Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 13:1 A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
Two Kinds Of Listening
You know… there are two kinds of listening. And today it seems that Solomon really wants his sons to listen to his words of wisdom with the right kind of hearing.
One kind is not sincere… This person may listen for a number of reasons but it is not genuine. If you have children then you surly know it’s possible for your instructions or scoldings to go on deaf ears… maybe hearing your words ever so faintly as background noise. A child may only listen to make a case against the rebuker and defend their own position either openly or as a way to rationalize in their heart. They’re really not interested in understanding why their father wants them to do this or that. They only care about justifying the argument for what they want in their heart. This is the scoffer whom Solomon says does not listen to rebuke. It makes since that the person who does not actually hear truth will not obey it but will go on seeking to do their own will.
The second kind of listener is sincere. They want to understand why their father instructs them in this way and how it is that his words are right. They want what is true to make sense to them. Now in this case the listeners ears not only hear the words their father speaks but their heart makes a connection to the truth in his words and it is internalized within them. Then they can be joyfully obedient to their fathers words from the heart.
When our Father in heaven speaks in his word... again there are two kinds of listeners.
One kind listens but does not hear. In Matthew 13 Jesus said this:
13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘“You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
As for the other kind of listeners… God opens their ears:
David said this in Psalm 40:6 In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. 7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: 8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”
You may be aware that Jesus read from this very passage in the Temple and it is speaking of himself. David said how God gave him an open ear to listen to his truth about giving sacrifices. This passage pointed directly to Jesus the perfect sacrifice. He willingly gave himself that we might be given his righteousness and be accepted by God.
Maybe today God is opening your ears to hear how Jesus is the good news of Great joy the angel spoke of to the shepherds. Maybe he is giving you eyes to see why Jesus is beautiful and how he is the greatest treasure in the Universe worth leaving all for. He was paid the wages of your sin on the Cross and he will give his righteousness to all who believe in him. To all who delight in him… call on him, draw nigh to him, look to him in faith, rejoice in him.. to all who turn their face away from the promised treasures of the world and come to him. Can you hear the Spirit call you?
Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.