Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. Psalm 34
As I read two different devotions today, they were remarkably opposite of one another. The verses above were part of the daily devotional called “Days of Praise” which I’ve sometimes quoted. Today’s reading was called “Godly Pursuit.” As I read the verses above, I did a personal check on each one:
- Do I “keep my tongue from evil?’ OUCH!
- Do I keep my “lips from speaking guile (deceit)?” YIKES!
- Do I walk away from evil, or do I allow it to come right into my living room on that flat-screen?
- Do I do good, going out of my way to do it?
- Am I seeking peace, or am I stirring things up, even in my home, because I want things to go my way?
- Am I pursuing (fervently running after it, chasing it, hunting for it as though my life depended on it) peace—dying to self to allow the peace of God to rule my life?
Henry M. Morris III goes on in the devotional to say,
“So many today appear to desire the approval of the world’s philosophy or its adherents, attempting to compromise the clear messages of the Word of God with the views and lifestyles of the wicked.”
The opposite path was sadly expressed in Jeremiah 44:16-19:
“As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?”
How sad! But the question for us is, “Will we only be faithful to God when things are going well—when we are prospering?”
God gives us so many promises but that doesn’t mean that the Christian life will be problem-free and full of prosperity. Why?
Because rough waters make the best teachers!
Are you discouraged—tired of watching your godless neighbors prosper in all they do? The psalmist sums the whole picture up nicely for us in Psalm 73 (it might be good to read the whole psalm!)
Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end (v 17).
So, if you’ve fallen off the “Godly Pursuit Trail” today, take heart! You’re not alone. Seek the Lord’s help and even the help of others to get back on the horse and ride! You will never regret making wise choices.