Verses 1–5

These verses are an introduction to his warning against fleshly lusts, much the same with that, Prov. 6:20; and ending (Pr. 7:5) as that did (Pr. 7:24), To keep thee from the strange woman; that is it he aims at; only there he had said, Keep thy father’s commandment, here (which comes all to one), Keep my commandments, for he speaks to us as unto sons. He speaks in God’s name; for it is God’s commandments that we are to keep, his words, his law. The word of God must be to us, 1. As that which we are most careful of. We must keep it as our treasure; we must lay up God’s commandments with us, lay them up safely, that we may not be robbed of them by the wicked one, Ps. 7:1. We must keep it as our life: Keep my commandments and live (Ps. 7:2), not only, “Keep them, and you shall live;” but, “Keep them as you would your life, as those that cannot live without them.” It would be death to a good man to be deprived of the word of God, for by it he lives, and not by bread alone. 2. As that which we are most tender of: Keep my law as the apple of thy eye. A little thing offends the eye, and therefore nature has so well guarded it. We pray, with David, that God would keep us as the apple of his eye (Ps. 17:8), that our lives and comforts may be precious in his sight; and they shall be so (Zech. 2:8) if we be in like manner tender of his law and afraid of the least violation of it. Those who reproach strict and circumspect walking, as needless preciseness, consider not that the law is to be kept as the apple of the eye, for indeed it is the apple of our eye; the law is light; the law in the heart is the eye of the soul. 3. As that which we are proud of and would be ever mindful of (Ps. 7:3): “Bind them upon thy fingers; let them be precious to thee; look upon them as an ornament, as a diamond-ring, as the signet on thy right hand; wear them continually as thy wedding-ring, the badge of thy espousals to God. Look upon the word of God as putting an honour upon thee, as an ensign of thy dignity. Bind them on thy fingers, that they may be constant memorandums to thee of thy duty, that thou mayest have them always in view, as that which is graven upon the palms of thy hands.” 4. As that which we are fond of and are ever thinking of: Write them upon the table of thy heart, as the names of the friends we dearly love, we say, are written in our hearts. let the word of God dwell richly in us, and be written there where it will be always at hand to be read. Where sin was written (Jer. 17:1) let the word of God be written. It is the matter of a promise (Heb. 8:10; I will write my law in their hearts), which makes the precept practicable and easy. 5. As that which we are intimately acquainted and conversant with (Ps. 7:4): “Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister, whom I dearly love and take delight in; and call understanding thy kinswoman, to whom thou art nearly allied, and for whom thou hast a pure affection; call her thy friend, whom thou courtest.” We must make the word of God familiar to us, consult it, and consult its honour, and take a pleasure in conversing with it. 6. As that which we make use of for our defence and armour, to keep us from the strange woman, from sin, that flattering but destroying thing, that adulteress; particularly from the sin of uncleanness, Ps. 7:5. Let the word of God confirm our dread of that sin and our resolutions against it; let it discover to us its fallacies and suggest to us answers to all its flatteries.