My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
Hearing wisdom is not enough. It must be remembered and applied by changing your life to match it. Instruction only has value when it is retained and put into practice (Pr 3:2).
To hear and forget is a terrible waste, and God will hold you responsible, if you squander the precious privilege of hearing wisdom (Pr 1:24-32; Luke 12:48). You must remember what you are taught; you must not forget it (Pr 3:3,21; 4:4-6,13,21; 6:21; 7:1; 22:18).
Keeping your heart is a priority, for out of it comes your conduct in life (Pr 4:23). Your heart directs your life (Luke 6:45). You must keep wisdom and its commandments in your heart to guide your daily affections and choices (Pr 3:3; 4:21; Ps 37:31).
Here is the appeal of King Solomon to his son, but these proverbs were written down for your benefit. Will you hear, retain, love, and obey the rules of wisdom found in this book of the Bible? They can only save you and prosper you, if you remember and do them.
Paul soberly warned about letting things you have heard slip away (Heb 2:1-4). You are dealing with the Creator God of heaven and the consequences of forgetting are severe. If He in great mercy reveals truth to you, He expects you to appreciate it and embrace it.
Men remember what they count important. It is not a function of memory: it is a function of priorities. It is not difficult, as much as it requires diligence. What do you remember? You can and will remember what you consider to be valuable for profit or pleasure.
James warned you to be a doer of God’s word, not just a hearer, deceiving yourself (Jas 1:21-25). The saving benefits of truth are for those who remember it and do it. Or you are like a man seeing his faults in the mirror of God’s word, who makes no corrections. But those who see the instruction, remember it, and continue to do it shall surely be blessed.
Paul warned the gospel only saves those who keep it in memory (I Cor 15:2), for some at Corinth had forgotten the resurrection of the dead. Without this doctrine, he showed that salvation from sin is lost and Christians are of all men most miserable (I Cor 15:19).
Dear reader, it is your duty to hear instruction carefully and bring forth fruit (Luke 8:18). What kind of ground are you? Satan will snatch away instruction, unless you take it and keep it in your heart, where it can bear the fruit of righteousness (Luke 8:12).
David taught hiding God’s word in your heart (Ps 119:11). One way is by memorizing it. Learning verses keeps them in your heart and mind, where you can easily meditate on them (Ps 1:2; 119:15,23,43,78,97,99,148) and readily use them (Pr 22:18; Lu 4:4,8,12).
Peter taught the importance of repetition also (II Pet 1:12-15). Though his hearers already knew the truth, he was committed to frequent repetition to help them remember. You should not resent repetitive instruction, or it will become a trap for your ruin (Is 28:9-13).
You have two needs. You need a source of wisdom and instruction. You need a teacher, a preacher, to bring the inspired wisdom of God to bear on your life. God chose to put such men in His true churches to impart the word of God to you (Mal 2:7; II Tim 3:16-17).
You also need the personal discipline and habits to retain what you hear, review it for understanding, and apply and practice it in your life (Acts 17:11; I Thess 5:21). With these two things in place, Lady Wisdom’s instruction can greatly improve your life.
Jesus had the law of God in His heart, and so He delighted in keeping God’s will, which is revealed there (Ps 40:6-8). Are you glad He kept the will of God (Heb 10:9-10)? It is God’s revealed will for you to repent of your sins and believe on Him. Have you done it?