Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to your word.
The infidel, Thomas Paine, was one night haranguing a promiscuous company, gathered in the common room of the New York tavern where he had his lodgings, on the great harm done to the world by the Bible and the Christian religion. When he paused for breath, he was much astonished at the remark of a stranger, who said, "Mr. Paine, you have been in Scotland. You know there is not a more rigid set of people in the world than they are in their attachment to the Bible. When a young man loaves his father's house, his mother in packing his chest always puts a Bible on the top of his clothes." The infidel nodded acquiescence. "You have also been in Spain," continued the stranger. "The people have no Bibles, and in that country you can hire a man for a dollar to murder his neighbour, who never gave him any offence." Mr. Paine answered that this was so. "Then, see how the argument stands," said the advocate for Christianity. "If the Bible were so bad a book as you represent it to be, those who use it would be the worst members of society; but the contrary is the fact. Our prisons, almshouses, and penitentiaries are filled with men and women whose ignorance or unbelief prevents them from reading the Bible."
I. THE YOUNG MAN WHO RULES HIMSELF AFTER GOD'S WORD WILL WALK IN THE WAYS OF HONESTY. Make it a rule, young men, never to sacrifice integrity for broad.
II. THE YOUNG MAN WHO RULES HIMSELF AFTER GOD'S WORD WILL CULTIVATE A SPIRIT OF REVERENCE. The young man who rules himself after God's Word will utter no profane oath; and when he comes into God's holy temple, it will always be with uncovered head, as becomes the presence-chamber of the King of kings.
III. Another thing which will distinguish those who walk in obedience to God's laws is that THEY WILL BE FOUND IN THE WAYS OF SOBRIETY. By one of the laws of ancient Greece, every offence committed by a drunken person received double punishment. Christian nations would do well to adopt it.
IV. THE YOUNG MAN WHO RULES HIMSELF AFTER GOD'S WORD WILL BE FOUND IN THE WAYS OF PURITY. "Keep thyself pure" (1 Timothy 5:22).
V. THE YOUNG MAN WHO RULES HIMSELF AFTER GOD'S WORD WILL BE RELIGIOUS. Youth is the stormy cape, within sight of which many a frail bark is lost; and God's Word is the only chart which can guide one safely On his voyage.
(J. N. Norton.)
Parallel VersesKJV: BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.