By Irvin Himmel
King David was seated between the two gates when the watchman on the wall announced the approach of a messenger. The king anxiously inquired of the messenger, ,”Is the young man Absalom safe?” Not telling of Absalom’s condition, that messenger was asked to stand aside. Another runner was arriving from the battlefield, and David’s first question to him was about the welfare of the young man: “Is the-young man Absalom safe?” (2 Sam. 18:24-32).
Fathers and mothers need to be concerned about the safety and welfare of their sons and daughters. Young people had better become concerned about themselves. No young person is safe unless he makes his heart secure. David’s son had a rebellious heart. He had tried to take the kingdom away from his father. When David was anxiously asking about the young man’s safety, Absalom was already dead. In the bitterness of grief David poured out his soul when he heard the tragic news: “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
Some parents wait until it is too late to take an active interest in the spiritual and moral security of their children. Some young people, like David’s son, develop a rebellious attitude. I hereby appeal to the young people who may read these lines — I appeal to your good sense — to think about how you may secure your hearts.
Remember Your Creator
Another son of David, a wise preacher, wrote these words: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them” (Eccl. 12:1). A young person who remembers the Creator will do more than call to mind that there is God. That remembrance will be in the form of recognition that God as the Designer and Ruler of our being has absolute claims on us. To “remember” one’s Creator is to surrender to His will. And there is no time when this can be done to better advantage than “in the days of thy youth.”
No person’s heart is secure if he forgets God. To trust in the Lord is like having a strong shelter in time of storm. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (Prov. 18:10). Young people can secure their hearts by remembering to serve God.
Pride and arrogance are disgusting. Never is haughtiness of spirit more repulsive than when displayed in youth. The young person who is really smart will not allow himself to be a smart aleck. Conceit closes doors of opportunity. A know-it-all is a real goof. Many sticky situations await the one who is stuck on himself. “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility” (Prov. 18:12). Young people, can you say with David, “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty” (Psa. 131:1)?
Live By God’s Word
Solomon said, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not” (Prov. 1:10). “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil” (Prov. 3:7). “For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding” (Prov. 2:6). “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men” (Prov. 4:14). “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23).
Only when young people love God and are willing to fill their hearts with His word are they secure. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psa. 119:11). Think about the words of the well-known hymn in this connection.
“How shall the young secure their hearts,
And guard their lives from sin?
Thy word the choicest rules imparts
To keep the conscience clean.
” ‘Tis like the sun, a heav’nly light,
That guides us all the day;
And, thro’ the dangers of the night,
A lamp to lead our way.
“Thy word is everlasting truth;
How pure is every page!
That holy book shall guide our youth,
And well support our age.”
Keep the Heart Pure
Paul admonished young Timothy, “Flee also youthful lusts” (2 Tim. 2:22). Under the heading of “youthful lusts” would come such things as unholy ambitions, love of power, desire for worldly honor, intemperance, stubbornness, sensuality, rashness, and vanity. Timothy’s heart and life were to be such that older people would respect him. “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers . . .” (1 Tim. 4:12).
A pure heart is exemplified in pure speech and righteous conduct. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). My young friend, a pure heart is a secure heart. Is your heart a pure heart?
Truth Magazine XXII: 3, pp. 57-58
January 19, 1978