Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path:
This is the introductory verse to a 3-verse wise saying. Here father speaks to “my son” and tells him to “listen…and be wise and set your heart on the right path.”
A familiar theme throughout the book, here dad gives 3 directives. “Listen…be wise…set your heart on the right path.”
“Listen” is the critical starting point, without which not much else will happen. “Be wise” is a regular, even natural, result of listening to good counsel.
The end result of both is to “set your heart on the right path.” It’s is the ultimate reason for a father to say “listen” and “be wise.”
This was probably a regular refrain in antiquity. Yet, sadly, the message of this verse may not be quite so common in our world today. For a variety of reasons, many sons grow up without a father present to offer such instruction for life.
Of course there might be a father who is present but doesn’t say or model the message in his own life. It reminds me a bit of a modern wise saying: “Don’t do as I do, do as I say!”
But, in so many homes today, a young man is being instructed – by a woman in his life. And frequently she not only says it, but practices it, too! God bless all these wonderful ladies!