Apr 11, 2010

Proverbs 23:26 - William Styles

“My son, give me thine heart,” Prov. 23:26. The favourite verse of popular gospel preachers, who implore men to give their hearts to God as the one condition of salvation. But:

1. The words were addressed by a real human father to his son, and consist of a parental appeal for filial love and frankness. Well would it be, if the children of all worthy parents were to give them their hearts; have no secrets from them, and treat them with the confidence which their affection demands.

2. If spiritually applied, it may be referred to the Lord Jesus, who emphatically, when on earth gave His Heavenly Father His heart, and by whose devoted obedience our salvation was merited.

3. It cannot be regarded as a gospel appeal. Where is the propriety of exhorting men to give sinful and devil-possessed hearts to God?—But

4. It may be felicitously regarded as an exhortation to God’s regenerated people. The request urged, ‘Give me thine heart,’ would then appropriately be based on the relationship expressed “My son.” God demands love and obedience form His living people. Having brought them from death to life and put them among His children, He enjoins the conduct that is appropriate to their condition. Thus regarded, the verse would teach that truly saved sinners should give their love (Psa 31:23), their trust (Psa. 66:22), their confidence (Psa. 61:8), and the zeal of their renewed powers (Psa. 103:1) to their Heavenly Father (Rom. 12:10)

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