Let’s read those verses. Psalm 119:9-11 says, “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.”

The question here is posed to the young man, the one who is looking for direction for his life. It may be supposed that this question will come up before the mind of every young man who has any right ambitions, and any thought of the dangers which lie before him. The World English Bible translates verse 9 like this, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.” To the one who desires to know how to live a pure life, the answer is given that it is by living in obedience to the Word of God. Psalm 119:1 tells us, “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.” So, to live a life that will keep a young man pure and undefiled, it requires a proper understanding of, and obedience to God’s Word. The Apostle Paul gives similar counsel to young Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:22, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

David’s response to this question is that he has sought the Lord with all his heart. He had commented earlier in verse 2, “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.” David understood the value of keeping God’s Word and longing after Him with all his heart, yet he also realized the tendency in man to wander away from the Lord. So, he implores, “O let me not wander from thy commandments.” His language reveals that he knows that we are weak and need the Lord to keep us on the path of righteousness. It does us no good to determine that we will walk with the Lord. No, we are weak and so prone to getting away from our blessed Lord. We should seek the Lord’s strength to keep us in the path of obedience. To depend upon ourselves to keep us on this path is to invite defeat. David’s son, Solomon, would later warn us in Proverbs 7:25, “Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.”

We then learn the key to keep ourselves from sin; it is in hiding God’s Word in our hearts. This speaks of realizing the value of the instructions of the Word of God and treasuring it up in our hearts. Notice that the Word is hid in the ‘heart’ and not the ‘mind’. To have mere ‘head knowledge’ of the Word of God does not profit us at all. It is when we take it into our hearts and live accordingly that we find the ability to not live lives of sin. Let’s consider the words of Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” May we learn the value of having God’s Word take up its abode in our hearts, becoming part of us and guiding our lives. How do we hide God’s Word in our hearts? It is by reading His Word, meditating upon it, and making it the guiding force in our lives. 1 Timothy 4:15 tells us to, “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” When we read and meditate on God’s Word and allow it to lead us, it will bring us profit, and it will show in our lives! (172.10)