"...Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
Today: The Need to Teach our Children God’s Word
The 119th Psalm is a study in both the grandeur and practicality of the Word of God. Each of the stanzas, marked by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, teaches us some aspect of God’s excellent Word. The second stanza, BETH, focuses on our need to have the Bible firmly held in our hearts.
The Hebrew word that was translated as “wherewithal” means “by what.”
“What means shall a young man adopt by which he may ‘cleanse his way?’ it indicates a state of inquiry” (Barnes).
This is vital information for a “young man” (actually for any believer), who wants to know how he can be “saved from the corruptions of his own heart?” How will it be possible for him to keep from being trapped by the temptations he will face as a young man? And with all the sin present in this rebellious world, how is it possible for him to “lead a pure and upright life?” Each young believer needs to be asking these questions. And the best answer anywhere is right here in this verse!
The world teaches young people that “you need to go out and live it up while you are young.” Once you have gotten all of the excitement out of life, when you get older and decide to settle down, then is the time to think about God and living a pure life for Him. “You are only young once, so use up your youth for yourself! Enjoy it!” What deceptive propaganda that is! It has the devil’s fingerprints all over it!
“God says, ‘If you are going to live for me, you must begin at the earliest possible moment, without delay, preferably when you are very young’” (Boice).
The Word of God teaches the parents of young children that the time to begin learning about God is from their infancy. Knowing who God is and what He wants in your life is too important to wait.
“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:9-10).
We parents are to begin teaching the doctrines of God’s Word to our children from the time they are weaned. Many parents want to let their children grow up and then choose what they want to believe. How sad, there is no better way to raise a generation of atheists! The devil is glad to help with that parenting plan! God’s way is the exact opposite. Parents are to begin their teaching while the children are very young!
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
Parents, we need to,
“Teach them diligently” = formal teaching, sit them down and teach them about God and His Word.
“Shalt talk of them” = informal teaching, day, and night, through the events of life, bringing God into the picture.
Along with this kind of teaching, the parents must be godly role models for their children. They lay out the truth and personally live by that truth they are holding up for their child.
“By what” shall a young person keep his/her life clean? By heeding the Word of God. It has answers for everyone! Tomorrow we will talk about how we teach our children. See you then!
Quote: “In teaching our children God’s truth, it is better to begin too early than to be too late with the teaching!”
 Albert Barnes, Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, the electronic version in eSword. Psalm 119:9.
 Boice’s quote is found in the Enduring Word Commentary, the electronic version in eSword. Isaiah 28:9-10.
 These words were spoken by the drunken, ungodly priests and prophets mocking Isaiah. They believe his message is fit only for children. Certainly, they did not think they needed it. They are wrong, of course! “In their mocking of Isaiah’s message, they actually pay him a great compliment. It is a beautiful thing for God’s truth to be presented precept upon precept . . . line upon line . . . here a little, there a little. When the word of God is properly presented, there is something for both the simple and immature to receive, and also something for the great saint to rejoice in and be fed” (Guzik). Enduring Word Commentary, the electronic version in eSword. Emphasis his. Isaiah 28:9-10. This verse is a good pattern for our parental teaching.