What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The LORD redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
Comment: This second half of Psalm 34 doesn’t need much commentary. Just reading it slowly and letting it ‘sink in’ is enlightening. ‘Who doesn’t want a good life?’ David asks. Then stop doing bad things, learn to have a healthy reverential fear for God and get on with doing ‘good’. Under those circumstances God is prepared to look favourably at your situation and listen to your requests. On the other hand there is no welcoming smile on His face if we choose the way of evil. If you choose the good, the righteous, way, you’re not assured of a smooth trouble free life but God will be beside you. No such promise is made to those who choose evil!
Prayer: Help me to seek to be consistently good, O God!