“Keep my commands and live; protect my teachings as the pupil of your eye.”
Here we have a parent teaching their son/daughter how to live. We have in Proverbs 7 the difference between life and death.
Many of us understand what it means to protect our eyes. How many of us do not own a pair of sunglasses? We wear them to protect our eyes from the sunlight. When our youth group went on our World Changers trip to Tupelo, one of our travel requirements was a pair of safety glasses. We naturally protect our eyes. We do so because we value seeing. Here is Proverbs 7, he wants us to recognize the value of Scripture, God’s Word. Protect it like you do your eyes. Value it even as you do your very sight.
In John 17 we have the account of Jesus praying to the Father for those He came to rescue. In that prayer He says, “I have given them Your word. The world hated them because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world. I am not praying that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. I sanctify Myself for them, so they also may be sanctified by the truth (John 17:14-19).”
Jesus here is close to completing His mission. He is close to fulfilling the plan He came to accomplish. Jesus is just hours away from His arrest, scandalous trial, and crucifixion. He is about to set Himself apart and sacrificially substitute His life for others. Jesus knows that the mission the Father has sent Him to accomplish is almost complete. He will soon be crucified, dead, and buried. However, He will not remain dead and buried. He will rise from the grave, conquering sin, Satan, and the grave. In this prayer, Jesus is reminding us that as He was sent on mission, so He sends us on mission. He sends us with the message of reconciliation and equips us with the truth–the Word. We who were once alienated from God, by our sin, have now been brought near through faith in Jesus Christ. We can say with Paul, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).” The Word, the Bible, will set us apart, guide us, and protect us.
We must value and protect it as we would our very eyes and vision, always reminding one another that it is only by grace and for His glory that we have been saved and set apart by His Word. As Jesus taught Nicodemus, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit (John 3:8).” So by God’s amazing grace and through the work of God the Holy Spirit, I see and believe, I treasure and desire, I protect and I value. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).”
Are we, am I, seeing Scripture as this important? If I do, what does that look like in my home? If I do, how does that make a difference at my school? We will protect what we treasure.