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A Question Many Fail to Ask - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
June 20, 2022 12:00 am

A Question Many Fail to Ask - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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June 20, 2022 12:00 am

“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9).


Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, The worries of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace. This is Lecair Bradley, Jr., welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour. I know each day you hear me give a mailing address, and maybe have had good intentions about writing it, but just haven't gotten to it. We're right here in the summertime, which is the challenging portion of the year for radio broadcasts, so if you can help us with the support now, we'll certainly be thankful for it.

You can go to our website at Baptist Bible Hour and make a donation there. We come now to verse 9, looking at verses 9 to 16 in Psalm 119, and entitled this portion, a question which many failed to ask. We're at that time of year when a lot of young people are graduating from high school and college, and no doubt some of you young people have been asked, if you are graduating from high school, do you plan to go to college? Where do you plan to go? Do you know what your major will be?

Have you selected a career? Many questions are asked along those lines, but there is a question that most fail to ask, and we're going to look at that as we continue our messages from the Psalms. We're in Psalm 119, looking at the second section.

As we pointed out earlier, this psalm is divided into sections, each section having eight verses, and each one set apart by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Verse 9, 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. Blessed art thou, O Lord, teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes. I will not forget thy word.

This is the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Beth, and the word means house. It has been noted that the lesson here concerns making our heart a house for the Word of God. The question is here asked, wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?

This is a question that many fail to ask. All kinds of questions are posed about one's choices in life, their plans for the future, but how many ask the question, wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? Here's a question that supersedes them all, a question concerning purity of walk, a question regarding how to walk in the way, the right way, the godly way, walking a way in which one's life will be to the praise and glory of God.

So first in this section we see a need addressed. There is a need for cleansing. A need for cleansing because of a sinful inclination in human nature. Isaiah chapter 53 and verse 6 says, we have turned everyone to his own way, and that indeed describes the depravity of the human heart. Man is determined to do his own thing, his own way, at his own time.

He doesn't want anybody to tell him what to do. That's been the problem since the Garden of Eden. God told Adam and Eve that they could partake of the fruit of the garden except for the fruit of one tree. This was forbidden.

But what did they do? They took that very fruit. Eve was deceived. Adam knew what he was doing. He willfully transgressed the law of God. He did not want God to tell him what to do.

He wanted to make his own choices. And the fact is that every one of us have that inclination in our human nature. Some display it a little more vividly than others, but it's down there in the depths of our fallen nature. I just want to do what I want to do.

In fact, I've been somewhat amazed over the years. I suppose it's because young people are sometimes a little more open, ready just to admit how it is, where people as the years pass on, learn to kind of cover things up a little bit and not let out the whole truth about how they feel. But I've been amazed nevertheless at how many young people have just been straightforward and said, I just don't like having to do what my parents tell me. I don't like people telling me what to do. Why can't I make my own choices?

Why can't I have set the rules? Just do not like this idea of having somebody in authority over me. Well, that indeed presents a problem, because God has structured things in a way in which there is always one in a place of authority. God, of course, being the sovereign of the universe, is in authority over all. God himself has established civil government and given certain authority to those that have the rule over us. He's given authority to husbands to be the spiritual leader in their home, parents, authority over their children. There's an authority in the church. The church is to maintain discipline.

Those who commit themselves in a covenant to serve God and follow him in church capacity have a responsibility to recognize that authority. But the old human nature says, I don't like to be told that I'm not I don't like to be told what to do. Well, because of that inclination, we see that there is a need, a need for cleansing.

Wherewithal, so the young man cleans his way. Furthermore, there's a need for this cleansing because the heart itself is deceitful. Jeremiah chapter 17, verses 9 and 10, tell us that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.

Who can know it? Periodically, somebody will say, well, if I know my heart, this is the way it is. Well, I can tell you up front, you don't know it. You may think you do, but the heart is deceitful.

You can look at things from your perspective and say, I've got it all figured out and here's what my true motives are and here's how I feel about it and here's what my heart is telling me. But the heart is deceitful and it's desperately wicked. It's out of the heart that there comes all kinds of evil that Jesus described when the Pharisees were criticizing his disciples for not washing their hands. That's not where the filth is to be located.

It's not the dirt you may get on your hands. It's what's down inside of you. That's where there's envy and greed and malice and lust and adultery and all the other sins spring from the heart, seeing then that it is desperately wicked.

There's a need for cleansing. And while the psalmist speaks of the young man here, the principles that we're looking at are applicable to all of us. These are truths that need to be applied in our life on an ongoing basis, but there is a unique need in the lives of young men, as the writer indicates.

Their passions are strong. Their judgment is immature. A young person doesn't want to face that.

They feel that my judgment is at least equal to, if not superior to, that of my parents. But the fact remains that they often make choices that reveal their immaturity. Their experience is limited. The experience is not always a great teacher because some people seem never to learn. But there is a certain limitation on young people just because of a lack of experience. There is a reluctance to heed warnings. If a father is warning his son, if a preacher is warning his congregation, there's a reluctance to heed that.

The thought is, I'm not sure that's right. I think maybe these older people are just trying to rob me of having a good time. And I don't see that warning as necessary. And then friends are a great influence. Friends will influence us at any age, and that's the reason it's important, no matter what your status in life, to have godly friends.

But it's particularly true for young people. I've talked to young people who are so overwhelmed with the desire to be accepted, to have the approval of their friends, that it influenced every single decision they made. I don't want to be ostracized.

I don't want to be looked down on. I want to be accepted. And so there is a need for cleansing. There's a need furthermore because of the evil influences. The evil influences of the world.

The world is full of enticements, using many of the wiles of the devil to encourage young people to pursue the things that it has to offer. Many of the things that are available to us today, in way of communication, are potentially beneficial. But at the same time, depending on the content, can be very, very harmful. Think of the influence that television has on young people today. Things that they see and hear, that they would have never been exposed to in earlier times.

Think of the negative influence it has on a person of any age who spends hours every week looking at what is available on television today. The internet, the internet, while offering many positive advantages, also is there to entice young people and sometimes older people, drawing them in to addictions, becoming addicted to pornography, books, magazines. You see, there are certain pleasures in the world. We read about that in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 24.

By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, for he had respect under the recompense of the reward. It is acknowledged here that there are certain pleasures in sin. Sin can bring temporary gratification, satisfaction, but there are consequences to sin. Sin ultimately brings devastating effects, consequences.

Sin ultimately brings death and separation from God. But oh, the world is there constantly beckoning and encouraging people of all ages to taste of its wares, promising that the pleasures there are going to give the contentment and joy and satisfaction that there's so much desire. Is the world a fascinating place to you? Young people are often excited to try anything that's new, want to experience something that's different.

Now that I've reached an age that I can make some of my own choices, I'm going to kind of press things to the limit, see how far I can go. The world is there with its enticements. In the book of Galatians chapter 6 verse 14, Paul says, But God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Can you speak those words in truth and say that indeed is where you are today?

That with the cross of Christ, you're crucified. You've died out to self. The world is no longer the controlling influence of your life. You're not trying to pursue it. You're not trying to fit in to the world. You're not trying to pursue it. You're not trying to fit in with it. You're not trying to appease it.

You're not seeking first and foremost what it has to offer. Oh, that this might be true in all of our lives. God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Evil influences can also come, as we said a moment ago, from friends, from worldly companions.

Sometimes young people deceive themselves by thinking, I can spend a lot of time with people that have different standards and hold a different outlook on life and have a different world view and they will not influence me. But I can tell you on the authority of God's word, that is not true. 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verse 33, Be not deceived. Evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness and sin not, for some have not the knowledge of God.

I speak this to your shame. Evil communications. You spend your time communicating with people who do not love God, who do not want to honor Him, who do not respect His word, who have a different standard in their life. They may have very pleasing personalities. They may be exciting people. They may be very intelligent. They may be very entertaining. You enjoy their company. You say, I'm not going to let them influence me. I know the limits.

I know how far to go on the authority of God's word. Evil communications corrupt good manners. You will be influenced. You will be affected by them.

Wherewithal, so the young man cleanses way. Not only are there worldly companions that can influence you, but worldly deceptions. Ephesians chapter 5 verse 5, For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

Be not ye therefore partakers with them. Let no man deceive you. We're living in a day that deception abounds. Worldly philosophies are prominent. The things that are being taught in the classrooms in many schools across America would lead young people down the wrong path.

The things that are depicted in the movies. Yes, periodically there are some good ones, but the general theme does not draw you closer to God and inspire you to principles of righteous living. Let no man deceive you with vain words. The words may sound very convincing.

Strong argument can be given to defend various lifestyles that are contrary to the teaching of scripture. But it says, do not be deceived. And so we see that the need is here at rest. Wherewith also the young man cleanses way, but there is a solution provided. A solution provided, first he says, by taking heed thereto. In other words, you don't just go along saying there's no need to give attention to this matter. Everything will kind of take care of itself. Everything will fall into place. I don't have to be making any particular plan, working out any particular concept about how I'm going to stay on track.

I can handle it. No, he says you've got to take heed. And that principle is true in every area of life. We're at the time of year that hopefully your grass is growing and your bushes are growing and your trees are growing and if you don't take heed, after a while the neighbors will be complaining about you. Because if you don't cut your grass and trim your bushes and trim your trees periodically, your place is going to be the eyesore of the neighborhood.

You have to take heed. You don't take heed to the fact that periodically your house needs to be painted. There's repairs that have to be made. I really don't like to do repairs.

Well, who does? I don't like the expense. I don't like the aggravation of having to call several people and get estimates and then they disappear and don't show up and set a day and stay home from work and think they're going to come.

They don't come and it's frustrating. So I've had it. I'm not going to take heed anymore. After a while, your house deteriorates.

You can finally get to the place it's not even safe to live in. You have to take heed. Well, how is it that that's recognized when it comes to material things and yet it comes to the course of one's life?

And I don't have to think about that. No, God's Word said you do. How is a young man going to cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto. Let's look at the Psalm, verse 10. With my whole heart have I sought Thee, O let me not wander from Thy commandments. You're going to take heed because you recognize that there is an inclination to wander. We sing the hymn, prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.

You just forget about this commitment. You forget about the need to cleanse your way and you begin to drift. You begin to wander. You begin to move in the wrong direction.

You decide that some of the restrictions that have been imposed on you in childhood, some of the ideas that you maintain, they're not really all that necessary. So, you wander. Not only do we have to recognize the inclination to wander, but notice also in the same verse, the psalmist says, With my whole heart have I sought Thee.

What's the solution? Seeking God. This same truth is back in the second verse of the same Psalm. Blessed are they that keep His testimonies and that seek Him with the whole heart. Not half-heartedly.

Not just at certain intervals in one's life and decide, Well, I'm kind of caught up now. I think I'll give a little attention to spiritual things. No, this is with the whole heart.

In the Philippian letter, Paul says in chapter 3 and verse 13, Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do. He's focused. This is the important thing to me. This is the thing above all other things. This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth under those things which are before. I catch toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. That's what I'm concerned about.

That's what I'm focused on. I'm seeking God with my whole heart. Can you say that today? You find that this matter of trying to serve God is somewhat burdensome to you because you've got so many things you want to do, so many other interests, and you feel guilty because you don't spend the time in pursuing the things of God as you ought, and so there's just a lot of frustration involved. Well, the difference it makes when you decide I'm going to seek Him with my whole heart.

I'm going to be half-hearted about this. I know I can't serve God in riches. I can't serve God in the world. I'm going to seek Him with my whole heart. When we fail to do that, we lose the comfort and the joy, the delight that we can find in the service of God. Furthermore, by taking heed, we're to make a firm commitment, a commitment. Yes, with my whole heart I'm going to seek God.

What about you young people today? I have made a commitment to honor God. Indeed, I want to cleanse my way by seeking Him with my whole heart. We see some examples in Scripture of young men that had made such a commitment. Joseph, when he had been sold into slavery and was now serving in the house of Potiphar, had been favored of God so that he was exalted to be the most prominent servant there. But when everything was going well, he faces temptation.

Potiphar's wife pursues him day after day. But Joseph said, How could I do this thing and dishonor my God? He had made a commitment. He was concerned about not dishonoring even his master, the man that he was serving.

But above that, he was concerned that he should not dishonor God. This is my story. This is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long. This is my story.

This is my song. Praising my Savior. Praising my Savior. Praising my Savior all the day long.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-27 15:03:40 / 2022-11-27 15:12:11 / 9

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