God's Word Cleanses Our Lives

Bible Book: Psalms  119 : 9-16
Subject: Bible; God's Word; Cleansing; Christian Living
Series: The Ministry of the Word Series

[Editor's Note: Davidson's series from Psalm 119 is being added to SermonCity each week. Continue to check each week for further messages in - The Ministry of the Word]

[Ephesians 5:26 / Job 22:22]

The main point or argument of Psalm 119 is that a faithful man should stir up himself to meditate on God’s Word so that he might establish himself in the Lord. [The verses of Psalm 119 are group by eights and each set of eight verses is alphabetically arranged according to the Hebrew alphabet. In the second set of eight verses, 9-16, every verse begins with Beth [b].] The subject of this second section is the Word of Yahweh purifies the Life.

The text before us declares how we can keep our heart right or pure. Keeping our life pure or right is accomplished by God’s Word. Keeping our life pure is done by keeping our life in-line with God’s Word. For the blessed work of sanctification is wrought in the heart by the Spirit of God, by means of the Word. [Please read my -Dennis Davidson’s- “Matters of the Heart Series” message: THE PURE HEART. PSALM 119:9-11. SermonCentral.com]

Our text declares that a person cleanses his way (conduct) by obeying God’s Word (CIT). When we delight ourselves in God’s Word we will hide it in our heart, meditate upon it and share it with others. A person who internalizes God’s Word will be blessed and will rejoice in the purity living by God’s Word brings about in his life.


As Beth [b, a house] the second alphabet division begins, an immensely important question is raised in verse 9. “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.”

There is a question and an answer. First, the question; How can a young man keep his way pure? The question concerns a person, a young man, and his most difficult task, keeping his way pure, is proposed. How can a young man [naar, “shaken off,” to cast off the paternal yoke or care of his parents] become pure and live a holy life? Or I would ask, “How do I get rid of these youthful sins, these wrong habits of my flesh?” [“His way,” jra, orach, signifies a track, a rut, such as is made by the wheel of a cart or chariot. A young man is making a rut, a beaten path, that he will most likely stay in the rest of his life.] This choice is hard for any person [which is set here before a young man]. So most will not ask themselves this most important question; “How can I keep my way pure.” I pray you will though. For we are asked to choose the pure clean way and walk in it. Though it will be difficult in the best of circumstance, let us not shrink from the glorious enterprise of living a pure and noble life.

We are drowning in a sea of impurity. Everywhere we look we are tempted to lead impure lives. The psalmist’s question troubles us all for how do we slay pure in a filthy envi­ronment? We cannot do this on our own, but must have counsel, strengthen and more empowering for the tempting influences around us. Where can we find that strength and wisdom? The psalmist says it is found by reading and studying God's Word and doing what it says. [Life Application Bible. Zondervan. p. 1037]

If you will ask this wise question you then may truly hear the wise man’s answer. “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy Word.” Let the Word [dabar] of God, which is likened to water (Ephesians 5:26), flood your soul and cleanse you constantly. [A key word, jkz (zacah), to be pure, to make pure, to cleanse.] For God’s promised assistance you must turn to God’s instructions. [Young man,] the Bible must be your guide, and you must exercise great watchfulness that your way, your life, may be according to its directions. Even with the most accurate map you can still lose your way if you don’t follow it. The narrow way was never hit upon by chance; neither did any inattentive person ever lead a holy life. We can sin without thought, but we will need all our heart, mind, soul, and strength if we are to walk in righteousness.

SOAP AND WATER are essential to cleanliness and personal hygiene. Those who neglect it soon become dirty and unacceptable to others. So too, Christians who neglect God's Word, soon become defiled by the evils of this world. This defilement makes them unfit for redemptive fellowship with God and with other believers. Only if you pore over God’s Word will His cleansing power pour in and then through you.

