Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you on him while he is near:…
If Adam and Eve were somewhat ignorant, as we suppose them to have been, of God's omniscience, no wonder that they attempted to escape HIS notice. Their interest appeared to lie, not in seeking the Lord, but in fleeing from Him. Why so? Ignorant as yet of a mercy which was about for the first time to be revealed, they knew Him only as a God of justice and of truth. But what makes it your plain as well as highest interest to seek the Lord, is that you know that He is very pitiful and of great mercy.
I. CONSIDER WHAT WE ARE TO UNDERSTAND BY SEEKING THE LORD. The sense in which this is to be taken is explained by the succeeding verses, "Let," etc. It is as a God, who will have mercy on the worst, and abundantly pardon the wickedest, that we are to seek the Lord — seeking Him without an hour's delay. We may, as man has often done, stand at a human bar" conscious of our innocence. We may refuse to put in a plea for mercy; boldly declaring that we want nothing more, and will accept of nothing less, than impartial justice. At God's tribunal, however, it is very different. There, simple justice were sure damnation. It is as just and the justifier of them that believe in Jesus, that we are to seek the Lord; and all the blessings which in that gracious character He has, and He promises, to bestow.
II. INQUIRE WHEN THESE THINGS ARE TO BE OBTAINED.
1. The Lord, as bestowing the pardon of sin and salvation of the soul, is to be found in this world, not in another.
2. The Lord is not to be found on a deathbed.
3. The Lord is more likely to be found now than at any future time. We can foretell neither what, nor where we shall be to-morrow. Sin is like the descent of a hill, where every step we take increases the difficulty of our return. Sin is like a river in its course; the longer it runs, it wears a deeper channel, and the farther from the fountain, it swells in volume and acquires a greater strength. Sin is like a tree in its progress; the longer it grows, it spreads its roots the wider; grows taller; grows thicker; till the sapling which once an infant's arm could bend, raises its head aloft, defiant of the storm. Sin in its habits becomes stronger every day — the heart grows harder; the conscience grows duller; the distance between God and the soul grows greater; and, like a rock hurled from the mountain's top, the farther we descend, we go down, and down, and down, with greater and greater rapidity. How easy, for example, is it to touch the conscience of childhood; but how difficult to break in on the torpor of a hoary head!
III. THE SHORTNESS AND UNCERTAINTY OF LIFE ARE STRONG REASONS FORESEEKING PARDON AND SALVATION NOW.
( T. Guthrie, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: