Let’s begin by reading Proverbs 4:20-27, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” Notice here, how minutely the Lord instructs us in the way of righteousness. In this portion, he mentions our ears, our eyes, our heart, our mouth, our lips, our eyelids, and our feet.

My son” shows the Lord addressing us as a Father. As such, this portion is given to us to prevent us from indulging in unlawful pleasures and fleshly indulgences. It is an appeal to our hearts to maintain a close and constant life of obedience to the revealed will of God.

King David had written earlier in Psalm 119:103, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” When the Lord is precious to us, His words are sweet to us. We long to hear from Him. We long to honor Him by learning and obeying His Word. How vital it is for the believer to take in the Word of God on a daily basis. His Word is life and health for His children. We also need to constantly keep, or guard, our hearts against all the things that would draw us away from our blessed Lord. The world, with all its attractions and distractions, will win our hearts if we do not guard them.

We are then encouraged to be mindful of the things we say. Our words, and the intent of our words, should be honorable. We should not be deceitful or speak things to misguide others. It is orderly that the heart is mentioned before the mouth is mentioned. The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 12:34, “…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”

Verses 24-27 bring out the importance of maintaining a consistent walk with the Lord. We should walk a straight path of obedience to the Lord’s will. We are not to be distracted by what is going on around us. Eyes forward, our steps sure, and our foot removed from walking in evil ways and with evil people, the Lord exhorts us to walk a path that is pleasing to Him by being obedient to His Word and will. Psalm 119:105 tells us, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (163.7)