Let each person, whether young or old, who desires to be holy, to have a pure heart, keep his eye attentive to the Holy Bible and be schooled by the Divine Spirit. The Scriptures teach us the best way of living, the noblest way of suffering, and the most blessed way of dying.

The psalmist makes a confession worthy of emulating in verse 10. “With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments.”

Heart is a key word in Scripture. What is the heart? One definition of the heart is that it is the organ that DISTINGUISHES the LIVING from the DEAD. How do you experience more of the life of God in your heart? …By seeking Him with your whole heart. For though we have a desire to seek God, we often do so feebly, because, by not keeping our way according to the Word, sin has gained dominion over us. We are so caught up in our life habits that our pursue of God is weak. Though we know to live better, we cannot do better. So look at a better example, look at king David, who sought God with his whole heart. [Davidson, Sermon Central]

He desired to commune with God personally. So he sought after God Himself by endeavoring to dwell or to abide in fellowship with Him. A transformed heart should yearn for fellowship with God. God alone sees the heart and the heart alone sees God. Jesus said in Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

The second half of verse 10 reveals the earnestness of his whole hearted search by praying that the Lord would prevent his going astray from God’s Word. Why? For it is by obedience that we follow after God. Thus, the prayer, “Don’t let me not wander from Thy commandments.” If we leave the ways of God we most certainly will not find God, for He is sought and found by walking in His ways. So he trust God’s Word to keep him and his walk or life from wandering from God. For he knows that he would not be seeking God with his whole heart for long if he did not keep it according to God’s Word.

When a godly man asks for a favor or grace from God he should pursue the means of obtaining it. The Psalmist had just asked to be preserved from wandering. In verse 11 God reveals to him and us the precaution, or the remedy, which we should take to prevent our falling into sin. “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, [That I may not sin against You.]”

His heart would be kept by the Word [‘imrah] because he kept the Word in his heart. He had stored away portions of God’s Word in his heart, as a treasure in treasure chest or as a choice seed buried in fruitful soil. And what soil is more fruitful than a renewed heart, wholly seeking the Lord? The word was God's own Word, and therefore precious to God's servant. He laid it up in the place of love and life, and it filled the inner man with light and wisdom.

What is the purpose of treasuring God’s Word in our hearts? The Word laid up in the heart has great effect. For our fallen thoughts, wills, and desires are enemies to God, unless God’s Word is hidden in our hearts. Verse 11 continues, “That I might not sin against Thee.” The best thing— "Thy Word"; hidden in the best place, — "in my heart;" for the best of purposes, — "that I might not sin against Thee.” [Spurgeon, Charles. The Treasury of David. Vol. 3. MacDonald Publ. McLean, VA. p. 159.]

Hiding (keeping) God's Word in our hearts is a deferent to sin. This alone should inspire us to memorize Scripture. But memorization alone will not keep us from sin; we must also put God's Word to work in our lives making it a vital guide for every­ thing we do.

I challenge you to consider memorizing a couple of verses each week. It’s so sad that we are living in a time when people no longer make this a part of their spiritual devotion because it’s a wonderful thing to do. Write verses that particularly speak to you on 3x5-inch cards, pack them around with you, then review them as you have opportunity and you’ll have a heart full of the Word and a life that reflects it.


Verse12 blesses God for all that he has revealed and for all He will teach us. “Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statutes.”

With a sense of great joy and admiration the psalmist blesses the Lord God. The Lord is most blessed of all and must be blessed by all. He is the perfection of all that is good and holy.

The realization that blessedness lies in God so then being conformed into Christlikeness must be the way to eternal blessedness. For God is supremely blessed and if we would be so blessed we must be made like Him. We cannot become like Him unless He teaches us His Word.

One of the FIRST RULES OF LAW is that ignorance of a law is no excuse. I was reminded of this truth rudely one day while driving. I had started down a steep hill and my speed increased back up to 45 miles an hour.

