Hearing (שמע) Heart (לב)
These are the words Solomon answered the Lord God when God asked him what he desired from the Lord. Hebrew is thematic in its definitions of words. That is, they each have their own meaning from a theme.
לב – lev – Heart
The letters in the word heart are lamed (ל) with the meaning of staff, control, “to”/ “from” and beit (ב) has the meaning of house or “in”. The idea of a staff, control, or to/from is to learn and experience things. The idea of a house is like our bodies. When we learn things, we store them in our bodies (memory and DNA). Sometimes we have the scares in our bodies of an experience.
For example, a child falls from a tree and breaks an arm, they learned that they need to be aware of their surroundings when doing things that can cause pain. In other words, they learn. Mary kept all the wonderful things she experienced with Jesus in her heart. Paul says that when we believe in our heart and confess Jesus as our savior we are saved. “In [our] house” is where we store our lives – our heart. Even in English when we have the source of an issue, we call it the “heart of the matter.” In Hebrew, the word for dog is כלב (KEH-lev) meaning “all heart”. Therefore, a “hearing heart” is a teachable heart.
שמע – shama – Listen
The letters in the word hear are shin (ש) with the meaning of eat, consume, destroy. Then we have mem (מ) meaning waters, chaos. And finally, we have ayin (ע) meaning eye, to see, experience. What’s the theme here? When we learn something new (eat, consume information), it destroys our ignorance and chaos. When we drink flowing water, we’re refreshed and made better. When we see with our eyes open to the experience, we grow. To consume water and see, we enhance ourselves. Jesus said “he who has ears to hear, let them hear” giving us the lesson of listening intently to derive and understand the truth.
As such, a “hearing heart” is one with knowledge, understanding, and wisdom giving us the ability to grow and make things better. Think about it. In the corporate world, if something goes wrong, they do a root-cause analysis so they can improve process or eliminate issues. When things go wrong, having a hearing heart when we cry out to the Lord for help and guidance, the Holy Spirit will guide us in all truth.