Read Psalm 34:11-16. 11Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 12What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? 13Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. 14Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. 16The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
If you’ve been wondering where Solomon learned wisdom, now we know – his dad. David taught his children the fear of the Lord, and Solomon tried to teach his son the same. What parent doesn’t want their kids to live the good life? For David the good life was always connected to knowing, loving, and trusting God. But this fear of the Lord is not just some remote concept. It is real life goodness, like not saying evil things or lying. Like seeking peace with others and doing good things. The daily applications are endless, aren’t they?
This is wisdom. Do good in order to live good. Do well and be happy. Pursue God and find him.
But true wisdom knows that there is also a point at which this system breaks down. No one really does good. No one keeps their tongue from deceit. No one turns from evil without the supernatural intervention of God’s grace and mercy. There is none righteous no not one.
And so this is where gospel wisdom takes us and where the fear of the Lord rests us, in knowing that our righteousness is a gift of grace. That our goodness is the goodness of Jesus’ own indwelling life in us. That we can only have the eyes, ears, and face of God turned toward us in Christ. That anytime we turn from evil and do good it is the work of the Spirit in us. Christian, only God’s saving goodness can motivate your own.
To live is Christ is to live in the wisdom of God’s goodness and grace in us motivating us to turn from evil and do good.
Prayer. Jesus, you are my goodness. Now God’s face is turned toward me. May I forever turn toward him and do good.