Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 7:3
When Johannes Gutenberg combined the printing press with moveable type in 1450, he ushered in the era of mass communications in the West, spreading learning into new social realms. Literacy increased across the globe and new ideas produced rapid transformations in social and religious contexts. Gutenberg produced the first-ever printed version of the Bible. Prior to this, Bibles were painstakingly hand-copied, taking scribes up to a year to produce.
For centuries since, the printing press has provided people like you and me the privilege of direct access to Scripture. While we also have electronic versions available to us, many of us often hold a physical Bible in our hands because of his invention. What was once inaccessible given the sheer cost and time to have a Bible copied is readily at our fingertips today.
Having access to God’s truth is an amazing privilege. The writer of Proverbs indicates we should treat His instructions to us in the Scriptures as something to be cherished, as “the apple of [our] eye” (Proverbs 7:2) and to write His words of wisdom on “the tablet of [our] heart” (v. 3). As we seek to understand the Bible and live according to its wisdom, we, like scribes, are drawing God’s truth from our “fingers” down into our hearts, to be taken with us wherever we go.
How has having Scripture stored in your heart benefitted you? How can you begin to internalize more of God’s wisdom?
Loving God, help me to know Your Word intimately that I might live in the way You desire.
In Proverbs 7:1–5, Solomon warns his son (or sons, as v. 24 notes) to obey his words. He uses the illustration of an adulterous woman leading a man astray to explain the importance of obedience and describes the danger of this woman’s house as “a highway to the grave” (v. 27).
To keep Solomon’s commands and avoid the seductive woman, the reader is told to “bind them [the commands] on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart” (v. 3). This metaphor implies the need for external action (the physicality of fingers) and internal character change (the character of the heart). The reference to wisdom as a “sister” in verse 4 uses a word that generally means a close or intimate female relative. Depending on the context, it can sometimes refer to a wife or bride. Both suggest an intimate connection and emphasize the importance of adhering to this advice.