! Steadfast, Faithful, and WILL NEVER leave, renounce, or entirely turn away- that is our DADDY, this is our SAVIOR, these are the qualities of His Children! DO this, BE LIKE JESUS, so you will find FAVOR in the sight of GOD and MAN!