Helps for the Pulpit
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD…
I. THE BEING WHOSE FAVOUR MEN ARE TO SEEK. "The Lord"; this is expressive of His greatness and power as the Proprietor of all things. "He is Lord over all." "The earth is the Lord's," etc. Think of His relation to us. Creator — Preserver — Benefactor — the God of grace. Think how able and willing He is to promote our happiness.
II. THE NATURE OF SEEKING THE LORD. It implies —
1. A knowledge of His character and a conviction of the importance and advantages of having Him for our portion.
2. A conviction that sin has deprived us of Him as our portion. "Your iniquities," etc. "All we like sheep," etc.
3. A knowledge of the way in which God may be sought. Through the Sacrifice of His Son, the Mediator, the Surety, mercy, pardon, and acceptance may be obtained.
4. Heartfelt repentance. Contrition; godly sorrow; confession of evil to God; cessation from sin, as an evidence of regeneration commencing. "Let the wicked," etc.
5. Faith in Christ. "Repent and believe the Gospel." "Believe in," etc. What is faith? It is the reliance of the sick and diseased one upon the skill and healing power of the Great Physician; it is the reliance of the debtor, of the prisoner, captive, etc. etc., upon Christ, whose work on the Cross is adapted to meet all those exigencies of the sinner.
6. With diligence and perseverance. "With the heart man believeth," etc. "Ye shall find Me when ye shall search for Me with all your heart"; "Cry out for the living God."
III. THE ADVANTAGES OF SEEKING THE LORD.
1. We avoid infinite evil; as the result of transgression. "The wages of sin is death."
2. We become possessed of infinite good. The benefit of all His attributes — of all His providence — of all the riches of His grace — of all the glories of HIS heaven — of His eternity.
3. We become auxiliaries to Christ in the glorious work of salvation — extending the boundaries of the mediatorial kingdom. This honour have all the saints!
4. By seeking the Lord, and finding Him, we do that which thousands in a dying hour, and at the judgment day, will regret that they have not done. "The harvest is past," etc.
5. Those who seek the Lord now will never lose Him in eternity.
IV. THE IMMEDIATE ATTENTION WHICH THIS DUTY DEMANDS.
1. It is time, according to the statements of Scripture. "To-day," etc. "Behold now," etc. "Seek ye the Lord while," etc.
2. It is time, on account of the great evil already perpetrated. "One sinner destroyeth much good."
3. The great good to be realised proves that it is time to seek the Lord. When the miser, the ambitious, etc., perceive an opportunity of gaining gold, honour, etc., how do they rush forward to seize the coveted good!
4. The frailty of human existence declares it is time.
5. It is time, because the facilities in seeking the Lord will gradually lessen.
(Helps for the Pulpit.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.