An Important Admonition
Deuteronomy 4:9
Only take heed to yourself, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen…


1. Take heed to your health. When this is gone, how tedious and tasteless is life! The wretched subject of disease is ready to exclaim (Job 12:4, 13-15), Oh, what pain are some poor creatures doomed to bear! But in numberless instances some of the severest afflictions to which mankind are subject are the fruits of their own folly. Keep the body under: let your diet, your rest, your well-regulated tempers tend to the health of the human frame, not to its destruction.

2. Take heed to your character. "A Christian is the highest style of man." In this quality is associated every holy temper and disposition. There is faith with its eagle eye, love with its burning flame, peace with its placid smile, humility with its lowly aspect, patience with its soothing balm, and as much of the heavenly treasure as can be conveyed into an earthen vessel. Therefore "take heed to" attain this character; and then be careful to preserve it.

(1) You may forfeit your Christian character by levity. Christian cheerfulness is widely different from worldly and unhallowed mirth.

(2) You may forfeit your Christian character by a haughty, high-minded disposition. There is no evil in the world so hostile to religion as pride.

(3) You may forfeit your Christian character by your tongue.

(4) This may be done by neglecting your relative duties.

3. Take heed to your souls. They are dark, and must be on. lightened; guilty, and must be pardoned; enslaved, and must be redeemed; polluted, and must be sanctified; in danger, and must be saved.

4. Take heed to your time. Time wasted is existence lost; used, is life. Therefore part with it as with money, sparing it, and never paying a moment but in purchase of its worth.

5. Take heed to your conduct.

(1) Let it be consistent. See to it that you are in reality what you pretend to be.

(2) In order that your conduct may be consistent, let it be regulated by the Word of God. In the balances of the sanctuary weigh your principles and actions (Isaiah 8:20).


1. The character of the speaker is the first motive I will bring before you. It is the eternal Jehovah; "the God in whose hand your breath is, and whose are all your ways" (Daniel 5:23).

2. The reasonableness of the requisition is another argument why you should "take heed to" yourselves. Even animals which are governed by mere instinct "take heed to" themselves. In many cases they refuse to eat what would be injurious to them, and fly from danger the moment they perceive it; and shall reason fail to do for you what instinct accomplishes for them? (Jeremiah 8:7.)

3. The dangers that await you afford another reason for the adoption of the advice in the text. Had you literally to walk in a road beset with snares, where you were liable to be entrapped every moment, would not the perils of your path be a sufficient inducement for you to "take heed to" yourselves? And do not more fearful dangers await you in your spiritual career?

(R. Treffry.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;

WEB: Only take heed to yourself, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes saw, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your children and your children's children;

Take Heed to Thyself, Etc
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