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Are We Determined to Remain Dependable, Faithful, Reliable, and Trustworthy In Our Relationship with God Come What May?
Proverbs 3:3-4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 Let not loyal love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favor and good insight
in the sight of God and man.
What does it mean to be loyal or steadfast (חֶסֶד chesed)? It means that one is dependable, faithful, reliable, and trustworthy. Loyal love is an unfailing kindness, a devotion, that is, a steadfast love or affection based on a former relationship (Ex. 34:6-7), which is often used in reference to God’s love based on one’s faithfulness to his covenant. If we are truly a friend of God, then we must stand by him regardless of our human imperfections, this wicked fallen world, or even what Satan and his demon horde might throw at us. The same holds true for our brothers and sisters of the faith. Are we looking to draw close to them, to remain faithful to them, even in trying times, regardless of their imperfections?
We are to bind steadfast or loyal love and faithfulness around our neck, which is where people of the Ancient Near East wore beautiful and precious jewels. “Perhaps the neck is here mentioned because disobedience is elsewhere described as a stiffening of the neck (e.g., Jer. 7:26; 17:23).” We are to write steadfast or loyal love and faithfulness on the tablet of our heart, meaning that we are to make them a part of who we are as a person. In other words, our steadfast or loyal love and faithfulness should be pure.
We should deeply value loyal love and faithfulness and visibly display them as we would a priceless necklace around our neck. In addition, we also need to inscribe these qualities on our hearts, making them an essential, indispensable part of who we are. The wisdom that we attain will make us more attractive to others as we display it. It does us no good to simply hear instructions, take in knowledge; then, grasp or understand, to then forget what we heard, like the young man, we do need to have it inscribed on our heart. Loyal love and faithfulness should become our internal values, not just some external rules and principles that we sometimes live by. God has promised us through Jeremiah the prophet (31:33) that “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.”
We must have constant respect, concern, and interest in God’s assurances, which go along with his teachings, and are to be accepted and kept at the forefront of our mind: Let not loyal love and faithfulness forsake you. God’s loyal love and faithfulness mark for us his truth in carrying out what he has said he will do. Never let these things go, live by them, plan your life by them, never let your interest in them wane, and let them comfort you in difficult times. Bind them around your neck as the most beautiful jewelry. It is the most incredible honor that God has chosen us to share his message of loyal love and truth with humanity in these last days. Write them on the tablet of your heart, as though they are precious to you, the most precious of things that you possess. Take great pleasure in evidencing them in your life as you believe they are absolutely true. So you will find favor and good insight.
Insight (בִּינָה binah; שֶׂכֶל sekel or שֵׂכֶל sekel) is the ability to see into a situation. One who possesses insight acts with wisdom, caution, and discretion. Insight is closely related to understanding, but there is a fine distinction between the two terms. Says the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament: “While bin [understanding] indicates ‘distinguishing between,’ [sa·khal′] relates to an intelligent knowledge of the reason.” (R. L. Harris, 1980, Vol. 2, p. 877) Conclusion: there is the process of thinking through a complex arrangement of thoughts resulting in wise dealing and good practical common sense. Another result is the emphasis upon being successful. Insight gives a person the ability to look into something, be prudent and cautious in decision-making, act prudently, be reasonable, rational, and sensible when considering something. A person with insight can think through a complex situation, which results in a wise decision because he uses good practical common sense.
Discernment (Insight): A Hebrew word frequently rendered “discernment” (תְּבוּנָה tebunah) is related to the word (בִּינָה binah), translated “understanding” or “insight.” Just as is the case with understanding, discernment includes seeing or identifying things, but the sense of the word that recognizes and separates the parts, considering, or assessing one in the light of the others. It is having the capacity for rational thought or inference or discrimination. It can be defined as understanding, insight, and discernment, a good sense or wisdom to respond appropriately and correctly to Jehovah and the Word of God. (Deut. 4:6) Discernment and understanding involve realizing, perceiving, grasping what the authors meant, identifying individual verses in light of the whole, weighing, or evaluating one verse in the light of the others.
 Or steadfast love, kindness
 Lit understanding
 John H Walton, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary (Old Testament) Volume 5: The Minor Prophets, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, 474 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009).
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