Guiding the Young Heart (Part 2 of 4)

Do God's Word.  Seek the God of the Word.  Hide His Word.  To keep from sin, obey His Word!

January 22, 2021

"...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."

Psalm 119:9-11

Part 2

Yesterday:  The Need to Teach our Children God’s Word
“By what” means can a person keep their way clean?


Today:  God’s Word will Help Us Keep Away from Sin

“Shall a young man cleanse his way?”
The psalmist is aiming his words toward the young person.  But there is no reason that anyone in middle age or even old age cannot benefit from these truths.[1]  He is thinking of the young person because they have not lived much of life yet.  They have not experienced the world of sin this early in their lives.  By thinking these thoughts from God, they may avoid much of the personal tragedy and shipwreck of other folks who never considered how to keep their heart right in life.  Charging ahead into life without God’s input is foolish and dangerous.  In discipling, we might call this preventative teaching.  Study and meditation in the Word will help them to formulate a plan for life.  This truth will help them know how to handle life before they are faced with the tricky and tempting prospects they will find along life’s pathway!  Paying great attention to God’s Word can help them keep their lives clean.

Sin and the temptation to sin is a serious trap.  Sin is fun and easy to get into, but challenging to get out of and away from!  By learning to practice God’s Word early in life, the young person may be spared the miseries of a life in bondage to sin.  If a young man (or woman) gives in to temptation while young, sin will become so much tougher to say no to in the future.  If the sin is invited in often enough, it soon becomes a habit.  At that point, it will be difficult to break the habit without a suitable replacement.[2]

“His way.”
Comes from the Hebrew word that means, “a rut.”

“We translate way here, signifies a track, a rut, such as is made by the wheel of a cart or chariot”[3] (Clarke).

The way a young person moves through life sets “the path,” “the ruts” that will be there the rest of his life.  Once set, they become the usual way of life.  When there were few paved roads in the old days, ruts could get very deep in the muddy road.  Trying to get a vehicle out of them could be difficult and time-consuming.  Likewise, it can be nearly impossible for the young man who makes his ruts deep in the wrong direction to change his ways.  Only an act by God can help him change.


“By taking heed thereto according to thy word.”
The best way to avoid being in bondage to sin in life is by “taking heed” to God’s Word.  It is our map, guide, our chart, and compass.  Each young believer needs to be in the Word daily.

“Let him become a practical disciple of the holy God, who alone can teach him how to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, that trinity of defilers by whom many a hopeful life has been spoiled.  He is young and unaccustomed to the road, let him not be ashamed often to enquire his way of him who is so ready and so able to instruct him in it”[4] (Spurgeon).

Pride will hinder the process of following what God has to say.  Humility is the preparation of the heart that lets God’s way be acceptable to the believer.

Will a casual following of God’s Word make these changes possible?  NO!  Come back tomorrow and see why!


Quote:  “The only way that we can learn to ‘keep God’s Word, according to His Word,’ is by spending time daily in the Word with God.”[5]




[1] We dare not turn up our noses at any level of truth from God’s Word, for we need it all!
[2] The “Replacement Principle” teaches that a bad habit must be replaced with a different routine.  This does work, but it takes much time, effort, and often many tears to be successful.  God’s way to handle sin is effective and requires His grace for us to accomplish the change.
[3] Adam Clarke, Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, the electronic version in eSword.  Psalm 119:9.
[4] C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, the electronic version in eSword.  Psalm 119:9.
[5] This thought came from the meaning of, “By taking heed thereto according to thy word.”  The “thereto” is not in the Hebrew text.  “By taking heed according to thy word” could be stated as, ‘keeping God’s Word, according to His Word.’ (jlh)