February 9, 2015

Seeking until we are found

I ask God about everything, even to help me with parking or answering the phone, but when I told one man, he snorted, “God isn’t concerned about such details, only the big and important things.”

As I read these chapters in Exodus, I remembered his words and how this long list of laws about daily life proves otherwise. God does care about everything. He proves it by clearly outlining His perfections about life, even such things as . . .

“When a man opens a pit, or when a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, the owner of the pit shall make restoration. He shall give money to its owner, and the dead beast shall be his. (Exodus 21:33–34)

“If a man gives to his neighbor a donkey or an ox or a sheep or any beast to keep safe, and it dies or is injured or is driven away, without anyone seeing it, an oath by the Lord shall be between them both to see whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property. The owner shall accept the oath, and he shall not make restitution. But if it is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner. If it is torn by beasts, let him bring it as evidence. He shall not make restitution for what has been torn. (Exodus 22:10–13)

“If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him. (Exodus 22:25)
“If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. (Exodus 23:4)

“And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right. (Exodus 23:8)

“You shall make no covenant with (the people living around you) and their gods. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.” (Exodus 23:32–33)

While the rebellious respond with resistance to such “rules,” those who know the love of God are delighted that He communicates His will to His people, not just in vital areas of concern, but in the daily issues and problems of life. Because of these “rules” I know that I can ask Him about anything, and because He guides me in so many perplexing ‘little’ things, my heart overflows with love for Him.

Of course there are times when I ask about something and He is silent, so I must seek Him and wait for Him. Solomon expresses that sense of seeking and waiting in his love poem: On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not. I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not. (Song of Solomon 3:1–2)

But oh the wonder of finding Him, of knowing exactly what He expects of me. Or does He find us? Jesus approached a woman at a well. She was not seeking Him, but He sought her. After some conversation, she realized that this was the promised Messiah, the Savior. She became very excited.

I sense her joy, but then wonder about something. How can it be that there is a God who reveals his heart to His people, who loves us so much that He sent His Son to save us, yet so few are interested in Him? Why do most people have no desire to seek Him, to search until they find Him? Why should it be that He must first find us as He did with this woman?

In those days, the Samaritans may not have had the same anticipation as the Jews and were not looking for a Savior. However, to her credit this woman did not ignore this One who asked her to give Him a drink. She was so excited that she left her water jar and went into her town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him . . . Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” (John 4:28-30; 39–42)

The woman who was not seeking was found. She told others who may or may not have been seeking, and they were found — meaning they were no longer lost in their sin and unbelief because they met the Ancient of Days, the One who loved them. He was the One who offered His perfections for every detail of their daily lives. He was the One who would satisfy every longing. They heard a lost/found woman, then heard the Savior for themselves — and believed.

Some see God’s laws as burdens that cannot be kept (they are right), but once the Lawgiver on the throne becomes the Law-keeper in our hearts, everything changes. He shows us that whatever “rules” He gave are a revelation of the extent of His love, right down to the last detail of our existence, and bids us to seek Him — until He finds us. 

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