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Proverbs (Part 045) - Pro 4:21-23

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21. Pro 4:21 - "Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart."

A. Let them not depart from thine eyes;
i. The them are Solomon's words of wisdom (Pro 4:20).
ii. Depart v. - II. To go apart or away, with its derived senses. 5. intr. To go asunder; to part or separate from each other, to take leave of each other.
iii. Solomon tells his son to not let his words depart from his eyes.
a. The eyes can refer to the understanding (Eph 1:18).
b. We must not let our understanding of the word of God slip (Heb 2:1).
iv. But there is a more basic lesson here.
a. If Solomon's words were not to depart from his son's eyes, then that indicates that they were written down, not merely spoken.
b. It is through the written word, not oral tradition that God has chosen to make known His will to us.
c. We must keep our eyes set on those words by reading them in our Bible regularly (Psa 119:148).

B. keep them in the midst of thine heart.
i. We must hide God's words in our hearts (Psa 119:11).
ii. God's words should be kept in the midst of our hearts, not in the corner of it.
a. Midst n. - 1. The middle point or part; the centre, middle.
b. The heart is in the center of our person.
c. Solomon is showing us implicitly that the word of God should be in the center of our lives.

22. Pro 4:22 - "For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh."

A. For they are life unto those that find them,
i. The words of God are life (Joh 6:63; Deut 32:46-47).
a. Life n. - 1. a. Primarily, the condition, quality, or fact of being a living person or animal. 2. fig. Used to designate a condition of power, activity, or happiness, in contrast to a condition conceived hyperbolically or metaphorically as ‘death’.
b. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (Joh 10:10).
c. Not only did He give us eternal life, but He gave us His word that when found and put into practice will give us an abundant life.
ii. The words of God are life unto those that find them.
a. In order to find them, we must first seek for them (Mat 7:7-8).
b. God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6).
c. Those that hear, watch, and wait will find life and obtain favour of the Lord (Pro 3:22; Pro 8:33-35).

B. and health to all their flesh.
i. The word of God when kept in our hearts will bring health of our bodies.
ii. Health n. - 1. a. Soundness of body; that condition in which its functions are duly and efficiently discharged.
iii. Understanding the word of God brings us joy (Neh 8:12).
a. Joy gives us strength (Neh 8:10).
b. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine (Pro 17:22).
c. Therefore, reading the word of God and keeping it in our hearts brings us good health (Pro 3:7-8).
iv. Hiding the word of God in our hearts also keeps us from sinning (Psa 119:11).
a. Sin brings us sickness (1Co 11:30) and death (Rom 6:23).
b. Therefore, keeping the word of God keeps us in good health.
c. Bodily exercise profits little, but godliness (living according to God's word) is profitable unto all things including life and bodily health (1Ti 4:8).

23. Pro 4:23 - "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."

A. Keep thy heart with all diligence;

i. The heart is the seat of the emotions, will, and intellect.
a. Heart n. - I. The simple word. * The bodily organ, its function, region, etc. 1. a. The hollow muscular or otherwise contractile organ which, by its dilatation and contraction, keeps up the circulation of the blood in the vascular system of an animal. ** As the seat of feeling, understanding, and thought. 5. a. = mind, in the widest sense, including the functions of feeling, volition, and intellect. 6. a. The seat of one's inmost thoughts and secret feelings; one's inmost being; the depths of the soul; the soul, the spirit. 9. a. The seat of the emotions generally; the emotional nature, as distinguished from the intellectual nature placed in the head.
b. The heart is the seat of the intellect (1Ki 3:12; Job 38:36; Mat 13:15).
c. The heart is the seat of our emotions.
(i) The heart be merry (Pro 15:13).
(ii) The heart can be sorrowful (Neh 2:2).
(iii) The heart can be fearful (Deut 28:67).
(iv) The heart can be lustful (Psa 81:12; Pro 6:25; Mat 5:28).
d. The heart is also the source of our thoughts and intents (Heb 4:12).

ii. Therefore, we must keep our heart if we are to be faithful to God with all of our intellect, will, and emotions.
a. Keep v. - II. Transitive uses ** To guard (from external violence or injury), to preserve, maintain. 14. To guard, defend, protect, preserve, save.
b. We must guard and protect our hearts because if left unguarded they will end up leading us astray by emotions.
c. We must guide our hearts with the word of God to ensure our heart does not lead us astray (Pro 23:19).
d. Guide v. - 1. a. trans. To act as guide to; to go with or before for the purpose of leading the way: said of persons, of God, Providence, and of impersonal agents, such as stars, light, etc. c. To keep from by guidance. 2. fig. and in immaterial senses: To lead or direct in a course of action, in the formation of opinions, etc.; to determine the course or direction of (events, etc.)
e. The heart can easily be deceived (Deut 11:16; Rom 16:18) and it can easily deceive us (Jer 17:9; Pro 28:26).
f. It therefore must be kept and guided.

iii. It is so important to keep our hearts that we must do so with all diligence.
a. Diligence n. - 1. Constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent application and endeavour; industry, assiduity.
b. Our heart is a powerful force within us which compels us to do things based on feelings.
c. It is therefore incumbent upon us to keep it with constant and earnest effort, lest it control us.

B. for out of it are the issues of life.
i. Our thoughts and words proceed (issue) out of our hearts and defile us (Mar 7:20-23).
ii. Issue n. - 1. a. The action of going, passing, or flowing out; egress, exit; power of egress or exit; outgoing, outflow.
iii. It's important to keep the heart with all diligence because the things that come out of it affect every area of our life.

iv. Consider some of the things that issue out of the heart and how they affect our lives (Mar 7:20-23):
a. evil thoughts - these turn into evil actions that affect every area of life
b. adulteries - affects our marriage, children, and reputation
c. fornications - affects our bodies and our future
d. murders - affects our neighbor's life and his family, will get you executed or put in jail
e. thefts - affects our neighbor's goods, will get you put in jail
f. covetousness - affects our minds, contentment, and happiness for others
g. wickedness - affects all kinds of things in our lives and our relationship with God
h. deceit - affects our trustworthiness in the minds of others
i. lasciviousness - affects our minds
j. an evil eye - affects how we view the world and relationships
k. blasphemy - affects our relationship with God
l. pride - affects our reputation with others and will bring us low
m. foolishness - affects our decisions which will greatly affect our lives
v. Hence the reason it is crucial to keep our hearts with all diligence.