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Pay Attention to the Father
Proverbs 5:1 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
incline your ear to my understanding,
My son, be attentive to my wisdom: The Hebrew (קָשַׁב qashab) be attentive means to listen and pay attention, to give heed. In other words, it means that you accept the information that you are given as accurate and then favorably respond to it. Wisdom: (חָכְמָה chokmah; σοφία sophia) is sound judgment, based on knowledge and understanding. It is the balanced application of that knowledge to answer difficulties, achieve objectives, sidestep or ward off dangers, and help others accomplish the same. The wise person is often contrasted with the fool or stupid person. Wisdom has the capacity to understand and then act wisely and so have skill in living, adhering to the standards set out in the Word of God. Wisdom belongs to the person who has accumulated knowledge or intellect or enlightenment. – Deut. 4:6; 1Ki 5:9; Deut. 32:6; Prov. 11:29; Eccles. 6:8; Col. 1:28; 4:5.
Incline your ear to my understanding: 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. Understanding (בִּין bin; בּוּנָה Bunah) is the ability to see how the parts or aspects of something are connected to one another. One who understands can see the big picture (the entire matter) and not just the isolated facts. (Prov. 2:5; 9:10; 18:15) Discernment and understanding involve comprehending, perceiving, grasping what the authors meant, identifying individual verses in light of the whole, weighing, or evaluating one verse considering the others.
Like many of the other chapters in the book of Proverbs, it begins with the plea for the son to heed his father’s wisdom. Immorality is likely the greatest pitfall for any young man. Thus, Solomon takes this issue up five times in the first third of Proverbs. (2:16-22; 5:3-23; 6:24-35; 7:5-27; 9:13-18) Suppose the young man or woman, for that matter, is to avoid falling into immorality. In that case, they will need to pay attention to wisdom, the ability to apply Bible knowledge and listen to understanding, the ability to see into a given situation to ascertain right from wrong.
Solomon demands attention in God’s name. He, too, is an inspired author, moved along by the Holy Spirit. We need to apply our minds to what he has written studiously. Solomon’s words are not intended to fill our heads with concepts and ideas, speculation, or skeptical argumentation or debate. Instead, they are to guide us in how we are to govern ourselves so that we may act wisely, cautiously, carefully, discreetly, to become our way of thinking, becoming our proper mindset.
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