(Proverbs 1:33 KJV) But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
I have heard people make a big deal over the difference between hearing and listening. One has to do with the physical ability. The other with mental alertness. For the life of me I can’t remember which is which. The KJV use of “hearkeneth” (8085) helps clarify the meaning here.
To hearken means to sit up and pay attention. I think it is archaic but so am I. I am archaic not only because I know a lot of old words but because I practice an old skill: I listen. Kids at school frequently ask me how I know so much. They ask this after I have watched them tune me out for the past 40 minutes. My simple answer: I listen. When I go to a faculty meeting I am bored to tears but when I ask people what they thought about something they give me the same blank look that the students use. They were not listening.
So? God is trying to get our attention. Fortunately He restrains Himself or He would blow out our tubes. What He has to say is important. Harken. Pay attention. The life you save may be your own.