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Seeking God

Seeking God

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Published by glennpease
BY ALEXANDER MACLAREN


'He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.'— Heb. xl. 6.
BY ALEXANDER MACLAREN


'He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.'— Heb. xl. 6.

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Published by: glennpease on May 14, 2014
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SEEKIG GOD BY ALEXADER MACLARE'He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.'— Heb. xl. 6. The writer has been pointing to the patriarch Enoch as the second of these examples of the power of faith in the Old Covenant ; and it occurs to him that there is nothing said in Genesis about Enoch's faith, so he sets V.6] SEEKIG GOD 107 about showing that he must have had faith, because he ' walked with God,' and pleased Ilini, and no man could thus walk with God, and please Him, unless he had come to Him, and no man could come to a God in whom he did not believe, and whom ho did not believe to be waiting to help and bless him, when he did come. So the facts of Enoch's life show that there must have been in him an underlj'ing faith. That is all that I need to say about the context of the words before us. I am not going to speak of the writer s argument, but only of this one aspect of the divine character which is brought out here. ' Ho is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.' I. ow a word about the seeking. 'Seek?' Do we need to seek? ot in the w%ay in which people go in quest of a thing that they have lost and do not know where to find. We do not need to search ; we do not need to seek. The beginning of all our seeking is that God has sought us in Jesus Christ, and so we have done for ever with : ' Oh ! that I knew where I might find Him.' We have done for ever with 'feeling after Him, if haply
 
we might find Him.' That is all past. We have to seek, but let us never forget that we must have been found of Him, before we seek Him. That is to say. He must have revealed Himself to us in the fulness and reality and solid certainty of His existence and char- acter, before there can be kindled in any heart or mind the desire to possess Him. He must have flashed His light upon the eye before the eye beholds ; and He must have stimulated the desire by the revelation of Himself which comes before all desires, ere any of us will stir ourselves up to lay hold upon God. Ours, then, is not to be a doubtful search, but a certain seeking, that goes 108 HEBREWS [ch. xi. straight to the place where it knows that its treasure is, just as a migratory bird will set out from the foggy and ice-bound shores of the north, and go straight through the mists and the night, over continents and oceans, to a place where it never was before, but to which it is led — God only knows how — by some deep instinct, too deep to be an error, and too persistent not to find its resting-place. That is how we are to seek. We are to seek as the flower turns its opening petals to the sunshine, making no mistake as to the quarter of the heaven in which the radiance is lodged. We have to seek, as the rootlet goes straight to the river, knowing where the water is, from which life and sap will come. Thus we have to seek where and what we know. Our quest is no doubtful and miserable hunting about for a possible good, but an earnest desire for a certain and a solid blessing. That is the seeking. Let us put it into two or three plain words. The prime requisite of the Christian's seeking after God is as the writer here says, faith. I need not dwell upon that. 'Must believe that He is' — yes; of course. We do not seek after negations or hypotheses; we seek
 
after a living Being. ' And that He is the Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him ' — yes ; if we were not sure that we should find what we wanted, we should never go to look for it. But, beyond all that, let me put three things as included in, and necessary to, the Christian seeking — desire, effort, prayer. We seek what we desire. But too many of us do not wish God, and would not know what to do with Him if we had Him, and would be very much embarrassed if it were possible for the full blessings which come along with Him, to be entrusted to our slack hands and unloving hearts. Brethren, we call ourselves Christians ; let us V.6] SEEKIG GOD 109 be honest with ourselves, and rigid in the investigation of the thoughts of our own hearts. Is there a wish for God there? Is there an aching void in His absence, or do wo shovel cartloads of eartlily rubbish into our hearts, and thus dull desires that can be satisfied only with Him ? These are not questions to which any one has a right to expect an answer from another; they are not questions that any Christian man can safely shirk answering to himself and to God. The measure of our seeking is actually settled by the measure of our desire. Then effort, of course, follows desire as surely as the shadow comes after the substance, because the only purpose of our desires, in the constitution of our nature, is to supply the driving power for effort. They are the steam in the boiler intended to whirl round the wheels. And so for a man to desire a thing that he can do nothing whatever to bring about, is misery and folly. But for a man to desire, and not to work towards fulfilling his desire, is greater misery and greater stupidity. One cannot believe in the genuine- ness of those devout aspirations that one hears in

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