Depart from evil, and do good… (Psa 34:14a)
As we look at today’s segment of scripture, we can see that we are instructed to do good. However, in order to do good, we must depart from evil. Because we live in a fallen world, evil lurks behind every corner, tempting us to turn from the path of righteousness. However, if we have a heart that is determined to please God, evil will find it difficult to win us over or cause us to go astray.
What is evil? According to Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, “…[E]vil is any deviation of a moral agent from the rules of conduct prescribed to him by God.” So in essence, anything that is contrary to the Word of God and the laws and statues that are outlined in His Word can be considered to be evil.
How do we avoid evil? If we want to avoid evil, then we need to be identify good. If we know what is good, then we will not be deceived by the enticement of sin. Not only must we make a habit of identifying good, but we must also make a habit of pursuing good. According to the United States Secret Service Website (http://www.secretservice.gov/money_detect.shtml), the Secret Service instructs the public to become more familiar with US currency in order to determine real money from fake money. We are instructed to study the real dollar bill — not the fake one. In the same manner, we should not study evil or what makes a particular thought or action evil. Instead, we must study good and develop an understand of what is good in God’s sight. This can only be accomplished by studying the Word of God.