Isaiah penned these words: “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:6-9). A number of things stand out in this statement of the prophet.
First, there must be a time when one may seek the Lord and not be able to find Him, and a time when He is not near to hear those who “call upon him.” In his Proverbs, Solomon writes of such a time and circumstance. “Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord, They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them; But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil” (Prov. 1:24-33). Lesson to be learned: seek the Lord; do it now (II Cor. 6:2), do it today, not yesterday nor tomorrow (Heb. 3:7-15). Don’t delay; time and opportunity wait for no man. We must seek the Lord now while our hearts are tender and while our desires are toward pleasing God. We must be like Ezra, “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it” (Ezra 7:14).
Second, we must seek God His way. Jeremiah said, “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jer. 10:23). God’s word is “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). We must be like Samuel of old who said, “Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth” (I Sam. 3:9-10). Anyone who would alter the Word in any way is only teaching a perverted gospel and the results are “let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:6-10). Seeking the Lord involves a diligent search of the scriptures (John 5:39). As the Bereans, we should do it daily (Acts 17:11). Studying, searching, seeking, and meditating in regard to God’s Word cannot be overemphasized. The psalmist wrote of the blessings which come to him whose delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night (Psalm 1:2). God’s Word is truth (John 17:17), and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). God’s wonderful truth is to be taught; it is to be taught to each generation. We do this by following Paul’s instructions to Timothy: “And the things that thou has heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (I Tim. 2:2).
Third, observe the elevation of God’s ways and thoughts. They are as much higher than man’s ways and thoughts “as the heavens are higher than the earth.” His word is “quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the diving asunder of soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). When preached “it shall not return unto me void” (Isa. 55:11). It is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (II Tim. 4:16-17).
Let all seek the Lord; let us love His word, meditate upon it, study it diligently, teach it to others, and hold it high above all others. The rewards will be ours and they will be bountiful!
Paul M. Wilmoth