So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
It is easy to read though a chapter of the Bible and within minutes forget what you read. We can lose focus, get distracted, or even think about other things while we are reading. We can get to where we are reading out of habit or ritual. While the habit is a good one, the mindless reading of words is no help to us. This passage tells us how we are to read. The verse says, “apply thine heart to understanding.”
Apply means to bend away, stretch. This is like trying to put on a fitted sheet. It’s never easy, you have to stretch to get it on the mattress. We are to stretch our heart to understand the meaning of the verses we are reading. This takes us past reading to studying, defining words, and meditating. In the precious time we have with God, our desire should be for God to speak to us, convict us, and change us through His word. This can only be accomplished when our heart is focused on His word at the time.
There are times when my kids come to me and ask for help with something. It is not uncommon that they become distracted and tune me out as I try to help answer them. There are times, when they really need something, that they are intensely focused on getting my help. As a parent I can tell the difference. God can see our heart and can tell when we genuinely want to know him deeper. God wants to give us wisdom and understanding, but He will only give them to us when we apply our hearts.