“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;”
Our memory verse for the month of November is Isaiah 55:6-7. After this month, we only have one passage left for 2014 and we will have finished our 2014 New Year’s resolution! Yeah! Okay, let’s begin our first teaching on Isaiah 55.
In Isaiah 55:1-5, God cries out to the Jews, exiled in Babylon, to return to the only One who is able to quench their thirst and provide them with food that will nourish their souls. He then promises that He will graciously make an everlasting covenant with them if they would only return to Him.
Then in verse 6, the prophet says, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.” “While he may be found” and “while he is near”. In other words, there’s coming a time when He will not be near and so He will not be able to be found. Now that’s a sobering thought, eh?
Jesus also shares a parable in Luke 14:16-24 which reveals the same thing. A man prepares a banquet and invites many guests. However, his initial guest list all have excuses for not coming and so he sends out his servants out into all the streets and back alleys of the city to invite anyone and everyone. People start to come and eventually the entire banquet is filled. The parable ends with the man saying, “I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.” In other words, they did not come while they had the chance and so now the opportunity for them has closed.
What are we to do with this truth? Do we know when the opportunity to repent and seek the Lord has closed for us or for someone else? No, of course not. To think we did know or that we could know would be foolish and arrogant. So then why tell us that the invitation is not open forever? Are we to use it to coerce people to make a decision for the Lord? No, that’s not God’s way! God’s way is to give His life for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). His way is to love us and according to 1 John 4:18, there is no fear in love. So why say that there’s a temporary window of opportunity to repent and return to Him? Well, maybe because it’s just true and so He’s telling us before it happens because He loves us so much. Yeah, I think that’s right… and it’s not just because I wrote it. :o)