Seek Him & Ye Shall FInd Him

adapted from PCC Prayer Meeting Exhortation on 11 Dec 2009

“…if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever” (1 Chronicles 28:9c)

The books of Chronicles differ from the books of Kings in that the latter were written perhaps during the initial years of the Babylonian invasion. They were, no doubt, compiled to explain to the Jews how it could be that the covenant people of God should have fallen into the hands of a Gentile power. So the emphasis in the books of kings is that of the justice of God.

The books of Chronicles, on the other hand, were written after the Babylonian exile, during the times of Ezra and Nehemiah. They were, no doubt, written to encourage the Jews concerning God’s faithfulness as they sought to rebuild the nation. Though God would punish and chastise sin, he will never forsake His people.

The books of 1st Chronicles begins with a genealogical record of all the tribes of Israel. This is followed by the historical section led by the death of Saul, the first king of Israel, a man after the people’s heart. The rest of the book, is on the life and ministry of David, the greatest king in Israel, a man after God’s own heart.

When David had established his throne, one of the things he wanted to do out of gratitude for the Lord was to build a temple to replace the tabernacle. But God would not allow him to do so. Instead, Solomon, the son of David would build it. So David spent much of the latter part of his reign making preparations for the temple to be built, and then he charged Solomon before all his officers and princes to do what the Lord has appointed him to do. He says, in our text:

“And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. 10 Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it” (1 Chr 28:9-10).

In this study, we want to meditate briefly on the promise announced by David in the words:  If thou seek him, he will be found of thee.” Although David spoke these words to Solomon, they are, no doubt, not exclusively applicable to him. Does not the Greater David himself says: “Seek, and ye shall find” (Mt 7:7).

So let’s consider how this promise is applicable to us individually as the children of the Lord. Let study it under three heads. First, what is the condition for this promise? What does it mean to seek the Lord? Secondly, what is the blessing promised? What does it mean to find the Lord? Thirdly, what is the converse of this promise? What if we forsake the Lord?


1. What does it Mean to Seek the Lord?

If thou seek him, he will be found of thee,” says David.

To seek (vr'D;) is to search out something diligently.

After the Lord killed Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron for offering strange fires, Aaron and his two remaining sons refuse to eat of the goat of the sin offering. Instead, they had it burned completely; and we are told of how “Moses diligently sought” for it and was angry when he found that it was burnt (Lev 10:16).

In Job 39, in the Lord’s response to Job, he speaks of how the wild ass “searcheth after every green thing” in the mountains (Job 39:8).

Now, the same word for “diligently sought” and “searcheth”  is translated ‘seek’ in our text. So to seek the Lord is essentially to search out the Lord diligently. 

But what does that mean? Why do we need to seek the LORD when He is everywhere? The simple reason is that although the Lord is omnipresent, the eyes our mind are naturally blind (Eph 4:18). “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not” says Paul (2 Cor 4:4).

This is the reason why, we do not naturally see God, nor hear him, nor sense him. Nor do we automatically experience his blessings apart from his common providence to man such as food, water and sunshine. And even when we receive His common providence, we do not naturally see his hand and so do not have the added benefit of walking in gratitude.

To seek the LORD is essentially to bring ourselves to a point where we can see Him, hear Him, feel Him and enjoy Him. We will talk about this in our second point.

But for now, what does it mean to seek Him. Obvious, we can’t go Rome or Jerusalem to find Him, for the Lord is not in either of these places any more than He is at the top of Mount Everest and the depth of the Marinas Trench or here in Singapore. Neither can we go to heaven to find Him, for unless He is found of us in this life, we cannot enter into heaven.

What then is it to find Him? Well, I believe that to find the Lord we must, first of all, keep God’s commandments (v. 7-8). Secondly, we must make use the means of grace especially His Word. In His Word, God reveals himself to us. We must read His Word and hear His Word preached. But thirdly, we must seek him in worship and prayer. The prophet Daniel tells us how he sought the Lord by prayer and supplication, with fasting (Dan 9:3). We must seek the Lord in prayer by asking Him to send us His Spirit, to show us himself and to show us His way.

And fourthly, we must seek the Lord in fellowship with the brethren, for God would have his children reflect Him like the moon reflects the sun, so that when we interact with one another as believers and enjoy one another’s love in the bond of Christ, we are in a way finding God.

Beloved brethren, youths and children, seek the Lord.

2. What does it Mean to Find the Lord?

David says, “if thou seek him, he will be found of thee.” Now this is a little different from saying, “If thou seek Him, you will find Him.” The way that David puts it suggests that unless God allows you to find Him, you will not find Him.

