(Answered on 09/19/2015 Program)
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You. (NASB)
This is a picture of a heart seeking guidance. The question asked shows an openness to reach a higher standard for themselves. This passage says that it is God’s word that can keep a life pure. The result of one who chooses not to wander from God’s commandments and treasuring God’s words are a life that does not sin against God (sin is breaking His laws and separates us from Him).
Change and improvement in life assumes there is some solid foundation from where you have as a base to grow.
Matt. 7:24-27 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” (NASB)
This is a very simple metaphor that illustrates the importance of building on a sure foundation. The idea here is that those who hear and act on the words God has provided have the wisdom based on a sound and reliable foundation for life. Each one of us is building a life so the foundation we are building on matters. The words of men are like ever-shifting sands of the while a life built on the solid foundation of the word of God can endure hard things. Improvement includes preventing a fall in life and that will depend upon what we build our life upon.
I may choose my own foundation and way of life, but this next scripture suggests I may not always know as well as the Creator what is best for me:
Jeremiah 10:23 I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps. (NASB)
This might seem absurd to suggest I do not know enough to direct my own way in life; people do all the time. Yet, I can’t say know what the rest of today brings, let alone tomorrow. In fact, I can’t say I know how everything is supposed to work in my life. Where I have been wrong so many times in my life that I can see I don’t know all the answers, it is the Creator’s words that can guide my way with insight I might only gain from Him.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. (NASB)
This passage suggests we should rely on God for wisdom and not on our own understanding of life. When we consider Him in all aspects of our life (all your ways), He can ensure our way of life can have a good course.
Regarding being “wise in your own eyes“, we can sometimes see how we can too confidently rely on ourselves and take wrong paths in life. Think about the last time you got new item like an appliance or tool and you just tossed the owner’s manual in a drawer without reading how the item is supposed to be used. When we struggle to figure out how to work it and resort to trying things that frustrate us or damage it, we realize we need the knowledge of the manufacturer. Don’t we often treat the Bible that way? Like it is some Owner’s Manual for life that we just have no time to read. Considering God is our Creator, He should know how life is to be lived since He designed it.
Considering these passages from the Bible, the Bible can be a source of information from our designer that if we follow can lead to a way of life free from sin and based on a foundation that is sound. We can realize we may think we know how to live out life, but God offers wisdom that will allow us to withstand storms of life and be an actual guide to life.