Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5, NKJV, emphasis added)
God’s truth should be written on our hearts and this is accomplished by waiting upon Him with great hope.
Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:3-4, NKJV)
Let not mercy and truth forsake you. As Gomer Pile would say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!” We once again see the coupling of mercy and truth. The bond between the attributes of the Lord, in this case mercy and truth, are immensely strong and are forged together as one because God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4; Galatians 3:20; Exodus 20:3). The Hebrew word for forsake can mean leave or to let loose. In this passage we will see that it has the meaning of to let loose. Truth, once made part of the believer’s character, will forever be bound in his heart. Character is formed through waiting on God.
Bind them around your neck. The word bind in the Hebrew means to tie, or to control. Mercy and truth are to control our lives through submission to the work of the Holy Spirit who resides in us; we submit through waiting on God. To wear something around your neck is like an adornment to be seen by all (Proverbs 3:22, 1:9, and 6:21). Truth and mercy should be so much a part of our character that it is to be seen by all. Remember that Jesus said you are salt (Matthew 5:13) and you are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16) and we are meant to show this to the world through our lives lived out in Christian character.
Write them on the tablet of your heart. There is also the same element of binding involved with this phrase (see Proverbs 6:21 and 7:3). To write mercy and truth upon your heart is to make them who you are in the deep recesses of your being. Developing Christian character is this process, called sanctification in the New Testament, is a change of the heart towards the will of the Lord and Master. God does all the work and is actually the one who writes mercy and truth upon your heart (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:7-13; and 2 Corinthians 3:2-3). We need to wait upon God and let this work be accomplished in us.
So you can find favor and high esteem in the sight of God. Never in Scripture are we told to esteem ourselves. There are two kinds of esteem that we are to have and they are told to us in this verse. We are to find favor and esteem in the sight of God and we do so by becoming the person of character described in Proverbs Chapter 3 through waiting and submission.
So you can find favor and high esteem in the sight of man. The favor and esteem of man was already related above by being salt and light.
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, expect to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16, NASB, emphasis added)
When we surrender our lives to the Lord and Master we are to let our lives shine before men for His glory. Commit yourself today to be a new creation, a work to be used by the hand of the Father, to bring others to Him and to be His voice to a dying world. Remember, when you submit to the Lord you become salt and light. It is not a progressive life of “aspiring to be” through your Christian life, but when you accept the call and follow Jesus you are from the onset: you are salt – you are light.