A Look at Psalm 119:9

Posted by Emma on February 11, 2010 at 1:16 am | Filed under:Bible,Christianity,Daily Thought,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

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

If you are observant you may have noticed a trend in the last eight verses. They all started with words beginning in א (alef). This is because there are twenty-two sections in Psalm 119; each section is eight verses long and starts with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Verse nine begins the second section of verses. As a note to my readers: I am not fluent in Hebrew. To study these verses I am relying heavily on a Lexicon, thus definitions may not always be one hundred precent accurate, but I am doing the best I can.

The first word במה (basih) means werein? by what means? wherewith? The Psalmist starts the verse out asking a question. Questions should make us stop and think. This question certainly should.

יזכה (yizachih) is a verb meaning be clear, clean, or pure. It is always in a moral sense. In this verse it carries the meaning of be clear or justified. It is to be regarded as just and righteous in the sight of God. This word is what faith in Jesus’s death and resurrection does to us.

The following word, נער (na’ar) means boy, lad, youth. This verse is talking about young people. But it can apply to people of all ages. If you are a youth, you should take special notice of this verse.

את (et) is a preposition. It denotes proximity but in different ways depending on how it is used in a sentence. I am not exactly sure how it denotes it in this verse. In a way it is connected with the word, ארחו (aricho), which means way, path. It is not the word for way or path that we have previously seen in Psalm 119. This word is talking figuratively of a way or a mode of living or character. It is clearly talking about how we live we life; it is the way in which we walk daily.

לשמר (lishimor) has come up several times already. The root word, שמר,  is a verb meaning to keep, guard, watch, or preserve. It can mean to keep commands. Here it is talking about keeping God’s word but also watching it. Having it ever in sight. It is doing God’s word, thinking about it and ever keeping it in view. Never forget God’s word.

The final word in this verse, כדברך (chidivaricha), is made up of a כ (kaf) which is used as a preposition meaning like, as, the like of. The root word דברך (divaricah) means word. Here it is talking about the word of God, as divine communication in the form of commandments, prophecy, and words of help to us. These words of God are found in the Bible, although He also speaks directly to people. It is my opinion the words talked about here are the ones found in the Bible.

So what does this leave us with? We have a questions, what are young people to do to cleanse their lives, to make them righteous in the sight of God? The first answer is to accept Christ as their Savior and allow His blood to wash away their sin. But what about after that? We still all sin and we still need our ways purified. We should be striving each day to sin less and less. How do we do that? Look to the last part of the verse. We can keep our way clean and draw closer to God by ever doing HIs word and keeping in our focus. If God becomes the focus of our lives, so that everything is centered around Him, sin will vanish and our way will be clean. His word should ever be our guide and our direction so that our way may be clean and without sin.

Do you keep His word ever before you? Is He at the center of your life? Is your way clean? If not, take the time to make it so. It is worth it.

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