Psalms 119:100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
Without the second clause, this would be the life verse of most teenagers because the psalmist said he has more understanding than his elders. We are not reading a haughty young man disparaging the wisdom that generally comes with age and experience. This is not the prideful denunciation of some “boomer” who won’t get in line with “progress.” Really, the only way this makes any sense is if it were an unusual situation, the point being a rather remarkable thing has occurred — a young man has surpassed the elders in understanding. “I understand more than my peers” doesn’t really have the same punch and “I understand more than toddlers” is certainly not any better.
The second clause tells the story. There is a reason why there is more understanding and it doesn’t have anything to do with age, but with the Word of God. The wisdom the Psalmist has doesn’t come from experience, otherwise the elderly would have it. The reason the psalmist outstripped others was the source of his understanding and the means he procured it. The source of his understanding was the Bible and he got it through reading, study, meditation, and practice. We are dealing with a godly young man, who has put his heart to learning more of his Lord and Savior.
Since he has “more understanding” he actually knows the Bible. He’s not just “familiar” with themes and stories, but he’s dug down deep and studied the Word and grasped its truth. I believe that young people are capable of understanding the Scriptures. Listen to any group of 10 year old boys talk about their hobby and you’ll see rather quickly that if they care about something, they can dig deep and know and understand complicated subjects. The fact is, we do young Christian people a disservice by not pushing them to understand and grasp Biblical concepts.
He doesn’t merely know the Word, but puts it to practice. In order to keep a precept you have to know the law and know what it means. I know a person could be charged with “assault and battery” and until just a few seconds ago when I looked it up, I didn’t know the difference between the two. I have heard the terms for years, but never bothered to look them up. I knew they both had something to do with violence, but wasn’t familiar. Now, I know a little more, but if I were charged with either, you better believe I’d want a lawyer, someone who has more understanding, regardless of his age. Why? Because he would know the law, understand the law and what it says and doesn’t, and has practiced the law Christian, you age doesn’t give you understanding. Church membership doesn’t either. Time won’t give you an abundance of this wisdom. Get in the word. Read it, study it, then put it to practice for the glory of Christ.