Posts Tagged ‘Isaiah 55:6’

Seek the Lord

October 5, 2018

The Verse of the Day for October 5, 2018 comes from Isaiah 55:6, but to round out the context, we add verses 7-9:

Isaiah 55:6-9 (Revised Standard Version):

“Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. ‎7 Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. ‎8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. ‎9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Previous blog posts on this passage have focused on the distinction between the ways of God and the ways of man. Today, however, we would like to emphasize the opening exhortation from verse 5 to “Seek the Lord.” This expression appears in the Psalms and elsewhere as a reminder of where our focus should be as believers.

To seek is to pursue, to put forth a diligent effort. The Psalmist also encourages us in this way:

Psalm 105:3-4

Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually!

In the Gospels Jesus Christ encourages his followers not only to seek but to ask and to knock as well:

Matthew 7:7-8 (New Living Translation)

[Effective Prayer] “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

This celebrated passage reveals that seeking will be rewarded, as expressed in the lyrics to this song shown as an acrostic poem that spells out the word “ask,” the first three letters of which form the three verbs found in verse 7.

Ask and it shall be given you;
Seek and you shall find.
Knock and it shall be opened unto to you.

Ask, seek and knock.
Ask, seek and knock.

For everyone who asks receives
He who seeks finds
And to him who knocks, it shall be opened.

Ask, seek and knock.
Ask, seek and knock.

Certainly this principle applies when seeking the Lord: that those who seek the Lord will find Him. Hosea speaks of a time when seeking the Lord will be rewarded:

Hosea 10:12

Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain salvation upon you.

Reflecting on the Verse of the Day inspired this response:

Seek the Lord

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;
Isaiah 55:6

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon Him while He is near;
Draw close; abide in the fullness of His presence. Have no fear
Come boldly before Him to find grace to help in time of need,
Trust the surety of His promises, and you will succeed.
Keep your ears near to the lips of God that you might clearly hear.

With more than enough to restore each loss, no matter how severe,
As a good shepherd provides, the Lord, our God, supplies each need.
Seek the Lord while he may be found.

As the Day Star rises and the hope of Christ’s return draws near,
Continue to move ahead as pioneers on a love frontier.
Trust in the Lord and follow His will wherever it may lead
God is always speaking that we might not only hear but heed.
Fight the good fight of faith as you stand to the end: persevere.
Seek the Lord while he may be found.

We conclude with a Christian Worship and Scripture Song from Isaiah 55:6-9:

Seek the Lord: Seek His face

October 5, 2015

Isaiah_55-6The Verse of the Day for October 5, 2015 provides this directive from Isaiah 55:6 (NLT):

Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.

What does “seek the Lord” really mean? In the Old Testament, to seek the Lord means to seek “God’s presence,” which is often expressed as to seek His face.” In Psalm 27:7-9 (NKJV) we find this reference:

 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”

9Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.

As believers we are ever seeking the Lord, as we desire or long to abide in His presence. Once again, the Psalmist makes known that in His presence is fullness of joy, at God’s right hand there are pleasures evermore. Throughout the Scriptures, we are encouraged to “Seek the Lord continually; seek his presence continually.”

With that exhortation to seek the Lord comes the assurance that if we will seek Him, we will find him. Jeremiah 29:11-13 offer this reassurance:

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

1 Chronicles 28:9 reiterates the same message that “If you seek him, he will be found by you.” And when you find that which you are seeking, you will find great reward: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”(Hebrews 11:6–NKJV)

Our quest of seeking the presence of God is ongoing, as the following poem reminds us:

Watching, Waiting, Seeking

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage,

and He shall strengthen your heart;

wait, I say, on the Lord!

Psalm 27:14

We are strengthened by the words of the bard gone blind,

Who said, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

We look into the mirror of God’s word and find

That God has always been faithful and never late.

Once more we release the reigns, and we yield control.

Like Job we wait until at last our change shall come,

Assured that in patience we now anchor our soul.

May we not faint and fall by the wayside as some

But follow in Christ’s steps, as we quickly obey

And bear up under and yield fruit of endurance.

We must walk in God’s love, the more excellent way

And through faith and patience claim our inheritance.

In these perilous times we are yielded and still,

Watching, waiting, seeking to fulfill all God’s will.

In reflecting upon seeking the presence of God, I thought of the lyrics of the Don Moen song “My Soul Follows Hard after Thee”

My thoughts are not your thougnts. . .

October 6, 2014

Isaiah 55--7-8

The Verse of the Day for October 5, 2014 is found in Isaiah 55:6:

 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

To more fully understand what the Lord is saying, let’s take a look at verses 7-9 as well:

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.

This passage describes the mind of God, explaining that His thoughts are far beyond our thoughts. Isaiah 55:8 was also the inspiration for a poetic piece composed five years ago:

We Ask Why

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Isaiah 55:8

 

Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary

to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly

him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

Ecclesiastes 10:1

 

Though God is able to do above all we ask or think,

Our lives may still unfold in ways that we cannot explain,

As dead flies cause the apothecary’s ointment to stink,

So we ask why until the day when all shall be made plain.

Watching and waiting in hope while poised on the very brink

Of disaster, as our pathways seem to lead to defeat;

We seek the favor of God to reverse the curse and turn

The hearts of fathers to sons that our joy may be complete.

As patient farmers wait for the former and latter rain,

We fix our eyes toward Eastern skies, for Christ shall return again,

When angelic reapers shall separate tares from the wheat,

And every knee shall bow before the mighty Judgment Seat.

We write the pages of our history, though not with pen and ink,

As we find that the Lord’s return is much closer than we think.

 

In reflecting on the verses from Isaiah 55, a related message from Jeremiah 29:11 came to mind, further illustrating the thoughts that God has toward us.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

This passage was the inspiration for the recent blog entry: I Know the Plans

Listen to this Christian Worship and Scripture Song based on Isaiah 55:6-9