Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you on him while he is near:…
Implied in the text is the appalling fact that man has lost the Lord, the true sovereign and God of his being. But there is another fact which is yet more appalling, that man is unconscious of the terrible catastrophe which has befallen him. But God does not abandon the lost one to his fate. He reminds him of his forfeited state and place; He urges him to return to the home which he has left, and regain the royalty which he has lost, and become one with the God from whom he has alienated himself.
I. THE GOD-SEEKING WORK. "Seek the Lord." But the Scriptures represent God as seeking man: this being the case, is it not strange to urge man to seek God? The fact that He seeks us is the ground and reason why we should seek Him. The call of God to us, and His search for us, is our greatest encouragement in seeking Him; for it is a pledge that our calling and seeking will not be fruitless. The text, in the words "seek' and "cell," indicates the method by which we should "seek-the Lord." We must return to Him b humble, penitential prayer Seek — Him by the guidance of His word: under the inspiration of His Spirit: through the mediation of His Son. Prove the sincerity of your search by endeavouring to comply with His will. "Let the wicked forsake," etc. This is the most urgent duty of sinful man. We can be truly blessed only union with God.
II. THE GOD-SEEKING SEASON.
1. There is a season when the Lord may be found — a time when He is near. He may be found when we feel Him near to us. There are times of spiritual awakening and revival, when we feel the presence and power of God; then may He be found. Them are occasions when we hear His voice,: and feel His influence in the events of life; then may He be found. There are seasons when by the preaching of His word He awakens earnest thought, carries conviction to the conscience, and inspires the heart with noble desires; then may He be found. Now may He be found.
2. There will come a season when the Lord may not be found — a time when He will not be near. Locally, He will be near to all beings everywhere and for ever; but, if any one persist in neglecting merciful calls and gracious offers, there will come a time when such an one will hear no kindly voice from Him, will feel no saving influence from Him. There came such a time in the life of King Saul; and the lost man cried in agony, — "God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams." By your own interest, I urge you to seek Him at once. By the solicitude of God for your well-being.
I. THE OBJECT, whom we must seek.
1. God hath made Himself an Object to be sought.
2. He is the sole and adequate Object of our desires.
II. THE ACT; what it is to seek Him.
III. THE TIME; when we must seek the Lord. "While He may be found." There is no time to seek Him but now. For —
1. It is the greatest folly in the world thus to play with danger, to seek death first in the errors of our life, and then, when we have run our course, and death is ready to devour us, to look faintly back upon life. The later we seek, the less able we shall be to seek; the further we stray, the less willing to return.
2. It is dangerous in respect of God Himself, whose call we regard not, whose counsels we reject, whose patience we daily with, whose judgments we slight, and so tread that mercy under our feet which should save us, and will not seek Him yet, because we presume that, though we grieve His Spirit, though we resist His Spirit, though we blaspheme His Spirit, yet, after all these scorns and contempts, He will yet sue unto us, and offer Himself, and be found at any time in which we shall think convenient to seek Him.
(A. Farindon, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: