JANUARY 1, 2023
But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
It is interesting and a bit pathetic that, in our human frailty, we often fail to appreciate what is before us. By that I mean, rather than appreciating what we do have, we long for what we think we don't have. Likewise, have you ever met a person who can't seem to enjoy the present because they are too fixated on the past or overly concerned about the future? Far too often, it takes losing what they do have — including their families at times — to shake them from their selfish stupor. Only then do they seem to recognize that they had everything they needed all along.
I will suggest that this is what is hinted at in the verse above. Only when Israel had been exiled from the land of milk and honey and reduced to serving idols of wood and stone would they come to realize that they had exchanged blessings for curses. Nevertheless, God would use this sad state of affairs — in servitude to strangers — to provoke them to “seek the LORD.” Not only would they search for Him, but if they did so wholeheartedly, they would “find” Him. And thus, we are reminded that God is the only One who can take a bad situation and make something good come from it. Moreover, we are reminded of this life-saving principle: if we pursue God, we will not be disappointed. Messiah said:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8).
Whatever our circumstances, even when it is the consequence of our bad choices, God is not so far away that He can't be found. He isn't so far removed that He can't hear us when we call out to Him. The key is to seek His face with everything we have — all our heart, all our soul and all of our strength. He wants us to completely turn our zeal and passion away from our other love interests and focus it all on Him. In short, He wants to see whether we really love Him the way we say that we do. So should we give to Him anything less than our whole heart? To those who may feel as if they are in exile, far away from home, forgotten and lost, remember the words He spoke to errant Israel: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear” (Isaiah 59:1).