Instruction is the point of this entire proverb. Instruction and attitude toward it. The smart person will listen and learn and never stop learning. Even if he hears the same thing time and time again. He keeps his ears open for something he may have missed before, or he listens in order to ingrain the concept in his mind so that he can teach someone else.
We have all heard something that we think we know, and know well, but if we had to write it down, or even teach it step by step and in detail, or in general overview, then we have the real challenge of evaluating our true knowledge. You can practice this with your children, or by looking in the mirror and trying to teach yourself.
Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding. This acquisition comes from repetition of learning and hearing the same thing over and over again. Musicians practice constantly, the same piece of music, not just once or twice then they think they know it. The real professionals practice for hours everyday. Athletes likewise practice, and too, if they are dedicated, they go over the same routines repeatedly. Typists, race car drivers, chefs, and the list goes on. The truly great ones are those who practice their chosen profession constantly.
God challenges us in this proverb. Hear! You have to be positive before you wil even hear. You have to be objective and open minded and willing to listen. Listen, keep, hold, follow, don’t forget, don’t turn away, don’t forsake. We all have a responsibility placed on us by God, and that responsibility is to learn Bible doctrine. From that hearing, from that learning, comes spiritual growth, comes spiritual awareness of Gods plan for our personal lives, comes awareness of our personal destiny, comes awareness of just what it is that God wants us to do.
The reward? Verse 6, she, wisdom, Bible doctrine in your soul, she will protect you, she will guard you, she will watch over you. Living within the sphere of Gods word, His word that is contained inside your soul, by residing in fellowship, in a sin free state, and therefore living in the presence of God, standing on Holy ground as it were, these are all phrases describing our relationship with God, which, by the way, is a spiritual relationship, one that is centered in your soul.
The beginning of this whole process is learning doctrine first. You cannot use what you do not know. So the first task is to gather information, to learn through your daily study. Hear, listen, acquire, love doctrine. And with all your effort in your daily study, you will attain understanding. Spiritual growth is not a function of the IQ, not a function of human ability, not a function of anything of this world. God levels the playing field in the spiritual realm, by using the Holy Spirit to communicate doctrine to your human spirit, making the information clear to you, so that any believer who hears doctrine, can understand and make decisions regarding doctrine, believing it or not. No one, whether he is a genius or moron has an excuse with respect to having an opportunity to know God.
Prize doctrine, exalt doctrine. These again are phrases which should describe your attitude toward Bible doctrine. If you really love it, you will learn it. If it is ho hum in your life, then your life is destined for misery, and no doubt you will never accept responsibility for your own decision to ignore your Bible study.
People who ignore doctrine expect everything out of life, and they get bitter when things do not go their way. Their expectations are unrealistic, and yet they continue to ignore the one thing that could turn their life around, Bible doctrine. And the funny thing is, that learning Bible doctrine is probably the simplest thing one can do in life. Just a few minutes each day.
In turn doctrine will exalt you, honor you, crown you with all manner of spiritual blessings, and that does not mean that you go without in this life. You do not have to give all your wealth away in order to be spiritual. Quite the contrary, the richest man in the world, in history, was a spiritual giant. Remember who that was? By todays standards Solomon would have been a trillionaire. It is more common than not, to find spiritually mature believers among the wealthiest in this world. So do not think that you have to make the ultimate sacrifice and live under a bridge somewhere.. Idiots make that kind of choice.
And beyond the blessings of this life, doctrine establishes your blessings for eternity as well. Crowns await the mature believer in eternity, these are explained throughout the Bible and summarized in the first three chapters of Revelation. The represent rewards beyond the basics that only mature believers will receive. Think of eternity and how long it will last, forever. And you will enjoy many more things in eternity than those believers who ignored their chance to grow up in life. Everyone has an equal chance in this life. A few will leap at the chance, most will ignore the chance. You should be among the few, and the proud, and I am not talking about US Marines either!!! Smile!!