But what does it mean to find Him. To find Him, as I mentioned earlier, is to see Him, hear Him, feel Him, and enjoy Him. Man’s chief end is to glorify and enjoy God forever. We cannot glorify God unless we have found him and are conscious of His presence in our lives. We cannot enjoy Him unless we can see His hand providing for us, his eyes guiding us, and His face smiling upon us.

And moreover, to find the Lord, is essentially to enter into a permanent relationship with him such that we are assured that one day we will no longer be hindered by sin, suffering and the cares of this present world, and we can enjoy God forever and ever.

But now, the promise is that if you seek the Lord, you will be found of him. But how are to find him when the word of God tells us that there is none that seek after Him (Rom 3:11)? Well, the answer is really in the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk 19:10). The fact is: for anyone of us to find the Lord, we must first be marked out and found of the Lord.

But if that is so, what is the meaning of the promise? Why does David and the Lord teaches us to seek and we shall find? Well, the answer may partly be found in the familiar text in Philippians 2:12-13. There the apostle Paul teaches us that we must “work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in [us] both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil 2:12-13). What Paul is essentially saying is that while our salvation is entirely the work of God, we have a personal duty to respond to what the Lord is doing for us by making use of the means of grace.

Now, this is true for all Christians. To seek the Lord is essentially to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We must never have the idea that we have already found the Lord and do not need to seek any more if we perceive that we have been born again. Remember that David was speaking to Solomon his son who was no doubt a godly man. Seeking the LORD is the same as working out our salvation with fear and trembling. It is our responsibility not only before but also after our conversion. The more we seek the Lord and are found of the Lord, the more we will enjoy him.

But what about for unconverted persons? Does this promise apply to them? Will they be found of the Lord so long as they make some effort at seeking the Lord?

Well, I will put it to you that the simple answer is ‘no.’ Moses says in Deuteronomy 4:29—“thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” The fact is that no unconverted person will seek the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul!

 Does this then mean that unless you are assured that you are saved, you need not bother to seek? No, no, remember how the Lord commands:

“Strive [or seek] to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Lk 13:24).

It is clear that the Lord is not only speaking to converted persons, for some who will seek will not be able to enter in. Yet the Lord calls for all to seek. Unless you seek, you have no hope.

All have a responsibility and a vested interest to strive. But only those who have saving faith will receive the blessing of the promise for God promise is only unto them who belongs to the Lord.

3. What Happens if We Forsake the Lord?

David says:

…if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

Now, this is very striking. The first thing that strikes us is that David seems to contradict the doctrine of perseverance of the saints. How could a believer ever be cast off?

Well, I say ‘seems’ because it does not actually contradict perseverance of the saints. You see, the Scripture does not teach preservation of sinner, but the perseverance of saints. Any one who forsakes the Lord is a sinner! And if he does not repent of his apostasy will prove himself never to have been regenerated and justified.

But anyone who is regenerated and justified will have a new nature that makes them desire more and more after the Lord so that they do not cease to seek the Lord.

Indeed, the fathers of Dort who outlined the five points of Calvinism noted that the Scripture teaches perseverance of the saints rather than preservation of the saints. The difference is actually quite important, for the original wordings, ‘perseverance of the saints,’ underscores the saints will work out their salvation with fear and trembling. They will persevere on in seeking the LORD.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, youths and children in the Lord, seek the Lord. The promise of the Lord is a double-edged sword.

Do not harbour the idea that it is OK just being a nominal Christian—as if seeking the Lord is an optional add-on to the Christian life. No, no; if you are not sure whether you are converted, you must seek to enter into the kingdom. If you are sure that you are converted, you must still seek the Lord or in other words to seek his kingdom and righteousness.

Those who refuse to seek the Lord will prove themselves to be still in the bonds of iniquity heading to destruction. These will be cast off by the Lord.

“If thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever” (1 Cor 28:9).

Are you seeking the Lord, brothers and sisters, youths and children in the Lord? Seek him with all your heart and all your soul. “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near” (Isa 55:6).

Do not excuse yourself from seeking by saying that you are possibly not converted, and therefore it will be useless to seek. Remember that it is responsibility of all to seek. Experience teaches us that if an elect is unconverted, the Spirit of Christ will generally convert him only while he is seeking—no matter how imperfect his seeking may be.

Therefore, seek the Lord. Keep His commandments in His fear and love. Seek Him by reading the Bible regularly with a genuine desire to learn of the Lord. Seek Him by prayer: confessing your sin, asking the Lord’s forgiveness and asking Him to make you His child. Seek him by coming to worship and to fellowship with God’s people regularly. If you would find the Lord, set not your priorities in the wealth, health and riches in this world. Set your priorities, rather, on God and His kingdom. Seek the Lord and He will be found of you.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mt 6:33). Amen.  Ω