Beloved: Grace and Peace
Elkmont Baptist Church
Dearest and Beloved
Despise Not Thy Youth
Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Young people, let us look at Paul's command to Timothy: "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12).
Grace to you.
To despise something is to count it as nothing, as worthless, of no profit. For a young man or woman to let no one despise his or her youth, I suggest the young person must not despise it.
Solomon gives us wisdom in this matter: "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these
God will bring thee into
judgment" (Ecclesiastes 11:9).
What is Solomon saying? Is he telling the young person to walk in the ways of his heart and in the sight of his eyes? No. He is telling the young person, the youth, these are his tendencies. If one walks in the ways of his heart and follows after the sight of his eyes, God will be forced to bring him into judgment. Isn't this the bent of youth - to want to laugh, and do what your heart tells you is best and to follow after what your eyes see. The young person who spends his youth in this manner will be despising his youth, counting it as worthless.
Solomon goes on, "Therefore, remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth
vanity" (Ecclesiastes 11:10). The Hebrew word
Why would Solomon tell the youth that walking in the ways of his heart and in the sight of his eyes would cause God to bring him into judgment? In almost every family-friendly movie I have ever seen, someone who appears as wise counsels the protagonist to trust their own heart in making a difficult decision. Why is this counsel so wrong?
Proverbs 28:26 tells us, "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered." Jeremiah 17:9 tells us, "The heart
deceitful above all
and desperately wicked: who can know it?" To trust in one's own heart is to act
foolishly because the heart is deceitful and wicked. Only when delighting in the LORD can we trust the desires of our heart. "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart" (Psalm 37:4).
Jeremiah 17:10 says, "I the LORD search the heart,
try the reins, even to give
every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his doings."
Well, hopefully we understand now when we can and cannot trust our hearts, young people (and the rest of us).
Remember, to despise something is to count it of no profit. Genesis 25:29-34 tells us how Esau lived for the day and despised his birthright. His youth had not profited him. Solomon speaks to most youths: "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these
God will bring thee into judgment"
Most youth will live for the day and walk after their heart and their eyes. Solomon goes on and says, "Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth
vanity" (Ecclesiastes 11:10). Therefore, because God
will bring the youth into judgment, he tells the youth to remove sorrow (grief, wrath, anger, vexation) from his heart and put away evil from the flesh. What does he mean?
To remove sorrow, grief, anger from your heart is to forgive from the heart. Paul tells the church at Ephesus (and us), "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice: And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:31-32). If we fail to forgive, a root of bitterness springs up and its fruit is fornication and profaneness. The example given is: ". . . Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright" (Hebrew 12:15-16). "Thus Esau despised his birthright" (Genesis 25:34). He cared more about satisfying himself that day than about anything the future might hold. Young people, that is not the way to live.
Fathers, it is we who must show our children how to spend their time.
Why does Solomon tell us that the youth who walks in the sight of his eyes, God will bring into judgment?
The Lord Jesus warns us:
from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members
should perish, and not
thy wholebody should be cast into hell.
- Matthew 5:28-29
Our eyes can lead us into adultery (fornication). The second temptation the adversary tempted the Lord Jesus with was the kingdom of the world and their glory (Matthew 4:6). The adversary knows our eyes can lead us after lust for power and glory. Finally, our eyes can lead us into the lust for things which will choke the Word off in us (Mark 4:19).
To what then should the youth (and the rest of us) look?
The Apostle Paul tells us, "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things that are seen
temporal; but the things
which are not seen
eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18). Paul goes on and tells us, "For we
walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). The writer of Hebrews tells us, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of
faith;" (Hebrews 12:2).
So who was Timothy?
Luke tells us, "Then came he [Paul] to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father
a Greek" (Acts 16:1). Timothy was a disciple.
Paul tells Timothy, "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois and thy mother Eunice: and I am persuaded that in thee also" (2 Timothy 1:5).
Timothy was a disciple who had a believing mother and grandmother.
Paul tells Timothy, "And that from a child thou has known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15). Timothy has known the Holy Scriptures from a child, which are able to make one wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. The Greek word translated
G1025). Timothy has heard the Holy Scriptures since a baby. Why on earth would a believing mother and grandmother read the Scripture to a baby?
Isaiah asks the question, "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine [literally "the hearing" (Strong's H8052)]?
them that are
drawn from the breasts" (Isaiah 28:9).
Timothy was a disciple because a believing mother and a believing grandmother read him the Holy Scriptures which accomplished its work in Timothy.
is more often translated grief, provocation, wrath, anger (Strong's
H3708). So Solomon is telling the youth to remove anger, vexation from his heart and keep evil from his flesh. How does one do this?
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast
was used of John the Baptist in his mother's womb (Luke 1:41, 44; Strong's
- a series compilation
Other lessons from Timothy . . .
At the end of his first letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul cries, "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane
vain babblings, and oppositions
of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace
with thee. Amen" (1 Timothy 6:20-21).
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul admonishes and warns, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane
vain babblings: for they will increase unto more
ungodliness" (2 Timothy 2:15-16).
In both his letters, Paul warns Timothy and us to avoid and shun profane and vain babblings. As we have been studying, profane has to do with the worldly and common, and is contrasted with that which is holy, set apart to God and for Him.
Paul warns that profane and vain babblings increase unto more ungodliness. Vain babblings is the Greek word
Thayer gives it meaning as "empty
discussion, discussion of vain and useless matters" (Thayer, G2757). Are we using the phone for empty and useless discussion? Are we using the phone for profane discussions?
What about the oppositions of science falsely so called? Certainly evolution must fall into the arena of science falsely so called. Young people, it is as if Paul is preaching to us today (by the Holy Scripture and the Holy Spirit, he is). If we do not shun evolutionary teaching, we may err concerning the faith. Certainly many Christians in our age have not done so and have erred concerning the faith.
[computer software] . Franklin, TN: Equipping Ministries Foundation.
Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.
Meyers, R. (2005). e-Sword.
from the milk,
Thayers Greek Definitions.
Franklin, TN: Equipping Ministries Foundation.
Meyers, R. (2005). e-Sword. [computer software] .