The Advantage of Seeking the Lord
William Nicholson, 1862
"The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing!" Psalm 34:10
This Psalm might be properly styled, The godly man's song of triumph. It is full of gracious truths calculated to cheer and stimulate to fortitude all who mourn in Zion. None of Christ's people are destitute of the Divine care. However feeble, unworthy, etc., they may be, God cares for them, and they shall not lack any good thing.
I. The Character Here Specified:"Those who seek the Lord."
1. They have been given to see and feel the necessity of seeking the Lord. The sinner is "lost "and he has lost God. God has hidden his face, in anger, from the sinner. Those who seek the Lord are sensible of this; like the publican like the prodigal, Luke 15.
2. They have sought the Lord in the appointed way. "Repent and believe the Gospel." They have truly repented of sin. They have come to God through the great Mediator. They have earnestly prayed for the bestowal of mercy to pardon and justify; and their faith resting on Christ, their petitions have been answered.
Many seek the Lord — yet not in the appointed way; but in a way of self-righteousness, and dependence upon their own doings; but such shall never find him. Jesus is the only way. The real penitent disowns every competitor with Christ.
3. Seeking the Lord is a constant duty. It is the business of the whole life. For to seek God is to solicit his direction, to petition his favors, and to depend upon him as our help and portion. To seek the Lord is to secure for life and for eternity the Divine favor. Hence it is preferred to every other object, "Whom have I in Heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!" Psalm 73:25-26
Hence the believer loves to seek him . . .
in the Scriptures,
in the closet in social prayer,
in public worship,
in Christian fellowship,
in the ordinances of the Gospel.
4. They seek him with earnestness and diligence. The whole heart is engaged. The good which they covet being infinite — they are not slothful. "I seek you with all my heart!" Psalm 119:10. "You will seek me and find me — when you seek me with all your heart!" Jeremiah 29:13
5. They seek him depending upon Divine Influence. Romans 8:26.
II. The Advantage of Seeking the Lord."They shall not lack any good thing."
The Lord has promised many good things to his people; indeed the Scriptures are full of them; and all such gracious arrangement indicates the wonderful grace of God in providing so abundantly for us. Hence the Psalmist says, "How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you!" Psalm 31:19. "The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly!" Psalm 84:11. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you!" Matthew 6:33
What may appear "good" to us according to our judgment — might not be so to the Divine mind. We desire things which are agreeable to flesh and blood, and frequently have no higher motive; we are shortsighted and ignorant. God sees the cause and effect, the end from the beginning, and he alone can best direct and provide for us.
This is the privilege of Christians, that while incapable of judging for themselves, their Father in Heaven is infinitely wise and good to manage for them. If they can bear prosperity without injury — then they shall have it. If abundance should induce them to forget God — then God will reduce them. His infinite mind knows what will conduce to our real welfare, and he will act accordingly.
1. They shall not lack any good thing connected with their salvation or acceptance with God. All the blessings they need are treasured up in Christ, and will be freely bestowed:
pardon in abundance,
all the privileges of adoption,
all the influence of the Spirit.
Do they need mercy — let them go again to the fountain. The Savior ever lives to make intercession for them.
2. They shall not lack any good thing connected with Divine Providence. They are the special objects of Divine care. God . . .
appoints the bounds of their habitations,
supplies all their needs,
guards them from danger and evil, and
preserves them unto the day of salvation.
3. They shall not lack any good thing necessary for their protection and guidance through the wilderness of this world. "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you!" Psalm 32:8. See Psalm 34:8-10, 20.
Are they not surrounded by many dangers, arising from secular engagements, from wicked and designing men, and from the Great Adversary of souls?
Who is sufficient for these things? But God will defend them. Hence Psalm 90:1, 2; Isaiah 54:17.
The power of God's grace;
his presence by his Spirit;
his watchful care —
will uphold his people from all the attacks of their enemies; see verse 16, 21.
4. They shall not lack and good thing to comfort them in darkness and trouble. "The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry!" Psalm 34:15
Are they in spiritual darkness? They shall have the light of God's countenance.
Are they in affliction? "The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles!" Psalm 34:17
Are they full of fear? "I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears!" Psalm 34:4. "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Are they exposed to "troubles" of a personal, domestic, and relative character? "The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles." Psalm 34:17
Do they mourn on account of sin? "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit!" Psalm 34:18
5. They shall not lack any good thing in reference to communion with God. They may go to his throne bodily with the assurance that they shall meet him there to dispense unto them mercy and grace. "This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles." Psalm 34:6. "The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry!" Psalm 34:15. "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need!" Hebrews 4:16
6. They shall not lack any good thing, as it respects support in death. "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me!" Psalm 23:4; Hebrews 2:14, 15.
7. They shall not lack any good thing to secure their safe arrival in Heaven. "You will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!" 2 Peter 1:11. "You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory!" Psalm 73:24
1. Learn to trace all this goodness to its proper source. It is through grace — it has the infinite love of God for its spring. God has given you his choicest gift, even Christ, therefore the inferior ones will not be withheld, "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" Romans 8:32
2. As nothing human can ever become a substitute for the Divine cure — then constantly live in its enjoyment. Avoid sin, that it may not be taken away from you.
3. How great must be the poverty and wretchedness of the sinner — he is destitute of all these good things!