Posts Tagged Proverb 4: 20 – 22

Paying Attention

Proverb 4: 20 – 22

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body.

This is probably the most well-known of the proverbs. It is quoted often because it contains such powerful truths. If we will take this proverb at face value and apply it to our lives then we will enjoy the fruit it yields. All too often, though, these passages become mere words in our ears. We hear them, we can quote them but they have lost all meaning. Perhaps today we can resurrect this proverb allowing it to breathe new life into us.

The truth is that everyday modern science is proving the potency of these ancient scriptures. The wisdom God gave us from the start is being shown to be absolutely accurate. His words and His sayings are giving life to people’s bodies. Prayer is being quantitatively measured and we are beginning to understand from a Quantum Physics perspective how right God was all along. I believe that means that those who have and can apply wisdom will not wait for science to prove the next parable or proverb but will accept them at face value and apply the age old advice offered in the Proverbs and, indeed, in the whole Bible.

The first admonition of today’s proverb is to pay attention to God’s words. This must be the starting point for all serious Christians. God’s Words are containers of His truths and thus of His power. Applying His power, authority and wisdom to any situation can only improve its status.

The second major part of this passage bears close scrutiny though. We have rarely given serious consideration to the ideas contained therein. If you tell someone that keeping God’s words and sayings in their sight and in the midst of their heart will bring them life and give health to their whole body, they will readily agree with you. However, that is usually the end of it. Shouldn’t we give it a great deal more attention than quick assent. I mean, if I can tell you how to add life and health to your life, wouldn’t you want to pause and consider those thoughts more carefully? That is the essential advice that Solomon has tried to get across to us in this passage. STOP! And consider. What God is telling us is the way to increase life and bodily health. Pause and think about how these words could impact your life.

There is little time for sober thought these days. We are busy and our environment is so noisy that you can barely think. My gym has a TV in the dressing room. Even the gas station pollutes the air with TV news while I pump my gas. Did the forces of evil know that I pray while I pump gas? You would think so. In truth, it is hard to get away from the constant noise. Even in our few minutes of alone time, we think of someone we need or want to call or text. There needs to be a few minutes in each day when you actually think, when other stimulation is not bombarding your senses so that you can actually consider God and what He might want to say to you today. You should guard those moments for they are precious. Take time to ponder. Enjoy a few minutes to ask yourself how the Bible, God’s words, can become more real in your life today. What can you do to apply more of God’s wisdom to your life. Give the TV a pass for an hour and pick up your user’s guide to the human experience and allow God to minister healthy, life and blessing to your life today.

There is Life in God’s Word

Proverb 4: 20 – 22

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body.


This is very similar to the advice God gave Joshua when he appointed him to take Moses’ place (see Joshua 1: 8). Interestingly enough, it seems that when God’s people have their backs to the wall God gives them the Word to help them break through their obstacle. In today’s verse we see that God’s Words are literally the stuff of healing and health. It is as if God wrote a prescription for what ails us. His Word fills us with life which and that filling overcomes sickness. Jesus said, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6: 63).

Jesus’ words are actually life and he is the life. So, as we continue to ingest the Word we literally saturate our tissues with the life giving, healing power of the Lord Jesus. I can imagine that it is difficult for some people to die because they have so filled their bodies with life.

God tells us to give our ear and our sight to the Word. Then He tells us to keep His words in the midst of our heart. This tells us that the attention that we are to give to the Word is not an intellectual endeavor but rather one of the heart. We are to open our inner being to the ministration of the Word. He is not calling us to become great theologians but rather to allow the Word to penetrate us and change us. It is not, then, what we do with the Word but rather what we allow the Word to do in us. The Word of God has the power to change our lives but it needs the fertile soil of our hearts in order to work rather than the sterile, antiseptic planting of our minds. Fill up on God’s Word. Keep it ever before your eyes and in your ears so that it can bring the abundant life that is Jesus’ will for you.