“Beth” is the second set of eight verses in the 119th Psalm. It is called “Beth” because each verse begins with the Hebrew letter beth, which is the second letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
Psalm 119:9-16 How can a young man
cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word.
10 With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandment!
11 Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
12 Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.
16 I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your Word.
The heading over this Psalm in my Bible is “Meditations on the Excellencies of the Word of God.” The Psalmist uses various words for the Word of God: Testimonies, Precepts, Judgments, Statutes, Commandments, Law, Ways, Truth, Righteousness, Word, etc. All these are good words, depicting some aspect of the Word, but the beloved disciple John said it best when he said, “The Word is God!” (John 1:1) The Word is the testimony of God, but it is more than that. It is His precepts, but it is more than that. It is His statutes and commandments, etc, but it is more than that. It is the Scriptures, but it is also more than that. The Word is God! Therefore, to receive a revelation of the Word is to receive a revelation of God; to know the Word is to know God and regardless of how much we study the Scriptures, we don’t know them until we know the Lord. Our relationship with the Lord determines how well we know the Scriptures, statutes, commandments, etc.
Verse 9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word.
Let’s first consider what is meant by a “young man”. A young man is one who is in the process of becoming a mature man. He still has a youthfulness about him, but he is not a child and certainly not a babe. The Psalmist, though, is not speaking of him naturally, but spiritually. Regardless of what his chronological age is, he is spiritually a young man. An old man may only be a young man spiritually because he has not matured in the Lord, and one who is quite young could have matured beyond his years that he may also be considered a young man.
Next, this young man is concerned about his way being cleansed. There is a difference in being forgiven and being cleansed. Christian babes and children usually are concerned with sins committed. They ask forgiveness for things they have done. It is after they become concerned about spiritual growth that they become aware of their “way” needing to be cleansed. Some spiritual growth must take place before they realize that it is not so much what they have done that matters most but what they are. Sinful acts come out of a corrupt nature. Their “way,” their mannerisms and expressions of life need to be cleansed. They have been forgiven; now they need to be cleansed. It is only when one is becoming a young man that he becomes aware of his nature. Then he begins to seek the Lord and asks, “How can a young man cleanse his way?” Of course, the answer is the living Word. Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you. John 15:3.
Verse 10 With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from your commandment!
This verse shows the honesty of the young man. He has sought the Lord with his whole heart; that is, with all his heart that he is aware of. He realizes there are areas of his heart in which he is not aware so he adds, “Oh, let me not wander from your commandment.” There is a danger in thinking your dedication and commitment is greater than it really is. We do not really know the depths of our heart. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9.
The day you think you know your heart and that your heart is totally set upon Him is the day you are in trouble. Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. I Corinthians 10:12. Lean not on your own understanding, but trust in the Lord with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5. It is not unbelief to be aware of the weakness of your human nature. Our strength is in knowing that He is able to keep us in His way, so that we will not wander from His commandment.
Verse 11 Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
There are two parts: God’s part and our part. We do not assume to stand by our own strength, neither do we assume that God is going to do it alone. Although it is God who will cause us to stand, we have our responsibility, too. We take the initiative to hide the Word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him.
What does it mean to hide the Word in your heart? It doesn’t mean memorization, for memorizing Scripture does not hide it in the heart. Committing Scripture to your memory is one thing; hiding it in your heart is another. The mind is not the heart. When the Scriptures talk about the heart it is speaking of your spirit. Because I am a minister of the Word, I read and study the Scriptures constantly, and because I do they are often placed in my memory banks, at least to some degree. However, I do not try to memorize Scripture. That is not my objective. My objective is to hide the Word in my spirit. So, instead of just reading, I eat the Word and assimilate it in my inner being. Your Words were found, and I ate them, and Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16.
Verse 12 Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes.
Have you learned how to make the Lord your one and only teacher? If you have, you are one of few. Listen to what John says. The anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. I John 2:27. This verse must be understood correctly. Some have misinterpreted it and have cut themselves off from the Teacher. So let’s look at it closely.
The anointing which you have received from Him abides in you. Is that a true statement for you? Have you received the anointing from Him? Don’t assume you have. Is the anointing abiding in you? The word “abiding” means living. Is the anointing actively living in you? If you had received the anointing but it is dormant within you, then it is not abiding in you. If it is not a true statement for you, then make it so. Then make sure the anointing is actively abiding in you by your relationship with Him. Submit to the anointing; it is the Urim and Thummim in your breast plate!
You do not need for any man to teach you. Do you know what that means? The Spirit of Truth cannot teach you while you are learning from man. I have seen so many Christians trying to receive the Spirit to speak in tongues while they are continuously speaking in English. You can’t speak two languages at the same time. As long as you are speaking in English, you cannot speak in tongues. As long as you are leaning on man to teach you, the Spirit of Truth cannot teach you. Your submission to one or the other determines what you will receive, and if you are receiving from man, you will be led astray.
Now what does it mean for man to teach you? Does that mean we do not receive from anyone? If so, why do we have teachers and pastors? That is not what it means. The Spirit of Truth can teach you from within and can also teach you through someone else. The Teacher of Proverbs explains it quite well. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and depart from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7. Depart from the evil of your own understanding! The man you do not need to teach you is also in you. Which one are you going to let teach you – your man nature or the anointing in you? The Christian problem in Christianity is that they want to appear spiritual, but they won’t do what it takes to learn how to let the anointing teach them from within or from someone else.
Just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. Abide in Him! Abide in Him! You won’t learn how to be taught of Him without learning how to abide in Him. How do you do that? You do it by your submission to the Lordship of the Lord. It is your relationship with Him that makes the difference. You can’t relate to Him as long as He is up in the sky somewhere. Get Him out of the heavens and into your life and say, “Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes.”
Verse 13 With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth.
You can only do this after you have accomplished the last verse. After He has taught you, then He can speak through you. You keep learning from the anointing and soon you will be speaking the same thing. If you take out the precious from the vile, you shall be as My mouth. Jeremiah 15:19. Your man nature is the vile and the anointing in you is the precious. So you separate the wheat from the tares and your mouth will become as His mouth. Then you can say, “With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth.”
Verse 14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.
The testimonies of the Lord reveal His will. Has His will become riches to you yet? It is not so for many Christians, because their will is in opposition to the will of the Lord. It is the very mature in the Lord who find His will to be “all riches.”
Verse 15 I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.
The precepts of the Lord are the guidelines and directives made available to us that we might become His will. Blessed is the one who desires most earnestly to not only do the will of the Lord but to also become His will. The contemplating of His ways comes out of the desire to become His way; that is, to become a channel through which the Lord can accomplish His will. Christ in us is the hope of glory; Christ functioning through us is the glory (Colossians 1:27; John 7:37-39).
Verse 16 I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your Word.
How we relate to the Word of God is most important. To some the Word of God is most rigid and difficult to live by. They have not learned how to relate to the Word. The statutes of the Lord are not just commandments that must be obeyed. They are provisions that reveal to us what we can become. For example, Leviticus 19:2 says, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” Now, if you relate to that as a commandment or a statute to be obeyed, you will become utterly frustrated because you are unable to be holy. There isn’t anything you can do to make yourself holy. However, if you relate to it as a provision, then it becomes a statute you can delight in. As a provision, God is saying, “Because I am holy, I can make you holy.” Now you can say, “I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your Word.”
Copyright © 2006 by Henry DuBose