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Conscientious, Attentive Hearing of God’s Word
Proverbs 4:20 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
20 My son, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.
Solomon has been warning us not to enter the path of the wicked and not to walk in the way of the evil. Now, he is going to teach us how to do good. It is not enough to simply avoid the wicked and their evil ways, but we must also study the word of God and be obedient to it so that it can ready us for life.
My son, be attentive to my words: The Hebrew (קָשַׁב qashab) be attentive means to pay close attention, to listen, give heed, accept information as being true, while usually following it. We must pay attention to the Word of God, as it will oversee our lives. It will monitor us, inform us of our duties and obligations, and warn us of dangers that lie ahead. Therefore, we must readily receive it.
Incline your ear to my sayings: The Hebrew (נָטָה natah) incline is when one leans their ear in the speaker’s direction so that they can hear better. This is simply a more literary way of saying be attentive or pay attention. The believer needs to listen to the Father and heed his words carefully. We must humble ourselves before the Word of God because, at times, our human imperfection might think it is outdated or that some parts are not as important as others. The conscientious, attentive hearing of God’s Word is evidence of a work of grace that has gotten down into the heart and increases the likelihood that it will be carried out. Our hope will give us our resolve to carry out the Word of God as our ear is inclined to hear it.