The Orthodox Pages























Question 10

Pater, can you please explain what Psalm 34:19 means and how I can apply it in my Orthodox life?    


Answer to Question 10


I presume you are quoting from the KJB or some similar translation because in the Septuagint Bible the same verse is 33:20. The verse 33:19 in the Septuagint reads: The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart, and will save such as be of an humble spirit. But I have taken the verse to be 34:19 from the KJB which reads: Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord shall deliver them out of them all. What the verse is saying is that virtues do not come without pain and struggle. To live righteously means to go through many temptations, pain and suffering. The virtues do not come easy because we have to fight two enemies: the spiritual enemy who will always be trying to make us depart from the road of righteousness and the spirit of this world which believes we are foolish for wasting our time with a God they say doesn’t exit and that we should live our lives partaking of all the pleasures of this world just as they do.  St. Paul said: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor. 1:18) and “we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness.” (1 Cor. 1:23)  Living a true Christian life means to live a life of a minority withstanding the pressures of life presented before us which is continually trying to tempt us to live according to the majority. This is very prevalent in our modern day than in any other previous age. Many have been brainwashed with ungodly and blasphemous ideas through modern technology and social media. A Christian needs to find a balance and stay strong and firm in his beliefs otherwise he will be sucked into this modern abyss of ungodliness. But God will lead the righteous out of this abyss when he sees that the person has suffered enough and withstood the trials put before him.