4 For thus saith Yahweh unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:

It is very simple, very elementary: but everything in life at last boils down to this, and this alone: 

"Seek God: and live." *

8 Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: Yahweh is his name:

Surely this alone is wisdom! We marvel of the glories and beauties of Creation - on the earth and in the vast heavens. We are invited to the intimate companionship of Him Who made them all. Why, then, is it that our poor crawling animal natures cling so blindly to grubby earthy things? *

18 Woe unto you that desire the day of Yahweh! to what end is it for you? the day of Yahweh is darkness, and not light.

They were so convinced of their acceptability that they desired the Day of the Lord: wicked, selfish, luxurious Israel! Is it possible to be so utterly self-deceived? That is the whole point. It is not just possible: it is very easy, very natural. We have the same picture at Laodicea-

"I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing" (Rev. 3:17).

But the all-discerning Spirit's verdict was: 

"Poor, blind, miserable, naked."

The flesh, the natural mind, is no guide. It is only by rigidly testing ourselves by the commands of God in their full strength and import that we can see ourselves truly. Isaiah says of this same people-

"They seek Me daily . . They take delight in approaching to God. Is this what I have chosen: to bow the head as a bulrush and spread sackcloth under him? . . . Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring the poor into thine houses, and clothe the naked?" (Isa. 58:2-7).

And Christ says the same, in condemning the religious hypocrites of his day. The message has not changed; nor has the flesh.

"I despise your feast days . . . I will not accept your offerings . . . Take away the noise of your songs" (5:21-23).

They were truly a very religious nation. God's Name was ever on their lips. But what good is religion without personal purity and holiness, or piety without full-hearted love and service of neighbour? *

Bro Growcott - Seek the Lord, and Ye Shall Live