Some Thoughts on Psalm 34

Sin does matter and there are consequences to sin.

Ryan Zell

9/1/20232 min read

a stack of books
a stack of books


Excerpt of Christ in the Psalms, Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon

Our choices really do count in the sight of God. Even though He causes His rain to fall on both the just and the unjust, it would be a serious mistake to suppose that God has no regard for the difference between a just and an unjust man. God actively resists the proud man and gives His grace to the humble (Prov. 3:34; James 4:6). God really does discriminate, and our psalmist elaborates the consequences of this discrimination: “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.”

These verses of Psalm 34 are later paraphrased in 1 Peter 3:10–12—“He who would love life / And see good days, / Let him refrain his tongue from evil, /And his lips from speaking deceit. / Let him turn away from evil and do good; / Let him seek peace and pursue it. / For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, / And His ears are open to their prayers; / But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” For the Apostle Peter, these lines of our psalm provide an outline for how the Christian is to live. He comments on them: “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing” (3:8-9). Fr. Patrick Henry Readon, Christ in the Psalms.

The other day I was at a bible study here in Florida and studying the Letters of John (1, 2, 3). Something hit my eye in 1 John 1. Something we do occasionally and something we do when we go to Mass. Confession.

1 John 1:9 NASB
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Notice the word ALL in 1 John 1:9. This is an inner righteousness and not just a forensic righteousness. Confession is how we maintain our Christian innocence before the Creator.

By confession we are cleansed from our sins. We convert from a state of unrighteousness to a state of righteousness. In fact we can have all assurance that we are walking in the light the moment we step out of the Confessional, or are standing during Mass recalling our sins to Him who can wash us from all our inequities.