“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD…” – God, Jeremiah 29:11-14 (emphasis mine)
This is very familiar to many of us. We love the part about God’s great plans for us filled with hope. Throw in a prosperous future and we are all over it! But do we (I) stop there and dismiss the latter part. MY part.
“You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD.” At a glance in certain translations He uses the same word, but in the original Hebrew, He doesn’t. Seek, He uses two slightly different words. In our seeking, we seek. Sounds like a nursery school rhyme.
The first ‘seek’ (baqash) is to search. We set out to find God, find His presence, call out to Him. This specifically is done through worship or prayer. We step into prayer and call on His name. The 2nd ‘seek’ (darash) is one of searching also, but it is MORE. It is a seeking to ‘find,’ an insistent searching. The verse implies ‘it is not sufficient to merely seek, but to also want the response to that seeking.’* It isn’t a haphazard, doing a quick ‘looksie’ over your shoulder, “Yup, I looked.” Kinda like sending our kids into their room to clean it, they come back out 10 minutes later, stating they cleaned it, when they just kicked the piles under their bed; it wasn’t done thoroughly or wholeheartedly.
I once read, God wants us to seek Him as a man seeks for gold. Gold miners didn’t get the map and just merely stand on the ridge from a distance, declaring “There’s gold in them hills” as they shielded their eyes from the sun. NO, they gathered their tools and with great determination they went to the hills! They dug, they worked with intensity until they FOUND! Until they got results, they sought until they got a response. THAT is how we are to seek, and in our seeking, we seek. THEN , in the very same breath, God said, “I will be found by you.” (Jer. 29:14)
David said, “My heart says of you, “Seek His face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.” He goes on to say in his earnest ‘seeking’ “Do not hide Your face from me, do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my Helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.” (Ps. 27:8-9) THAT was both baqash and darash. He didn’t stop with seeking God out, he stayed, waited for a response.
In a nut shell, God is there, always there, it’s all about how we approach our seeking, He wants us ALL in. God wants it wholeheartedly. Do we deem Him important enough, like that of valuable gold nuggets? Do we move past the distance and with map in hand, we move out and get to digging?
“May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You, may those who love Your salvation always say “Let God be exalted!” – Ps. 70:4
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24