Believers must be vigilant in both restraining evil actions and promoting the good.
Psalm 34:11-14 – Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of Yahweh. Who is someone who desires life, loving a long life to enjoy what is good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from deceitful speech. Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it.
The message of the Bible is not as difficult as many people believe it to be. Every now and then, a passage speaks in a simple and direct way about what God expects of his people. Here are some examples:
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Micah 6:8 – Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is Yahweh requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.
Matthew 22:36-40 – “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest? ” He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. “This is the greatest and most important command. “The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. “All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
The passage we are looking at today in the thirty-fourth psalm is another example of this simplicity containing the same type of summarizing qualities. The psalmist, presumably David, speaks of what it means to fear Yahweh. The fear of Yahweh, he says, is pursued by someone who desires life, and many days (long life) of goodness. The life that is provided by the fear of Yahweh is more than just existence, but longevity of happiness, spiritual blessedness and the ability to enjoy it.
This fear of Yahweh is demonstrated in specific ways. On the one hand, it is achieved by diligently guarding one’s speech from deceit and also turning aside from doing evil. This requires the vigilance of a guard in a watchtower, ensuring that no deceptive or misleading comments are put forth with the intent of misguiding others. It also requires an intentional turning away from anything that is bad, vicious, unkind, harmful, or displeasing to God.
On the other hand, it is achieved by also doing or making that which is good, pleasing to God, valuable in estimation, fruitful, advantageous, excellent. All of these qualities are rolled up into the concept of doing good.
- Galatians 6:9 – Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.
- 2 Thessalonians 3:13 – But as for you, brothers and sisters, do not grow weary in doing good.
- 1 Peter 2:15 – For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good.
Finally, the fear of Yahweh is demonstrated by seeking and pursuing peace. To seek it is to seek with the intent to find, chasing after every opportunity to implement peaceful interactions with others.
- Romans 8:6 – Now the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.
- Romans 12:18 – If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
- Romans 14:19 – So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another.
These, then, are the attitudes and actions required of those who would seek to demonstrate a true fear of Yahweh as children of God. They will be diligent in honoring him in all of their ways through the ongoing rejection of evil and the never-ending pursuit of goodness and peace.
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