There is great wisdom in learning to listen. The art of listening is for the most part a lost art. I remember ministering to a young man at the University of Memphis. Even though he did not know Christ, he did know how to listen. As we ministered to him again and again he sought to take in every single word that was spoken to him. He did not want to defend himself or put in his two cents worth unless the one speaking to him had finished what they were saying. No interruptions happened when you spoke to him - and he was the picture of good manners and politeness. I also remember asking him after a couple of visits if he had always been this way. His answer was that he had not - but at a point in his life he knew he would learn much more if he would learn to listen well. Thus he made it his ambition to listen as well as he possibly could. There were struggles - he said the worst was having his own mind run after what he wanted to say next rather than actually hearing what the other person was saying. This was one situation where a lost person was used by God to bring amazing conviction to me - because I am what is called a verbal processor - therefore I have a bad tendency to talk to much - or to chomp at the bit to put my two cents into every conversation.
Solomon spoke very wisely when he said that the wise of heart will receive commands. The wise man is the one who desires to listen - and to listen well. He is definitely this way when he hears those giving him commands. A businessman will tell you that too much time is spent in business dealing with those who don't listen well to commands. They don't listen to the actual words being spoken to them and as a result get things wrong. In business - and believe it or not in all of life - this is costly. If the person would take the time to receive the command and do so with great precision - much good would come of it. This is a matter of spiritual life and death when it comes to listening to the commandments of God. Oh, how we need to tune our ears to what God is saying and has said in His Word. That one skill and practice will save us much grief - and much pain.
Why don't we listen well? The proverb instructs us in this by saying that we don't listen well because we are too eager to talk. "A babbling fool will be ruined." The fool spoken of here is one who hates wisdom and morality - and who walks instead in his own folly. This man babbles when he speaks. He does not want to listen to commands - he wants to give them - or at least mock them. This is the one who immediately interrupts when someone speaks of the Lord and begins babbling about his hatred of the Lord. He may take the direction of science or philosophy - but behind it is a disdain for the things of the Lord.
The problem with this babbling fool is that he never does hear God's commandments - at least not hearing with the intent to obey. Because of this the Word says that the direction of this person's life is toward "ruin." He will experience "labat" - which is to be thrust down or torn down and ruined. This word is used three times in the Old Testament and all three times it speaks of those without wisdom and understanding. All three times is speaks of the ruin that comes to them because of the disregard for the Word of the Lord. This one wants to thrown down the commandments of God - but in the end, he himself will be the one who is thrown down.
Wisdom is learning how to listen - how to receive commands. This will help us spiritually forever - but it will also help us daily. The fact is that all throughout life we will be receiving commands and requests to do things. If we learn to listen to them well and carry them out diligently - there will be great blessing!