Listen to Me

Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is the man who delights in 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.

Psalm 34:11-14 HCSB

If we have mothered children,

If we have taught children,

If we have been a child,

this scene must pop into our minds . . .

Adult: (holding child’s face in hands) — Look at me; Listen to me; are you listening?

Child: (eyes wide open) –You’re squooshing me!! (but I digress)

Learning to “fear the Lord” is foundational. Not a scared-of-monsters-in-the-dark fear; not a if-I-don’t-do-or-not-do-something-this-unpredictable-deity-will-zap-me fear as in Greek/Roman mythology (or most fairy tales for that matter).

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7 ESV

Fear of the Lord — reverence of, and submission to God’s authority over my life; obedience to His Word; understanding that He is Sovereign over everything.

He is God. I am not. The “Savior” job is already taken. . .

So. . .and here comes the big question . . .HOW do I do that???

I’m so glad you asked . . .

Who is the man who delights in life, loving a long life to enjoy what is good?

I hate feeling awful. It’s so draining, emotionally, physically, spiritually. I want to know that I have purpose, that I matter. I want to be able to smile. I want to laugh. I want to enjoy God’s gifts —

Sunshine     Birds singing     Leonard the cat’s nuzzle and purr     watching a frog with a toddler   

dark chocolate     frozen lemonade     a friend’s smile

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from deceitful* speech.  *deceit — the intentional misleading of someone else through distorting or withholding the truth

Wouldn’t you know our speech, thoughts, mouths would be involved?! And we are not just talking about curse words here. Nor death threats. 

Have you ever gossiped, and “spiritually” veiled it as a prayer request?

Have you ever told only part of a story, the one that made you appear as the innocent victim?

Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it.

Not passive. Active. Turn away — make a decision to “not” do.

Do what is good — make a decision to do the right thing, not just the easy thing; not just the self-promoting thing

Seek peace. . .this is not a sweep-everything-under-the-rug-and-say-I’m-fine-while-seething-on-the-inside (see the deceitful speech part) but a true harmony, which is the realization that God is the only perfect Being. I will sin against you. You will sin against me. I need God’s grace in my life. My children need God’s grace in their lives. My friends need God’s grace in their lives. 

Live in harmony with one another .Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:16-18 ESV

Pursue it . . .What David is talking about, what Paul is talking about (and those aren’t the only places) doesn’t “just happen.” We must live intentionally. 

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. . . 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 ESV (emphasis mine)

God says, “Listen to Me. I will teach you how to relate to Me. How to relate to others. How to relate to you.”

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge . . .

 

 

 

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