Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
- Psalm 119: 9
Why does the Lord challenge the young men? When we are young we have two quirks which make us deaf to sound advice, allowing only a little to get through:
1. We think we know everything due to our lack of life experiences.
2. We feel we are bulletproof as we are due to our lack of life experiences. These two traits limit our communication pathway. We don't think we need advice: it is for other people, not us! Jokes, music and social information get through, but advice on the whole does not. God’s advice is the main thing we need to go forward spiritually. The saying "you can't put an old head on young shoulders" is sadly true in most cases. When we are young, our wisdom is honed almost entirely by our experiences. If we are wise, we should combine that with wisdom from God and godly people. The reason we need God’s advice is that as young men and women coming into our teens, we can learn things which sully our way of life. David, who wrote Psalm 119, understood this, as he was able to resist many temptations to follow the Lord. He realised from both reading and experience that taking heed unto the Word of God (putting into practice) was vital for him. Our way (our life and all its activities) is an offering unto the Lord.
Offerings to God were cleansed before being offered. When we offer our way unto the Lord, it too needs to be cleansed. Not cleansed in the way we might feel is suitable, but the way God expects it be cleansed.
Proverbs 14:12 informs us that 'there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.'
This misguidedness incorporates the idea of cleansing according to what we think is right. When we don't know what God wants, we prepare the cleansing according to our own ideas! This is unsatisfactory for an offering. We haven't proven what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2). Our offering is ill-prepared and stinks.
An instance of taking heed according to the word was when the commandments illuminated to the Apostle Paul’s of deficiencies in his way.Paul said in Romans 7:7, “ ..I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said Thou shalt not covet.” As that realisation hit him, Paul began looking at his way and revising it. When we offer our way daily unto the Lord, is it clean according to God’s opinion? In our key scripture, young people are encouraged to take heed unto the Word of God. Strong's H8104 renders take heed as 'keep'. When we keep the Word of God, it is hid in our hearts that we might not sin against God. It is a good fit for a godly heart, and fits perfectly into it. It does not fit into a sinful heart; therefore, we get David's encouragement for us in our youth.
This wisdom helps us grow through the stages of children to young men and then to the fathers steeped in the Word. We are called to always be going forward into a closer relationship with the Godhead.
Today’s Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for upholding a clean way for me to follow. Thank you for the wisdom and knowledge I can use to cleanse my way if it is currently not quite right. Help me to understand the need to keep looking at the paths I take to ensure my offerings unto you are acceptable in your sight.