I read this verse recently and couldn`t help but wonder what the writer was really trying to imply when he said to tie our parents` commands and laws round our neck? Surely he wasn`t requiring us to have phylacteries (little boxes containing scripture) physically tied around our throats?
As I pondered this several thoughts came to me.
The first thought was that what people wear round their necks often shows they have been given some authority by a higher authority. A bank clerk or an airport official has a swipe card round his neck showing that they have been given privileged access. The local Mayor wears his mayoral chain to show his appointment to office and the referee has his all-important whistle to declare his rightful control over the match.
I’ve noticed that sometimes what people wear round their neck may give a glimpse into their inner priorities. Some people wear a love token around their neck; a locket, heart or past present which signifies a special bond with someone that means a lot to them. Their heart is yielded to another person in love. Many Christians wear a cross; a symbol of their personal surrender to the authority of Jesus their Saviour and Redeemer.
Then I thought that what was around your neck could also steal your life. If there was rope round your neck it could be used to choke you and has the capability to steal your life. The person holding that rope would certainly have authority over you.
So I think perhaps the writer of the Proverb is saying that we need to make God’s commandments and laws (after all He is our spiritual Father and Mother) the clear authority we come under so that they will signify our status as sons with full access to our Father, they will show our right priorities and confirm that because of our love we surrender to His love.
Prayer: Lord, I want to live under the authority of Your commandments and laws and wear them around my spiritual neck to show that I am yielding to Your love. Show me today what else I may be wearing that demonstrates that I am under another authority, or that I have wrong priorities, or indicates that my life is surrendered to a potentially destructive authority. I ask this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.
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