14 Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.
Earlier in this chapter, the prophet had repeatedly exhorted the Israelites to seek the LORD (vv. 4, 6, 8). This verse further explains the implications of the exhortation to seek the LORD. Those who seek the LORD will also seek to do His good will.
The “good” that God’s people ought to seek is not what they think is good, but what the LORD has revealed as good. All that His Word requires of us is good, which we must seek diligently to perform. The LORD said through Moses in Deuteronomy 12:28, “Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.” The prophet Micah was also tasked by the LORD to instruct His people: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8).
Yet the people were not only doing evil, but also seeking it diligently. They rejoiced in all that which God detested. They sought out evil and the occasions for it. As long as they sought evil, they would not seek good. So they must first put away evil. As Isaiah has written, “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:16-17).
God’s people must be singular in their pursuit of good. They must seek good with total commitment. Unmitigated adherence to good and complete severance from evil is what God commands. In Romans 12:9, the apostle Paul instructs, “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” The LORD requires that His people seek good wholly, not only occasionally. “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil” (Psalm 97:10a). “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14).
Pursuing the LORD and His good will have the guarantee of the highest blessings in the lives of God’s people. It has the promise of everlasting life and divine friendship. The “God of hosts” will be with them to guide, guard and garnish their lives with His blessings. He who follows the good ways of the LORD, has the LORD for himself.