Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you on him while he is near:
Compare "Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." After showing the need for seeking after God, and the duty of seeking, dwell on the appropriate time for the seeking, unfolding and illustrating two points.
I. THE TIME FOR SEEKING IS NOT FIXED BY OUR CONVENIENCE. Yet men constantly act as if it were. They assume that they can find God when they please. But such an idea proves that they neither know themselves nor God.
1. They do not know themselves; for a man is not at all sure of feeling the desire when he thinks he will and arranges to. If a man plays with his deeper emotions, and puts off responding to them until some unknown time, he has no security that the feelings will return. If a man resists good inclinations, he will find that he cannot get them when he would.
2. And they do not know God; for he can never permit man to play with his offers of mercy and willingness to accept. Rejected gifts, neglected gilts, cannot he still pressed on acceptance. It is inconceivable that God can ever wait on man's convenience. We must take advantage of God's time for seekers, for he can never recognize times that seekers are pleased to arrange for themselves.
II. THE TIME FOR SEEKING IS FIXED BY GOD'S INVITATIONS. It must be; for the gift is an absolutely sovereign and free gift, and the Giver must be allowed to find his own time and way. If salvation were a matter of purchase, we might expect it to be dependent on our good will. It is wholly a matter of grace, and so absolutely dependent on God's good will. Our Lord even said, "No man cometh unto me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him." The general invitations of God stand in his Word; the precise and special invitations to individuals, in which we find our golden opportunities of salvation, are, in the text, called times when "God may be found," or when God is propitious towards us; and times when "God is near," or gives an impressive sense of his nearness. Such times may appear to us as
(1) providences, - circumstances that arouse, awaken, humble us; or as
(2) persuasions, - such as come through appeals of ministers, or the atmosphere of revival-times. Anything, everything, that brings to us the sense of God's nearness is an appropriate thing to set us hopefully seeking after salvation, eternal life, and heart-rest in God. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: