Psalm 34:10 – “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing” (NIV).
This verse struck me as I read it this morning; particularly the latter half.
My reactions to reading promises or platitudes like this in the Bible can sometimes be rather skeptical. The Psalms in particular seem to make large, sweeping, optimistic statements about the righteous and what they can expect out of life. Reading them often sparks instant argument. A lot of incredible, God-fearing, righteous people have walked this earth and have seen their children die of starvation; had loved ones ripped from them by war or plague or tragic accident; have never experienced bounty or even enough. Who have seen their businesses go under. Who have lost everything. Who died young or childless or desperate. What about them, David?
The structure of this particular verse this morning, though, helped temper my indignation. Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
I think I usually read that and interpret it as such: if you do the right thing and seek the Lord, whatever that means, He’ll give you the things you want or, at the very least, need.
This interpretation could be argued instead: those who seek the Lord – the only source of good – will, de facto, end up with good. The person that seeks the Lord has bypassed the seeking of all other incomplete goodnesses in life that represent, channel, or reflect the true goodness of God and is running after the source.
There is nothing inherently wrong with those good things. Happiness; security; marriage; health; success; children; accolades. Living on a beach. Going to a good college. Getting a promotion. Owning a nice car. It’s just that they’re not fully good. And sometimes they can disappoint. Sometimes the very seeking after those things actually strips their goodness and makes them, whether in acquisition or deprivation, sour.
I want to learn how to single-mindedly seek the Lord. Not His good things.