As came down that hill a policeman pulled in behind me and put on his flashing lights for me to pull over. He informed me the speed limit had changed to 35 miles an hour. My plea of ignorance did nothing to assure him of my good intentions. He gave me a ticket, which by law I deserved, and I paid. My ignorance of the law cost me some money, but it also taught me a lesson.

God's laws are positive instructions that help us live in ways that please Him and bless our lives richly. We can show our love for Him by knowing and living according to His statues. Someday we will be held accountable for our response to His truth. In that day, we will be without excuse.

The most blessed God stands ready to teach us His Word. What greater honor could we have that to have God Himself teach us. So go ahead, ask the Lord to give you a heart and mind to know and live His statues.

Verse13 challenges us not to confine God’s Word inside us but to tell it to others. “With my lips I have told of all the ordinances of Your mouth.”

What God has revealed to us we should tell to others. What truer, better, more profitable subject is there to talk about any way than what God has taught us in His word

Notice the teaching on inspiration. The law of God comes from His mouth. It literally is His Word. The ordinances of Scripture are literally out of the mouth of God. [Ordinances or judgments are judicial determinations as to what is right and legally binding. Alexander, Joseph. Commentary on Psalms. Kregel Publications: Grand Rapids, MI. 1991. p. 492].

Verse 14 teaches that the rejoicing that we find in riches, should be found in God’s revelation. “I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches.”

David tells us the degree of his joy that meditating on God’s Word brought him. God’s Word brought him as much joy as could be found in all riches.

Most of us wouldn’t ignore a dollar on the ground. We would gladly pick it up and put it in our pocket. Yet we often ignore God’s treasure chest which is filled with the precious promises of God

[Most of us chafe under rules, for we think they restrict, us from doing what we want At first glance, then, it may seem strange to hear the psalmist talk of rejoicing in following God's statutes as much as in great riches (vv. 72, 111, 162). But God's laws were given to free us to be all he wants us to be They restrict us from doing what might cripple us and keep us from being our best God's guidelines help us tallow his path and avoid paths that lead to destruction.]

Riches are desirable as the means of procuring the necessaries of life; but God's testimonies supply the necessities of the soul. Riches are desirable as a means of procuring personal enjoyment; but God's testimonies produce the highest joy. Riches are desirable as a means of attaining worldly improvements; but God's testimonies bring eternal improvements. Riches are desirable as a means of doing good; but God's testimonies work a higher good. [C.A.D. Spurgeon, Treasury of David p. 168.]


A realistic appraisal of God’s Word, brings forth a promise [vow] in verse 15. “I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways.”

What delights us will capture our attention and we think about it and meditate upon it. This should be true of God’s Word.

Reading the Bible is vital for every Christian. How can we learn about God or grow spiritually if we do not spend time studying the Book by which He has made Himself known to us? Taking a few minutes each day to read a chapter is a good way to start. We should also set aside extended periods

The importance of spending much time with something of great value and beauty is illustrated by a quote from the National Geographic magazine about Carl Sharsmith when he was an 81-year OLD GUIDE in Yosemite National Park. Carl was back at his tent after a long day with tourists. His nose was flaked with the white and red that comes from continued exposure to the sun, his eyes were watery after a half century of summers in California's Yosemite National Park & from the tourist he was answering. A lady tourist had hit him with a question where it hurt. 'I've only got an hour to spend at Yosemite,' she declared. 'What should I do? Where should I go?”

The old naturalist, guide and ranger finally found his voice and replied, “Only an hour, he repeated slowly. “ I suppose that if I had only an hour to spend at Yosemite, I’d just walk over there by the river, sit down and cry.”

A whole lifetime would not be long enough to appreciate fully the beauty and learning and value of the Bible. That's why we must take time to study its truths and make them real in our lives.

Meditation on God’s Words will lead us into right paths, but what is meditation?

A familiar sight of my childhood was the sight of cows lying in the field, CHEWING THEIR CUD. But what is the cud? And why do they spend so much time chewing it?

