This chapter starts with words from father to his son, “Listen to what I am telling you, I know what I am talking about and it is for your own good.” Most of us remember getting such a speech from our father, mother, grandmother, uncle or somebody who cared about us and wanted to be sure we made good choices in life. We also remember our attitude toward such advice!
And that is the real issue here. What is at stake is not just information, but the right attitude to be able to receive, appreciate and apply that information. When that happens Proverbs is really working for us. In fact, the very way we respond to someone offering such a “listen to what I am telling you, it is for your own good” speech will say a lot about just how well we are progressing in wisdom and our spiritual walk.
So, with the focus being on attitude, note the verbs in these verses: “keep,” “store up,” “guard,” “bind them” and “write them.” This is attitude with focus, commitment and appropriate actions.
The phrase “apple of your eye” (:2) does not mean fruit but comes from a word meaning “dark”– referring to the dark pupil at the center of our eyes. It suggests treating this advice as something special, sensitive and important.
Binding this advice on the fingers (:3) speaks of external things – actions. Writing them on the tablet of the heart (see also 3:3; 6:21) speaks of internal things – attitudes. A common thought in Proverbs, this stuff is supposed to affect what I do and how I think.