Summary: The overriding theme in the 119th Psalm is law: obedience to it, loving it, meditating upon it, rejoicing in it, etc. And, this is the message that is given to the young in Psa. 119:9-16.
How Can the Young Cleanse Their Way?
Theme: Ways to cleanse/keep our young pure. Psa. 119:9
A. Of the many examples displaying a zeal for God, a great majority are found among the young.
1. Joseph, David, Josiah, etc.
2. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, etc.
3. Timothy, Titus, etc.
4. While we have great examples of so many young who were devoted to the Lord, many more live in a rut of youthful behavior that becomes a status quo for their lives.
B. What our young need to learn:
1. Left to themselves they will get in a rut of a God-less life.
2. They need to be encouraged to fill their whole lives with God’s laws.
3. That older brethren among us have ways to encourage them in the Lord.
I. THE 119TH PSALM
A. An Acrostic Psalm.
1. Aleph to Tav (the equivalent to our A-Z): 22 Hebrew letters.
2. Each strophe (like a paragraph or a stanza) broken into eight verses each: Thus, 176 verses.
3. Each stanza of eight verses begins with the succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and all eight verses start with the same letter.
B. Outstanding in this psalm are numerous synonyms for “law” that is in nearly every verse of every stanza: way(s), testimony, precept, statute, commandment, word, ordinance, path, truth.
C. Summary – the writer of this psalm wants to convey some very important truths:
1. That God’s word (law, commandments, etc.) is from the beginning (Aleph) to the end (Tav) of one’s life.
2. That we read it, meditate upon it, pray for the wisdom that comes from it.
II. PSALM 119:9-16 – CLEANSING THE WAY OF THE YOUNG
A. The situation: left to himself, the way of man – from his youth – is defiled.
1. He is not able to direct his own steps. Jer. 10:23
2. He is often caught up in youthful lusts: covetousness, immorality, etc. 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22
3. At some point in a young person’s life his ways become a constant manner (a rut) of life.
4. This (bad) rut only defiles the young man of God.
B. The answer: cleanse himself in the way of God (his laws, commandments, etc.)
1. Obedience to God’s word. V. 9
2. Internalizing God’s word. V. 10-11
3. Rejoicing in God’s word. V. 12-14
4. Meditating upon God’s word. V. 15-16
III. WHAT THE OLDER AMONG THE YOUNG CAN DO
A. You (those over 40) can teach them the way of the Lord.
1. To often the young are teaching the younger.
2. Or, the young may counsel their elders. Cp. Job. 32:1-7
3. But wisdom – from those who love and faithfully serve the Lord for many years – are from the aged. Job. 8:8-10; 12:12
4. Older brethren: are you taking the time to teach and counsel the younger generation(s)?
B. You can encourage them in the way of the Lord.
1. Have the young in your homes: this will also break down the “generation gap” that exists among us.
2. Do activities with them that will strengthen them in the faith and in their unity with you.
3. Provide means for the young to encourage each other.
A. One of the strengths of our youth is their zeal and they make some of the great examples of faith as noted in the scriptures.
B. Yet, behind the scenes of these young faithful men are those who have guided them to fill the whole of their lives unto the Lord.