The father in this passage again is teaching his son to be wise. Therefore we once again see that wisdom flows best from a father to his children. The father here presents wisdom in an "if-then" scenario. If you want to be wise, then you need to do this. God did not make us to be robots - preprogramed to make all the right choices. He gives us the option to make wise or foolish choices - and then to experience the ramifications of those choices. Let's take a look then at the "ifs" that need to guide our choices - as well as the "thens" of how we will be blessed by wise choices.
If you will receive my words is the first of the cause and effect statements made by the dad to his son. Do we receive God's Words - or words of wisdom from godly sources? The word "receive" here is interesting to consider. First it implies that someone is giving us something - in this case wisdom. Do we receive such things as intended? It is a wonderful thing when wisdom is offered to us. Truly such words are gifts and should be received as such. If we hear the wisdom of God's Word - or hear wisdom offered to us by another with irritation or pride - the words offered are wasted on us. Pride resists what another offers to us - thinking our own understanding to be adequate in all situations. This godly father (who simply mirrors our heavenly Father) wants us to remember to gladly receive what is said. This is especially the case when it is offered by someone in authority or care over us in our lives. Receive what dad says to you. Receive what mom says. Receive what is said to you by an authority in your life. If you do - you will be blessed.
There is more than receiving though - when it comes to getting wisdom. We need to treasure the commands of our fathers and those in authority over us. Our culture is not much on commandments - preferring a radical autonomy for self rather than a wise command that offers not just something to obey - but a wisdom and understanding behind the command that protects us as well. The second "if" statement here is that we also treasure God's commandments as well. Imagine treasuring , "Thou shalt not murder." What would that look like - and what benefit would we gain from it? First of all - we would treasure life. It is something sacred given from God - therefore we do not take life without there being a clear directive from God to do so. Life is not ours to take. Thus we choose to highly value life in every situation we experience. As we do this - we find ourselves receiving as a gift God's words - treasuring those words as they command us on what is right and wrong . This leads to us finding delight in the character of the One giving the commandments - and speaking the words to us.
The father goes on to tell the son that doing this will lead to other choices. These choices are first to make his ear attentive to wisdom as the words and commandments are received and treasured within him. As God's Word comes to us we are ware not just of words - but wisdom represented by those words. We see things from God's perspective - and learn to delight in His perspective and how His heart sees things. We learn to love how God sees, perceives, and acts in the world around us. The second choice is to incline our heart toward understanding. God wants us to receive words - to receive commands - to receive wisdom - but this is not an end in itself. We are to take these things and grasp the world around us according to them. Imagine putting on a pair of glasses that allows you to see beyond the raw information you get - to where you grasp what is going on in your own heart and the hearts of others. You would be getting understanding at this point. Information is great - but the ability to then take that information and use it in a way that helps you understand people - understand situations - understand what to say, how to say it, when to say it - and consequently when to say nothing - this is a wonderful gift. This is ultimately where God is taking us . He wants us to have wisdom - but wants it to be practical wisdom that helps us live life better. This always involves receiving raw date and information - but it also always moves us toward coordinating and cataloguing that information so that it can be accessed to foster a better understanding of our world. THE GOAL of all this - to live so as to glorify God in all that we say and do.