Who is the man who desires life?
Psalm 34:11-22 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Who is the man who desires life
And loves length of days that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
And your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are
toward the righteous
And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against evildoers,
To cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry, and the Lord hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones,
Not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.
Today’s text begins: Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 9:9-10 says: Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. While the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, the fear of man is often the beginning of folly and destruction. The psalmist says he will teach the fear of the Lord. The proverb says knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. The more we know about God and the more we know Him personally and intimately the better we will understand the truth that in knowing Him there is then nothing to fear because of His great love, mercy and grace. Those who fear man, who seek to conform to the wishes and desires, the regulations and the ways of the world become separated from God. James 4:4 says: You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Romans 12:2 says: do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. We are transformed, our minds are renewed as we learn of God, as we come to know Him and His will. The world tries to draw us away from God. We must choose will we fear God or fear man? Will we love God or love the world?
The psalmist says: Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. One of the Old Testament names of God is Jehovah- Shalom or Yahweh- Shalom, the Lord is peace. In John 14:27 Jesus says: "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” Just as God is love, so too is He peace. To seek peace, to pursue it is to seek God. Peace is not a thing to be pursued, peace is a person. Jesus says He gives us His peace, still we must make the choice. We must receive the peace that He gives. We receive that peace when we depart from evil and do good. Philippians 4:4-7 says: Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. As we seek and pursue the God of peace, as we rejoice in Him, as we give our troubles and our fears to Him through prayer, we gain peace, a peace that is beyond comprehension, a peace that guards our hearts and minds.
The psalmist says:
The righteous cry, and the Lord hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Jesus says: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom
of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) It may seem at times like the unrighteous get ahead of the righteous. It may seem even at times the Lord does not hear the cries and the prayers of the righteous. Evil people seem to prosper. In Psalm 37, the psalmist
says: Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass And fade like the green herb. Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries
out wicked schemes.
For evildoers will be cut off, By contrast he says: Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday.Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity. Jesus says: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) An abundant life, an inheritance in the Lord both now and forever, all that there is in the kingdom of heaven is what is promised to those who fear, seek and love the Lord.
The text began asking the question: Who is the man who desires life And loves length of days that he may
see good? Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; I am that one. Teach me Your ways. I choose to walk in Your ways, not the ways of the world. Grant me Your peace, Jehovah-Shalom. I rejoice in You.
I delight in You. Thank You for the abundant life You give, the inheritance of the Kingdom of heaven here on earth. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done. Amen