“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chr 7:14
The second part of our three- part roadmap to national restoration, is praying and seeking His face. The prayer, it turns out, is a specific type of intercessory prayer which seeks mercy to avert or reverse judgment.
“Seek” is Strong’s H1245, baqash, bet + quph + shin, a primitive root. In the ancient Hebrew pictographs, the bet is the house, home, family; the quph, the sun on the horizon, also to condense or concentrate (as light leaves the earth and is concentrated in the sun when it is on the horizon); and the shin, or the two front teeth, so also to press, eat, sharp, two, again.
The story the ancient Hebrew pictographs are telling, is of the home representing the core or root of the life, a turning inward rather than outward; with concentration we press in to our core (or goal), rather than entertain outward distractions.
In fact, this same verb “seek” is used throughout the Hebrew Bible to mean, seeking someone’s life to take it, of lovers seeking each other out (Pro 7:15, Song of Sol), or of seeking for wisdom with the same intensity and dedication as men seek for silver and gold (Pro 2:1-5). That is the high motivation and intensity that baqash conveys.
God’s people were strongly urged to love Him with all their hearts, minds, and strength, and therefore because of that love, to keep His word before them continually, to obey Him, and to worship and serve Him only (Deu 6:1-9). Although the word “seek” is not in this passage, the theme of intensely pressing in to YHVH as the goal of life, is present.
However it is fallen human nature, that once we have found Him, and have experienced great blessing and prosperity because of Him, to let our fervency cool since all is well. God’s people were warned about forgetting their fervency or forsaking Him (Deu 6:10-12). When we forsake Him, He hides His face from us.
“Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ And I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods.” Deu 31:17-18
God does not hide His face from us to punish us. The natural consequences of our sins are punishment enough. But one day we wake up, being bone tired of evils and troubles, and desperation drives us to seek His face again, to renew and rekindle our fervency and passion for Him. To search, seek, and find Him who we once knew, but have since forgotten in our prosperity. Some might say, I have not forgotten God. The evils and troubles around us testify that God’s people have forgotten Him. These passages are not directed to the unbeliever or the unrighteous. The testimony of the evils and troubles invite us to investigate further, so that we might discover how we have forsaken Him (Isa 59:1-2, Isa 64:7, Hos 5:15, Mic 3:4).
However, when we do investigate, and repent, and intensely press in to Him again:
Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law; but when in their trouble they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity. But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!” 2 Chr 15:1-7
Then they took an oath before the Lord with a loud voice, with shouting and trumpets and rams’ horns. And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul; and He was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around. 2 Chr 15:14-15
Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” Ezr 8:21-22
“This is Jacob: the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face.” Psa 24:6
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jer 29:11-13
“Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.” Zep 2:3
“I have not spoken in secret, In a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in vain’; I, the Lord, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.” Isa 45:19
2 chr 7:14, seeking His face part two 2012 nov 14
2 chr 7:14, turning from wicked ways 2012 nov 15
2 chr 7:14, turning from wicked ways part two 2012 nov 16
learning righteousness and wickedness from the ten commandments 2012 nov 19
ten commandments topic study