Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you on him while he is near:…
1. To "seek the Lord while He may be found" implies, among other things, this, that the Lord is lost by and to those thus called to seek Him. We speak of a lost sinner; we may with equal truth speak of a lost Lord. The lost sinner and the lost Lord are correlative. The sinner is lost, because he has lost the Lord. The Lord's finding the sinner, is the sinner's finding the Lord. It is not that the Lord has ceased to be, to govern the world, to support His creatures. His providence indeed is exercised (Acts 17:27, 28) that men should seek the Lord if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him. Nor is He far from every one of us, for in Him we live and move and have our being. But the Lord is lost in this sense, that He is practically lost as Father, Friend and Portion, God and Guide, not recognized and accepted as Lord, by sinful men.
2. Apart from redeeming grace, the sinner is hopelessly lost to God, because God is hopelessly lost to the sinner. The evidences of this loss are many and various. The providential rule of God over men is carried on that they "might seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him." The whole scheme of grace rests upon, as it was rendered necessary by, men's loss of God. It is not merely God's plan for seeking lost men, but God's plan for coming near to men and being found of them.
3. If we look at men themselves, it is evident that, to all that have not found Him in His appointed way of grace, the Lord is lost. Witness the conscious or unconscious expression of this loss, in manifold ways and forms; in men's corrupt, miserable condition, their restlessness and aimlessness, their hunt for substitutes of the lost Lord, their self-righteousness, their strange discontents, until they seek and find the Lord. Is not the Lord lost out of men's hearts, creating by His absence a void there which only Himself can fill; out of men's consciences, so that the fear of man has more authority and power with them than the fear of God; out of men's minds, so that God is rarely, if ever, in all their thoughts, or is misunderstood and misinterpreted, and spiritual things cannot be discerned or welcomed; and finally, out of their lives, so that men can live and love without Him, can live to themselves, can live as though there were no God?
4. This is the greatest loss of all. What more has a man, if he has lost the Lord, and has not again found Him, in a world where the Lord is needed so much, where nothing else can make good the loss, and where yet the lost Lord may be found? How welcome to men should be the voice from heaven that tells them that the lost Lord has come near, and may be found, and how and where and when.
(Alex. Warrack, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: