9 How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
The simplicity of the Word of God is often very refreshing. In this verse, the psalmist presents a very plain question that could fuel endless debate on a vast topic: how can young people today live a pure, clean life?
Anyone who has ever been a young person, I am certain, is aware that there is no shortage of perverse temptation in this world. Today, the internet alone is a massive pipeline through which profanity, lust, hate, fear, etc., are but a click away. It would be very appropriate for a young person to ask, “Is it even possible to live a pure life, free from all this junk?”
And I suppose that it is probable for anyone who has survived adolescence, once far enough removed from it, to look upon today’s youth and think, “Is there any hope for them?”
Not a new question, the psalmist sang about it thousands of years ago.
And how powerful it is that he answers himself in seven simple words! Yes! There is an answer to juvenile delinquency. Yes! There is hope for a fatherless generation. Yes! It is possible for a young person to rise above the expectation of society and their peers and to experience a life of freedom, purpose, integrity, and love. By taking heed to the word of God!
To “take heed” simply means to “pay careful attention to.” So the solution is:
By paying careful attention to the word of God.
In this Living Book are the answers to the problems that young people face. The way of escape from every temptation is there. The strength to say “no” is there. The wisdom to avoid the path of evil, the man who speaks perverse things, the seductress, the ways of darkness (see Prov 2) - it’s all there. It is simply a matter of paying close attention.
The Holy Spirit speaks to young people, affirming that the word of God gives this strength to live a clean life:
I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one. 1 John 2:14
The Father entreats His children:
Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, and give attention to know understanding;
For I give you good doctrine [teaching]: do not forsake my law. Prov 4:1-2
And Jesus declares the cleansing power of His word:You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. John 15:3
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.