Psalm 34:14

ESV Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
NIV Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
NASB Turn from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
CSB Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it.
NLT Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
KJV Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

What does Psalm 34:14 mean?

The summary of David's lesson for how to live a long, good life (Psalm 34:12) is simply another phrasing of what it means to "fear the LORD" (Psalm 34:11). Choosing good over evil, and peace over sin, are part of honoring God properly.

This verse gives both negative and positive commands. Both are significant ways to demonstrate one's fear of God. Our fear of the Lord affects not only what we say but also what we do or don't do. If we fear the Lord, we will avoid evil. This action involves a choice. Solomon counseled, "My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent" (Proverbs 1:10). But wrongdoing is not simply the result of consenting to sinners; it can be a matter of consenting to our own sinful nature. The apostle James wrote: "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire" (James 1:14).

Here, David reminds us how important it is to reject temptation, whether it comes from evildoers or from our own evil nature. Instead of doing wrong, we should do what is good and seek to live a peaceful life. We need to pursue peace, David writes: we ought to strive for it, to try hard to obtain it. Stirring up trouble is out of character for those who fear God (Matthew 5:9), but making peace manifests a God-fearing attitude (James 3:18).
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