Psalm 119:9 Index
"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word."
Research Material

"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way . . . "

  • Yet we have a work to do to resist temptation. Those who would not fall a prey to Satan's devices must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts. The mind should not be left to wander at random upon every subject that the adversary of souls may suggest. “Girding up the loins of your mind,” says the apostle Peter, “Be sober (1 Peter 1:13), . . . not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in (1 Peter 1:14) . . . your ignorance: but like as He which called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living.” 1 Peter 1:15, R.V. Says Paul, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8. This will require earnest prayer and unceasing watchfulness. We must be aided by the abiding influence of the Holy Spirit, which will attract the mind upward, and habituate it to dwell on pure and holy things. And we must give diligent study to the word of God. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy word.” “Thy word,” says the psalmist, “have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:9, 11. (PP 460)

" . . . according to thy word."

  • Victory in temptation comes to those who effectively employ the "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:17). "It is written" was the way the Master met Satan's subtle allurements (Matthew 4:4, Matthew 4:7; Matthew 4:10). The youth of today must employ the same spiritual weapons. The mind must constantly feed upon the Word, else the defenses of soul will break down, and Satan will gain the advantage. A neglect to study and to meditate upon the Word for even one day results in serious loss. (3BC 897)
  • It is because Christ's words are disregarded, because the word of God is given a second place in education, that infidelity is riot and iniquity is rife. (CT 439)
  • The young man who makes the Bible his guide need not mistake the path of duty and of safety. That Book will teach him to preserve his integrity of character, to be truthful, to practice no deception. It will teach him that he must never transgress God's law in order to accomplish a desired object, even though to obey involves a sacrifice. (CT 449)
  • There were some who sought His society, feeling at peace in His presence; but many avoided Him, because they were rebuked by His stainless life. Young companions urged Him to do as they did. He was bright and cheerful; they enjoyed His presence, and welcomed His ready suggestions; but they were impatient at His scruples, and pronounced Him narrow and strait-laced. Jesus answered, It is written, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy word” (Psalm 119:9). “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee” (Psalm 119:11). (DA 89)
  • The question is asked, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?” and the answer is given, “By taking heed thereto according to Thy word.” The young man who makes the Bible his guide, need not mistake the path of duty and of safety. That blessed book will teach him to preserve his integrity of character, to be truthful, to practice no deception. “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15) was written by the finger of God upon the tables of stone; yet how much underhand stealing of affections is practiced and excused.... The Bible condemns every species of dishonesty, and demands right-doing under all circumstances. He who makes the Bible the guide of his youth, the light of his path, will obey its teachings in all things. He will not transgress one jot or tittle of the law in order to accomplish any object, even if he has to make great sacrifices in consequence. If he believes the Bible, he knows that the blessing of God will not rest upon him if he departs from the strict path of rectitude. (FE 102; MYP 446)
  • The whole Bible is a revelation of the glory of God in Christ. Received, believed, obeyed, it is the great instrumentality in the transformation of character. It is the grand stimulus, the constraining force, that quickens the physical, mental, and spiritual powers, and directs the life into right channels.
    • The reason why the youth, and even those of mature years, are so easily led into temptation and sin, is that they do not study the word of God and meditate upon it as they should. The lack of firm, decided will power, which is manifest in life and character, results from neglect of the sacred instruction of God's word. They do not by earnest effort direct the mind to that which would inspire pure, holy thought and divert it from that which is impure and untrue. There are few who choose the better part, who sit at the feet of Jesus, as did Mary, to learn of the divine Teacher. Few treasure His words in the heart and practice them in the life. (MN 458)
  • The psalmist, when viewing the many snares and temptations to vice, inquires, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?” ... the answer comes, “By taking heed thereto according to Thy word.” It is necessary to maintain a living connection with heaven, seeking as often as did Daniel—three times a day—for divine grace to resist appetite and passion. Wrestling with appetite and passion unaided by divine power will be unsuccessful; but make Christ your stronghold, and the language of your soul will be, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Romans 8:37). Said the apostle Paul, “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (1 Corinthians 9:27).
    • Let no one think he can overcome without the help of God. You must have the energy, the strength, the power, of an inner life developed within you. You will then bear fruit unto godliness, and will have an intense loathing of vice. You need to constantly strive to work away from earthliness, from cheap conversation, from everything sensual, and aim for nobility of soul and a pure and unspotted character. Your name may be kept so pure that it cannot justly be connected with any thing dishonest or unrighteous, but will be respected by all the good and pure, and it may be written in the Lamb's book of life, to be immortalized among the holy angels. (MM 143-144)