IN THE DAYS OF THY YOUTH
T. PIERCE BROWN
There are few verses in the Bible that are more significant for both teachers and young people than Ecclesiastes 12:1, “Remember also thy creator in the days of thy youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.” The remembrance of God does more than inspire youth with a sense of opportunity and responsibility. It is a safeguard against sin that has no equal. When David said, “Thy word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against thee,” he is expressing something of that nature.
An aged gospel preacher tells me that although he has been tempted to commit many kinds of sin, from lying to adultery, in no case of his remembrance for more than 65 years has he yielded to that temptation when he remembered verses in the Bible that applied to the matter. For example, 1 Cor. 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you, but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” When he was tempted to lie, for example, he would think of Col. 3:9, “Lie not one to another; seeing that ye have put off the old man with his doings.” With these two scriptures in his mind, he never failed to overcome the temptation.
That fact alone should make each of us who try to teach young people to impress upon them the importance of memorizing key scriptures early in life. Since they will probably not know many of the key scriptures, it should be the joyous privilege of teachers and parents to point out many of them, starting with the basic promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13. If each of us, whether old or young would be aware of the precious promises of the Lord and accept them on the terms by which they are offered, our lives would be richer, happier and safer.
As an exercise for yourself or those whom you teach, you might want to suggest that they look for scriptures that deal with moral issues, such as lying, stealing, fornication, or any lust of the flesh or temptation against which they may need help, and then assign them for memory work. Those that have a whole list such as Romans 1:29-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Galatians 5:19-21 can be helpful, but in my own experience I have found it more helpful to have specific verses that relate to one specific sin. Whether you are a teacher or a student (and you should be both), try it and you will be a stronger Christian.