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.
Seek good, and not evil,.... Seek not unto, or after, evil persons and evil things; not the company and conversation of evil men, which is infectious and dangerous; nor anything that is evil, or has the appearance of it, especially the evil of evils, sin; which is hateful to God, contrary to his nature and will; is evil in its own nature, and bad in its consequences, and therefore not to be sought, but shunned and avoided; but seek that which is good, persons and things: seek the "summum bonnum", "the chief good", God, who is essentially, perfectly, immutably, and communicatively good, the fountain of all goodness, and the portion of his people; seek Christ the good Saviour and sacrifice, the good Shepherd, and the good Samaritan, who is good in all his relations, as a father, husband, and friend, and in whom all good things are laid up; seek the good Spirit of God, who works good things in his people, and shows good things to them, and is the Comforter of them; seek to him for assistance in prayer, and to help in the exercise of every grace, and in the discharge of every duty, and as the guide into all truth, and to eternal glory; seek the good ways of God, the way of truth, the path of faith and holiness, and especially the good way to the Father, the way of life and salvation by Christ; seek the good word of God, the Scriptures of truth, the promises contained in them, and the Gospel of them; seek the company of good men, and that good part that shall not be taken away, the true grace of God, the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; seek the glories of another world, the goodness of God laid up, the best things which are reserved to last:
that ye may live; comfortably, spiritually, and eternally, which is the consequence of all this; See Gill on "Amos 5:4";
See Gill on "Amos 5:6";
and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken; as they used to say, and boasted of; though they had not the temple, the ark of the testimony, the symbols of the divine Presence, as Judah had; but this they would have in reality, both his gracious presence here, and his glorious presence hereafter, did they truly and rightly seek those things; than which nothing is more desirable to good men, or can make them more comfortable, or more happy. The Targum is,
"seek to do well, and not to do ill, that ye may live; and then the word of the Lord God of hosts shall be your help, as ye have said.''