Guiding the Young Heart (Part 3 of 4)

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

January 23, 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 3

Yesterday:  God’s Word will Help Us Keep Away from Sin
“Shall a young man cleanse his way?”
Preventative teaching helps the best.  Once the line of sin has been crossed, and the sin habits ingrained, that sin is more difficult to deal with.

“By taking heed thereto according to thy word.”
Mentoring helps, but God’s Word benefits the young person to keep him/her from sin.  The Word can help others to learn how to deal with their own sinful failures.


Today:  Keeping My Focus on the Lord and His Commandments

“With my whole heart have I sought thee.”
A casual relationship with God is impossible.  God will not allow it!  He is not interested in our half-hearted love, service, or worship!  And to “add on” Jesus to an already full life is not salvation because there is no personal relationship with the Savior!  God is watching for the “whole heart” to be involved by the one seeking a relationship with Him.  The one who is blessed in seeking the Lord is the one who is seeking Him totally.

“Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart” (Psalm 119:2).

But what does “with my whole heart” mean?

“‘With a (my) whole heart,’ with entire devotion of thought and will, is a phrase characteristic alike of this Psalm and of the Book of [Deuteronomy]…where it is often coupled with ‘the whole soul,’ the organ of feeling and emotion.”[1]

“Entire devotion of thought and will…”

“But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29).

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).

At least six times in Psalm 119, the “whole heart” is mentioned in our relationship to God and His Word.


“O let me not wander from thy commandments.”
The psalmist fears letting God’s commandments become complacent in him.  As a believer ages, he/she knows the Word, has heard the Word, has read the Word and sadly can become self-satisfied with the Word.  It is easy to let a smugness settle into our hearts as we become less sensitive to the very Bible that we love.  We are in danger of this when we begin checking off our Bible reading without really remembering or meditating on what God has said to us.  When we can sit through worship services, hearing the Word in song and preaching, and think of everything in our lives except what God is saying to us.  Our “detachment”[2] from God’s Word makes sin look not so bad, and God’s Word through the Holy Spirit becomes a distant echo, and hard to hear.  At this point, our hearts are ripe to fall into sin!

David was not a young man when he walked into sin with Bathsheba.  He knew the commandments, he had written many psalms of the Bible, but somehow, he had lost his sensitivity to sin and the Word.  The sin did not look so bad, and his ear wasn’t tuned in to the Word.  He wandered from the very Word he knew and loved.

“I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments” (Psalm 119:176).

Yes, David strolled away from God’s truth, but even in his wandering, God’s commandments stuck with him.

“‘For I do not forget thy commandments.’  I know the right, I approve and admire the right, what is more, I love the right and long for it.  I cannot be satisfied to continue in sin, I must be restored to the ways of righteousness.  I have a homesickness after my God, I pine after the ways of peace; I do not and I cannot forget thy commandments, nor cease to know that I am always happiest and safest when I scrupulously obey them, and find all my joy in doing so.  Now, if the grace of God enables us to maintain in our hearts the loving memory of God’s commandments, it will surely yet restore us to practical holiness”[3] (Spurgeon).

“Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments” (Psalm 119:6).

Indeed, God’s commandments will guide us through life.  We learn them as young people, and they are our constant companions for the long-haul.


Quote:  “God will always fulfill His promises because of His perfect character and His perfect faithfulness.  God is perfectly faithful, so His promises are guarantees.  So, if you are seeking God with all your heart, then you will surely find Him.”[4]




[1] Cambridge Bible, the electronic version in eSword.  Psalms 119:9-16; Psalms 119:10.  Emphasis mine.
[2] Our “detachment” from the Word means that if we are not careful, we can sit in a service listening to the Word of God but thinking about all kinds of other things.  We have mentally “detached” ourselves from the Word and the service, and our minds are have let go to wander.  This is a shame for any believer.
[3] C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, the electronic version in eSword.  Psalm 119:10.
[4] Quote found in Pursuing Intimacy With God, site.  Downloaded: Monday, January 18, 2021.  From: