Wednesday, September 21, 2016

verses 9-11

"How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I might not sin against You."

If you know me, you know I am not a fan of tattoos .  I just happen to think that unblemished skin is part of the art of God that's hard to be improved upon.  It's not just the bad art thing, but the idea of making a permanent marking on one's body of something that might change over time,  including down into the saggy-baggy years, is appalling to me.  I suppose I could have "Alvin" tattooed somewhere on me in case I get lost and they'll need to know who to call.  As I've said before, with the popularity of tattoos nowadays, I imagine that it will be a popular past time in rest homes some day in the not too distant future when the places will be full of old men and old grannies trying to figure out what each other's tattoos say in between the wrinkles, reading between the lines so to speak.  Heaven forbid that they show each other where some of those spots are where they've been tattooed upon!   I hope the diapers cover up most of those places. Well, anyway, if I was going to tattoo myself up right, at least verse 11 might be in the running. 

Verse 11 answers verse 9.  "How can a young man keep himself pure," is answered by "Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I might not sin against You."  Sin hurts more than just the sinner.  It hurts those we've sinned against as well as sinning against God Himself.  How much better to treasure His word in our heart.  Mary, mother of Jesus treasured all those things said about her son in her heart.  That's what true love does.   We should hang on His every word. 

Adam Clarke says the translation of verse 9 means a young man's rut, such as made by the wheel of a cart or chariot.  Well, if he goes back and forth in a sin long enough, it becomes a rut and pretty soon a rut becomes a grave.  These are his secret pollutions, that which will destroy mind, body, and soul.  He must change course not permitting either his eye, his hand, or his heart to wander from the commandments of his Maker.  How much better to keep a tender conscience toward the Lord.

"With all my heart I have sought Thee."Once again the Psalmist speaks of seeking God with all his heart.  Our marriage vows are not to be given half-heartedly.  Neither is the covenant which we make with the lover of our soul.  He is a jealous God who wants our whole heart. 

That's why one of the verses in the old hymn, "Be Thou My Vision," is cringe-worthy and contradictory.  "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the one I love."  Ha!  That's not true love!  True love would never sing about wandering away from the one they love.  That's worse than a song on a country music station where a poor guy loses his gal, loses his truck and loses his dog.  Is this a song a besotted man would sing to his true love, "prone to wander, prone to leave the one I love"?  Hardly. Somehow I don't think this would be a very popular wedding song. The way to keep from wandering is to give your whole heart to God, to keep his Word treasured in your heart that you might not sin against Him.

"He must treasure up those portions of God's word in his mind and heart which speak against uncleanness of every kind, and that recommend purity, chastity, and holiness.  The word of Christ should dwell richly in him.  If God's word be only in his Bible, and not also in his heart, he may soon and easily be surprised into his besetting sin." (Adam Clarke)

What Bible verse would you have --or have you already--tattooed on yourself?  I don't know, maybe I'll still go for "Alvin," even though they may think I am terribly fond of a chipmunk.  After they put on my bib and wipe up my drool, I might set them straight one day.

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