THE SEEKERS………Read 1 Chronicles 13

At the second church I served as pastor, the West Side Presbyterian Church in Englewood, New Jersey, I started a Wednesday night Bible Study discussion group called ‘the Seekers’. It was held in my home, called the ‘manse’ in Presbyterian circles, the pastor’s home which was owned by the church. I was at West Side Church for 5 years in the mid-1970’s. It had been a church that suffered due to preaching and teaching that did not honor the Bible as God’s inspired and inerrant Word. In addition, the neighborhood became racially very mixed and interesting, but the existing church membership was reluctant to change and welcome new and different people into the fellowship of the Body of Christ. So, the church was on lean times indeed. But I love a challenge! I’ve learned that about myself over the years. Rather than serve as a curator at the museum or a hospice worker for a dying patient, I wanted to see what the Lord would do in this church on the way down and almost out. Seeking His direction and His will, preaching and teaching His Word. Hence, the Bible study group at home, long before home groups became popular, called the ‘Seekers’. And youth, college age, singles, elderly, mixed-race married couples, African-Americans, people from India and the Caribbean, people from the neighborhood who had lived there all their lives–it was exciting! All seeking to get closer to our Lord. Some with more questions for a growing faith. Some with more maturity than experience in life as a believer. Some wanting to dig deeper into the Bible while others wanted more to be shoulder-to-shoulder with friends and neighbors in a relaxed and relaxing setting, becoming something of a family that was most precious without some of that baggage we find in all our biological families(excepting mine of course!!). Chapter 13 of 1 Chronicles is a great chapter about seeking the Lord, becoming a ‘Seeker’. I always want to be a seeker…after the Lord. How about you? King David wants to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem where it belongs. The Ark was a large wooden box, containing the 10 Commandments given to Moses. The Ark symbolized the presence of God with His chosen people, and would be a center for the worship of the One True God. Both the political and spiritual capital of Israel would be in that Holy City of David, Jerusalem. In verse 2 David doesn’t consult just his people but also the Lord Himself. He seeks the Lord saying, ‘Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul.’ Read that again. How sad. During all Saul’s reign, the Ark of God was ignored, seeking Him was just passe. Out of sight, out of mind. Another translation of verse 3 says this–‘…for we neglected Him during the reign of Saul’. I think that says it all. By not seeking God, we are neglecting Him and cutting ourselves off from His care and love, His wisdom and direction and help. How foolish! But let’s not be too harsh with these Old Testament peoples–I’ve done that also. Many times. Gone my own way. Prayed at the end, not at the very beginning and then crying out to God with real tears when what a mess I’ve made of things. Help! What’s very interesting to me is that this idea of seeking God becomes a major theme throughout the entire book of 1 Chronicles. Listen to chapter 16 and verses 10 and 11–‘Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.’ Then to chapter 22 verse 19–‘Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord you God.’ Those are but a few! I challenge you to search the Scriptures here in 1 Chronicles, to seek the Lord, to not neglect Him; but to come to the One who is just plain ‘out of this world’ in love with you…and me!

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