Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, January 7, 2023
Shabbat Shalom,

Day 26: Morning
Seeking the One Who is Seeking Us
by David Harwood

Yeshua called us to come to Him. He told us He’d receive us. (John 6:37) Not only would He receive us, but He’d teach us and bring us into rest (Matthew 11:28-30). This is an open invitation. We are beckoned.

There is also the paradigm of God seeking us. This is expressed in the parables of the lost sheep and lost coin in Luke 15:4-10. There were lost sheep in the midst of Israel and the Lord said He’d come for them (Matthew 15:24; 10:6). This Scripture sums up the Messiah’s mission:

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10 TLV)

He came to seek.

We’re told to be inappropriately insistent when we pray. Yeshua told a parable of a friend disrupting his neighbors’ sleep asking for three loaves. Apparently, he was pounding on the door. The Teacher finished that parable like this:

To the one who knocks it will be opened. (Luke 11:10b TLV)

Do you need something from God? Ask, seek, knock. Don’t give up. (Amen.)

Consider this: Yeshua knocks, too.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. (Revelation 3:20a TLV)

Yeshua seeks access. He seeks fellowship with us. Might it be that His knocking is similar to the parable He gave: insistent, importunate, disruptive, sleep-disturbing knocking?

God seeks us and God calls us to seek Him, to seek His Heart, to seek His Face. We are to seek Him like He seeks us. As a shepherd searches for a lost sheep, a woman for a lost coin, a neighbor for bread, and as the glorified Son of Man seeks access to our lives.

There are varying intensities of human effort employed in seeking God. In Psalm 42, seeking God is prompted by desire likened to a desperate, dehydrated deer determined to find water.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When will I come and appear before God? (Psalm 42:2-3 TLV)

Yeshua said, “I am thirsty” (John 19:28b TLV). This obviously referred to urgent physical need. However, there is no allegory cop ready to stop me from applying this figuratively: God is thirsty for our fellowship. David’s soul thirsted for God. God thirsts for us. He loves us with all His heart. He commands us to reciprocate. It is a spiritual scandal that we need that command. Yet, this tragically necessary command contains a revelation of how He longs for our love.

He values our love. He wants to be wanted. We are commanded to seek God.

Amos exhorted:

Seek Adonai, and live. (Amos 5:6a TLV)

He wants to be sought.

You said, “Seek My face.” (Psalm 27:8a NAU)

Yet, He said that no man can see Him and live.

But He also said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live.” (Exodus 33:20 TLV)

And look! He promised that if we seek Him, we’ll be rewarded.

If you seek Him, He will be found by you. (1 Chronicles 28:9b)

There are degrees of experiencing God’s face, just as there are degrees of experiencing His holiness. Consider aspects of sacred geography.

There is a holy land.

Then He brought them to His holy territory. (Psalm 78:54a)

In the holy land there’s a holy city.

Clothe yourself in beautiful garments, Jerusalem, the holy city. (Isaiah 52:1b TLV)

In the holy city there’s a holy building.

I will bow down toward Your holy temple. (Psalm 138:2a TLV)

In the holy building there is a holy room.

He made the Holy of Holies.  (2 Chronicles 3:8a TLV)

It’s all holy, but there are gradations of holiness. So also are there degrees of experiencing God’s holiness.

The experience of worshiping in the beauty of holiness was holy.

Worship at His footstool: holy is He. (Psalm 99:5b TLV)

Isaiah’s experience was on another level.

Then I said, “Oy to me! For I am ruined! For my eyes have seen the King, the Adonai-Tzva’ot.” (Isaiah 6:5a, c TLV)

To desire to seek God, to overcome our natural alienation to God’s presence, we need grace. However, responding to that grace requires us to count the cost.

I will invite him to approach me, and he will do so. For no one would dare approach me on his own.(Jeremiah 30:21b NET)

Let’s dare to respond to His invitation. Let’s seek Him. Let’s ask Him to reveal His holiness to us in such a way that we would love Him more. After all, He’s seeking us.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarsson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 07-Jan-2023 14th of Tevet, 5783 Parashat Vayechi
Ge 50:21-26 1 Ki 2:1-12 Rev 7:1-8