Proverbs 4:1 pleads: “Hear, O sons, the instructions of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding.” God reminds us here that a father cares enough to give his child instruction; he loves them, and wants the best for them, hence the admonition. If He didn’t care, he wouldn’t instruct — as many delinquents can testify!
Significantly, the word “hear” in this verse means more than merely “letting the sound go into your ear”. Rather this Hebrew word often carries the connotation of “heeding; obeying.” (Brown, Driver & Briggs)
It is also significant that it is SONS who hear the instruction of a father. We should not be surprised when those who are not sons do not heed a man’s word. But his own son will listen to the voice of his father.
The message of Proverbs 4 is clear to those who claim to be God’s children today. Our Heavenly Father has given us His word. He has done it because He loves us. Those of us who really are His children will not just “listen” to His word, but obey it. In fact, our obedience to God’s word is the most certain mark of our sonship, just as Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”