Cows first fill their stomachs with grass and other food, then they settle down for a good, long chew. They bring the food back up from their stomachs and rework what they've already eaten, assimilating its good­ness and transforming it into rich milk. Time-consuming? Yes, A waste of time? Not if they want to give good milk.

The phrase "chewing the cud" is used to describe the process of medi­tation. The writer of Psalm 119 obvi­ously did a lot of mental chewing as he read God's Word. No fast food for

him! If we follow his example of careful and prayerfully chew on what Scripture is saying.

To be a healthy Christian, don't treat the Bible as snack food. God's Word is not meant to be fast food. Take time for a good long chew. [Meditation is more than reading the Bible and believing it. It's applying Scripture to everyday life.] Remember, the deep truths of the Word are best mined with the spade of meditation.

Sometimes people say, “I just don’t know what the Lord is doing”—as if He owes them an explanation. I’m afraid we have a tendency to cast aspersions upon the Lord, to not respect and fear and reverence Him the way we should. I have found that a lack of reverence and respect is due to a lack of consistent time spend in the Word. [Courson, Jon: Jon Courson's Application Commentary: Vol. 2: Psalms-Malachi. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2006, S. 148]

Is reading the Bible a necessary part of your day or does it have a low priority in your life?

[George Muller, after having read the Bible through one hundred times with increasing delight, made this statement: "I look upon it as a lost day when I have not had a good time over the Word of God. Friends often say, 'I have so much to do, so many people to see, I cannot find time for Scripture study.' Perhaps there are not many who have more to do than I. For more than half a century I have never known one day when I had not more business than I could get through. For 4 years I have had annually about 30,000 letters, and most of these have passed through my own hands.

"Then, as pastor of a church with 1,200 believers, great has been my care. Besides, I have had charge of five immense orphanages; also, at my publishing depot, the printing and circulating of millions of tracts, books, and Bibles; but I have always made it a rule never to begin work until I have had a good season with God and His Word. The blessing I have received has been wonderful.”

Do you want to know how to meet the problems of the day? Do you want to know what God wants you to do with your life? Then you must pray and consult His wonderful guide book, the Bible, every day.]

If we are too busy to read God's Word daily, then one thing is sure -we are too busy! [H.G.B. Our Daily Bread.] Those who only sample the Word of God never acquire much of a taste for it.

Meditation on God’s Word will yield heartfelt delight as verse 16 indicates. “I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your Word.”

Delight yourself in God’s Word. When reflection is deep and heartfelt we will not readily forget what we reflected upon. When we meditate the Word brings its power to bear on our eternal soul. [This forgetting is more than memory lapse; it’s abandoning and turning from what God has said.] We do not quickly forget what which they have treasured, what we have meditated on, and what we have spoken of regularly.


[One of the many excellent virtues of the Word of God is that if we keep it in our heart, it keeps us from sin, which is against God and against ourselves.

Sin defiles and destroys and everyone needs protection against its deadly infestation. The Bible declared that a person cleanses his way or conduct by obeying God’s Word. Those who internalize and rejoice in God’s Word become pure in heart.]

The Word of God cleanses us from sin, reclaiming us from the world. Jesus prays, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth” (John 17:17). The Word of God also keeps us from sin. Jesus promises, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples in deed.” He adds, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31–32). This freedom He defines as freedom from the bondage of sin (John 8:34). Such is the cleansing power of the Word of God [Williams, Donald. The Preacher's Commentary Series, Vol. 14: Psalms 73-150. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989, S. 346]

God has given us the best thing, to put in the best place, for the best purpose. An unknown writer said, “This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding; its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's character. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. Follow its precepts and it will lead you to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to glory itself, for eternity."

The Bible is all that - and more. An entire lifetime of study and obedience could not exhaust its riches. Truly it is a Book to be loved! [A measure of your love for God is your love for God's Word.]