Psalm 34:12-22 NKJV
12 Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many 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 on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.
This psalm—like all the psalms—are about Christ. This becomes especially evident when David prophesies, “He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken” (20). None of Christ’s bones were broken after at His crucifixion because He was already dead (John 19:32-33).
In second half of the psalm Christ teaches us the way of life and goodness. “Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” Speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15). Avoid sin and do good. Pursue peace with others, “as much as depends on you” (Rom 12:18). This is the way of love, which is the fulfillment of the law (Rom 13:10). This is the way of life because “the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry” (15). The Lord is against those who do evil, speak deceit, and do not seek peace. He will cut them off from the earth. Christ teaches us the way of life and goodness through His prophet David. He also demonstrates that life for us during the days of His earthly ministry. He always spoke the truth in love. He did good and shunned evil. He sought to be at peace with all men.
This way of life doesn’t always lead to earthly good life and many days. It certainly did not mean that for Christ. He was afflicted. He was persecuted. He suffered, died, and was buried on account of His teaching and life. But God the Father heard Christ’s prayers. He was near to Christ, who was humble and lowly of heart, and delivered Him out of all His afflictions. He even delivered Christ from the affliction of death by raising Him from the dead to everlasting life.
So it is for those who are in Christ by faith. Being counted righteous by faith in Christ, we strive to live righteously and walk in the way of life. Even though our afflictions are many, we accept them in humility as Christ accepted His afflictions, trusting that our Father will deliver us when it is good for us.
Let us pray: Help us, O Lord, in our many afflictions. Increase our humility to accept them as manifestations of your Fatherly will and strengthen our faith so that we may firmly believe they are for our eternal good. Amen.