Where does God promise a hopeful future? What is required of us?
Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace. — Psalm 37:37 NIV
“A future awaits...” — three words which get our attention at a time when many are asking, “What future?”
The pandemic goes on and on, one in ten people are getting into arrears with rent and other living costs and one in five are having to borrow to meet the cost of essentials. The risks are increasing and so are the numbers of those affected. We feel powerless and helpless and isolated — just observers of something where there is little protection and no cure. Where is God in all of this?
What He is saying here gives us a lifeline: “those who seek peace”.
Seeking God’s “shalom” is more than seeking an absence of conflict and disagreement, although that is a part of it. It us seeking God’s wholeness and provision. It is wanting our world to be His world. There is a close association with this picture of the provision and presence and blessing of God, and what Jesus taught through every story, teaching and demonstration — which He called the kingdom of God.
God wants everyone to live in His peace. He wants everyone to enter into His kingdom, which is the way to experience His peace, and Jesus explained the new start, new spiritual beginning, that He made possible for all who come to Him.
But what do WE want? That’s the question that comes out of this verse. Having the future is linked to seeking peace. It’s a simple condition. If we want a future to look forward to, we seek God's peace.
That’s not a nice-sounding philosophy, or a good hope for the world, or not annoying anyone else. It means seeking God’s order in our lives, and submitting to it.
Jesus put it in different words but saying the same thing:
But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. — Matthew 6:33 NIV
So here's the bottom line. Do we want, what God wants? When we move into agreement with Him, there is a raising of the intensity of spiritual light, and the devil and his schemes are exposed and robbed of their power.
That is the way set out for us here in the Bible, to begin to see the “future [that] awaits those who seek peace”.