A Psalm For Young Persons

Psalm 119:9-12

Psalm 119 is called the "Alphabet of Divine Love" because it is divided into twenty-two sections, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The one theme is the Word of the Lord. This secret ode is a little Bible. In the midst of a London season, in the stir and turmoil of a political crisis, William Wilberforce writes in his diary: "Walked from Hyde Park Corner repeating the One Hundred Nineteenth Psalm in great comfort".

The second part (verses 9 to 16) is assigned to the young person. It is meet that it should be so. Youth is the season of impression and improvement. Young people are the future prop of society, and the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom, must begin in youth.

How shall a young man make a clean way, a pure line of conduct, through this defiling world? The very inquiry shows that his heart is not in a corrupt state. Desire is present; direction is required.

By taking heed thereto according to Thy Word. Young man, the Bible must be your chart, and you must exercise great watchfulness that your way may be according to its directions. You must take heed to your daily life as well as study your Bible, and you must study your Bible that you may take heed to your daily life. With the greatest care a man will go astray if his map misleads him; but with the most accurate map he will still lose his road of he does not take heed to it. A captain may watch from his deck all night; but if he knows nothing of the coast, and has no pilot on board, he may be carefully hastening on to shipwreck. It is not enough to desire to be right; for ignorance may make us think that we are doing God service when we are provoking Him, and the fact of our ignorance will not reverse the character of our action, however much it may mitigate its criminality.

With my whole heart have I sought Thee. The surest mode of cleansing the way of our life is to seek after God Himself, and to endeavor to abide in fellowship with Him.

O let me not wander from Thy commandments. We are to be such wholehearted seekers that we have neither time nor will to be wanderers, and yet with all our whole-heartedness, we are to cultivate a jealous fear lest even then we should wander from the path of holiness. Two things may be very alike and yet altogether different. Saints are "strangers", but they are not "wanderers". They are passing through an enemy’s country, but their route is direct. They are seeking their Lord while they traverse this foreign land. Their way is hidden from men, but yet they have not lost their way.

Thy Word have I hid in my heart. He did not wear a text ON his heart as a charm, but he hid it IN his heart as a rule. "This saying, to hide, importeth that David studied not to be ambitious to set forth himself and to make glorious show before men; but that he had God for a witness of that secret desire which was within him" (John Calvin).

That I might not sin against Thee. Here was the object aimed at. As one has well said: Here is the best thing - "Thy Word"; hidden in the best place - "in my heart"; for the best of purposes - "that I might not sin against Thee".

Blessed art Thou, O Lord.Teach me Thy statutes. No sooner is the Word in the heart than a desire arises to mark and learn it. When food is eaten, the next thing is to digest it; and when the Word is received into the soul, the first prayer is - "Lord, teach me its meaning". Thou art so blessed that I am sure Thou wilt delight in blessing others, and this boon I crave of Thee that I may be instructed in Thy commands. Happy men usually rejoice to make others happy, and surely the happy God will willingly impart the holiness which is the fountain of happiness. Faith prompted this prayer and based it, not upon anything in the praying man, but solely upon the perfection of the God to Whom he made supplication.