What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? – Ps. 34:12 KJV
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Most prayer sessions today irrespective of the religious inclinations of the participants will always have people asking for long life and good health in its various forms. It either comes in the form of request for healing from all kinds of medical and non-medical conditions or request for success in one or several area(s) of human endeavour or the other. This is hardly surprising as that is what most earthly issues are all about – making success of the entire idea of being in this world and not wishing to leave all those efforts after recording success in them.
Various levels of success is no doubt achievable but not leaving is very impossible and all people need to accept this fact as it will definitely help to moderate most of our acts which borders sometimes on desperation. However, even if man will not live forever, he hopes to at least live for as long as possible and in good condition which is not a wrong desire and who else will be in the best position to provide the secret to achieving this than King David. Not only did he start out as an ordinary citizen with below average social standards and definitely zero royalty, he ended up with long life and had the best out of life till death. He lived a royal and wealthy life and was still able to retain a healthy relationship with God. He no doubt made several mistakes along the line but succeeded in navigating through them all, such that he was able to achieve all the above in the midst of all those errors and false starts.
Most people who desire long life and comfort today also find themselves in such situations and that is why the advise of someone like King David becomes very key to achieving such desirable objectives. In the scripture for today he asks the same questions as listed below:
1. Who desires life? He implies that who wants to live and not exist. He asks for the person who wants to enjoy comfort in all its ramifications in this world.
2. Who wants days? In this second question, he asks who want to grow old and ensure that each of those days especially the terminal ones are not just spent being alive but should qualify to be called “good days”.
3. Who wants to see good things? In this, he refers to one who hopes to witness good things in life. Not having to stay alive and be wishing for death based on the events happening around the person.
There is no doubt that ability to achieve the above will make for a life worth living and in fact is the life God desired for man when he was created in the garden of Eden. King David himself provided the answers in verses 13 and 14 of the same Psalm and listed below:
1. Such a person should keep his/her tongue from evil. A mouth that speaks evil is a heart that thinks evil. Jesus Christ says a man speaks out of the abundance of his heart – Matt. 12:34. To avoid speaking evil is to take deliberate steps at preventing evil thoughts from having root in one. King David says, one who speaks evil and by implication thinks evil is not likely to achieve those objectives earlier stated. Such a person will need to plead with God for forgiveness with the hope that he can receive the mercy of God but constantly praying and fasting to avoid evil when such a person thinks and speaks evil will be a wasted time in prayer for him and those joining in support with prayer. There is no way an evil thinking or speaking person can enjoy life and see good days. There is always the natural law of planting and harvesting in operation.
2. Keep lips from speaking guile. To speak guile is to be sly, cunny or crafty. A cunny person most times says one thing and means another thing. Such a person has what can be described as negative intelligence. He/she mostly says positive things but harbours negative thoughts. Such is a dangerous person to align with as one will soon be a victim of his/her negative intelligence. King David says such a person cannot record peace and happiness throughout life. Attempts by such a person to enjoy life and see good days will be met with failure. One who has such negative gift and believes it has been a strength of some sorts as no one can read his/her mind is living dangerously as such negative skills will soon present its negative rewards to its owner and such rewards will never be long and good life.
3. Depart from evil. If speaking evil is as dangerous as stated, one can then imagine what extent of damage doing evil will cause. It is even evil for an evil person to believe there can be any other reward than greater evil for his/her evil acts – Hos. 8:7. No one can escape the rewards of his acts in this world as the bible says the judge arrives quickly with rewards to share to all people according to their works – Rev. 22:12. There is no escape for the evil person and there is no way an evil person can enjoy a good life – Is. 48:22; Job 34:22. The reward comes at a time when there will be no strength to fight back or make correction but steps can be re-traced today as tomorrow may be too late – 2Cor. 6:2. No amount of fasting, prayers or vigils will alter the reward as at then except a sincere act of repentance with hope for divine forgiveness.
4. Do good. This will earn the direct opposite of doing evil. To do something good means also that there was a preceding decision making process that was carried out. It takes a good person to do good – Matt. 7:17-18. Good to man is the physical act but to God, it is in the intention and God rewards intention and not the physical act – 1Sam. 16:7. The good will have to be seen by men to be good but more importantly must be seen by God. One who desires to experience good events in this world must also do good. It is a mirror-like kind of situation.
5. Seek peace, and pursue it. Like previously stated, one reaps what one sows. One who sows discord and disagreements cannot expect anything but whirlwind – Hos. 8:7. To expect peace when one remains an agent of disagreements and discord is to expect rice from a location where beans was planted. God does miracles indeed but definitely not that type and there is no indication that He will ever do such. Approaching him for a peaceful life when one is always behind every disagreement and disquiet will remain a mirage. One who desires peaceful life must as a policy seek peace at all times and ensure that it is retained once found.
Just like King David, I am in no doubt that anyone who operates in the above principles will achieve all those noble desires of life. May God grant us the ability to live a life deserving of goodness and peace in Jesus name. Amen.