Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you on him while he is near:…
God is near us in His works. But, in startling contrast to this evident nearness of God in His works, comes the injunction of our Scriptures — Seek ye the Lord. Why? Because ye have lost Him.
I. CONSIDER TWO OR THREE EVIDENCES OF THIS STARTLING FACT.
1. Here is a company of persons. It is the time for pleasant talk and the happy methods by which men give the hours wing. What wide circle the conversation sweeps. And yet through all the company there is a severe proscription of one subject. There is a certain rule of breeding or taste or custom to which all defer. Suppose, for a moment, that one should break the rule and begin to talk of God in a reverent way, would not all feel that a dissonant chord was struck? Would not talk about God be very apt to be voted out, even in such a rightfully glad company? Is it not a quick, true test of the way they feel about Him? They have no sense of a blessed intimacy with Him.
2. Behold, also, the fact of a lost Lord in the universal feeling that, while it is natural for a man to love certain earthly objects — his children, for example — it is somehow not natural for a man to love God as he feels all the time he ought.
3. See, too, a further evidence of the fact in the attitude of the conscience toward Him. Man cannot get out of himself the conviction that the condition of soul which God intended for him is that of a sweet intimacy with Himself. And yet, like the cherubim at the gates of Eden with the flaming swords flashing every way, conscience stands preventing entrance into such condition. Man is consciously a criminal at the bar of the inviolable law; and standing there speechless and helpless, God is the most fearful being in the universe to the man. And yet, never with his Lord thus lost can man be at peace.
II. A METHOD OF SEARCH FOR THE LOST LORD.
1. "Let the wicked forsake," etc.
2. "Let him return," etc. Repentance is double-sided. Not only must the man forsake, he must return.
III. THE SURE RESULT OF SUCH RIGID SEARCH — the Lord will have mercy and will abundantly pardon.
IV. THE TIME FOR SUCH RIGID SEARCH FOR THE LOST LORD — "While He may be found." That time is now, because refusal to seek God forces one into the firmer habit of hostility to Him.
(W. Hoyt, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: