Proverbs 2:1b

Proverbs 2:1 "My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;"

Solomon begins his second chapter of proverbs with a big “IF.”  In the first four verses of this chapter, six distinct actions will be suggested to his son.  “IF” those actions were performed, Rehoboam would reap accordingly and experience the big “THEN” of the remaining verses.  The first of the six suggested actions was the reception of his father’s words.  Naturally, the young man would be unable to perform any of his father’s suggested actions unless he first received the words his father offered him.

The second suggested action was to HIDE his father’s commandments.  The act of hiding counsel or commandment is the act of protecting that counsel or commandment.  We don’t hide the things we don’t want.  We don’t hide the things we don’t mind losing.  We don’t hide garbage cans.  We don’t hide dirty diapers.  We don’t hide broken appliances.  On the contrary, we hide the things we want.  We hide the things we want to keep.  We hide the things that someone might want to take from us.  We hide money.  We hide precious metals.  We hide jewelry.  We hide fancy cars.  We hide guns.  We hide things because we don’t want someone else to find them and then take them.  We hide those things that are valuable to us.

In Rehoboam’s case, his father suggested that he HIDE his father’s counsel and command.  He suggested that he value and ultimately, protect his father’s instruction.  So much of his life hinged on whether or not he would protect that which his father taught him.  This wise man knew full well that a young person only has so much room in his head.  He knew that his son would have to choose what he would retain and what he would forget.  There were going to be a lot of things he could choose to forget but parental instruction could not be one of those things if he was going to have any spiritual success in his life.

This verse very briefly reminds us of the necessity to hide our Heavenly Father’s instruction in our hearts.  Just like Rehoboam, we need to first receive our Heavenly Father’s words and just like Rehoboam, we need to secondly hide our Heavenly Father’s commandments within our hearts.  Remembering counsel is not a function of the brain; it is a function of the will.  While forgetting doesn’t require a lot of effort, it is still a decision we make.  Forgetting comes easy and for that reason, remembering must be the action to combat forgetfulness.  If something is valuable to us, we will work hard to keep it.  If certain information is valuable to us, then we will work hard to retain that information.  For example, the combination to a lock box or a safe is incredibly important to its owner.  For that reason, the owner will work hard at remembering that combination.  The owner will choose not to forget by choosing to remember.  That choice will inevitably result in that owner writing it down somewhere, working on memorizing it as well as hiding that combination in a safe place.

The choice to forget is simply the choice not to remember.  The choice not to remember is simply the choice to forget.  Forgetting someone’s name is the choice not to remember that name.  Forgetting someone’s anniversary or birthday is the choice not to remember that special date.  Failure to remember the counsel of God is the choice to forget the counsel of God.  Proverbs 2:1 is a father’s suggestion to his child to choose to remember precious parental instruction.  It is also the Heavenly Father’s suggestion to His child to choose to remember precious Biblical instruction.  Biblical principles must be hidden in our hearts if we are to preserve and protect them for future use.  There is a wicked thief who wants such valuable spiritual assets.  Satan will steal Biblical instruction from any and all who fail to HIDE it from him.  The parable of the sower teaches this very truth as it offers a vivid illustration of four different types of ground that the word of God falls on.  In the parable, the first type of ground is like the “way side,” a place where the seed gets trampled and devoured by birds.  Jesus Christ explained the meaning of that illustration in Luke 8:12 when He said, “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”  While God wants people to “hear,” or “receive” His instruction (Proverbs 2:1), He more importantly wants people to “hide” His instruction from the Devil.  It’s not good enough to merely HEAR the word of God with our ears – we must HIDE the word of God in our hearts.

Simply put, we remember what we cherish.  We protect what we value.  Mary illustrates this truth in Luke 2.  On two separate occasions, she chose to remember something she heard.  On two separate occasions, she chose not to forget what she heard.  Both sets of words were incredibly valuable to her. The night Jesus was born, the shepherds told her what they saw in the field as well as what they heard in the streets of Bethlehem.  To that Luke 2:19 records these words, “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”  Twelve years later in the same chapter, Jesus makes a statement that He must be about His Father’s business after being found in the Temple with the theologians.  To that Luke 2:51 states, “his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.”  What she heard from the shepherds and from her Son were precious to her and she didn’t want to forget them.  In order to avoid forgetting them, she chose to remember them – she KEPT them in her heart – she HID them in her heart.  She didn’t want anyone taking them from her so she was willing to forget what others told her so as to not forget what she heard in Luke 2.  So too, we choose whose words we remember – Holy words or Hollywood’s words, our Parent’s words or our Peer’s words, the words of Church Father’s or the words of Philosopher’s.

There is only so much room in our heads and in our hearts – we have to make room for what and who we remember.  We can remember Sport Statistics or we can remember Scriptural Sayings.  We can remember worldly lyrics or we can remember Bible truths.  At some point, we choose to replace what we once remembered with what we want to remember.  We must HIDE our Heavenly Father’s instruction in our hearts, otherwise it will be replaced by some less valuable or even harmful thought.  This is how Satan snatches the seed of God’s word out of our hearts – removal by replacement.  Like Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark replacing the golden idol with a bag of sand, Satan replaces Biblical thoughts with vain thoughts.  Satan steals the wise instruction of God’s word by pushing it out of our minds with the space-dominating ideas and teachings of this world.

Satan wants to steal our Heavenly Father’s instruction from our hearts because he knows how valuable it is to our spiritual success.  The word of God, unlike any other piece of information we might collect from the educational and entertainment sectors of the world, has the power to make us holy.  The word of God, unlike any other book in this world, has the potential to keep us from sin and the spiritual harm sin brings us.  Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I HID in mine heart, that I might NOT SIN against thee."

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