Seek The Lord

Bible Book: 1 Chronicles  16 : 10-11
Subject: God, Presence of; God, Seeking; Desire of the Heart; New Year

Have you ever awakened with the awareness that you had a dream, but you could not remember the details? On November 11, 2015, I awoke with that awareness. After my first cup of coffee I remembered the dream where I was searching my memory about a verse or verses with the following phrase: “Seek the Lord and His __________.” In my dream I could not finish it! I tried countless times. I Google searched the phrase “Seek the Lord and His” and discovered the words are recorded in Psalm 105:4 and 1 Chronicles 16:11, as follows: “Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!” Now this is my watchword!
Dr. David E. Owen writes, “The historical setting of this special psalm is the bringing of the Ark of the Covenant (which is a manifest token of God’s presence) to Jerusalem. The last few verses of 1 Chronicles 15 (verses 25-29) and the first six verses of chapter 16 reveal the events of that great day. In verse 7, David’s heart explodes with his psalm of Thanksgiving.”[1]

“Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!” (1 Chronicles 16:10b-11). Note three things we should seek when we seek the Lord.

I. Seek the Lord and His prudence!

1 Chronicles 16:11a reads, “Seek the Lord . . .” In part, the term “prudence” involves restraint.

Note the prudence of Jesus prophesied. Isaiah 52:13 reads, “Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.” (Emphasis mine)

Note the prudence of Jesus exemplified. Here are two examples of His prudence. Matthew 21:23-27 reads, “Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?’ But Jesus answered and said to them, ‘I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?’ And they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘If we say, “From heaven,” He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.’ So they answered Jesus and said, ‘We do not know.’ And He said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.’” Matthew 22:15-21 reads, “Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, ‘Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?’ But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, ‘Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the tax money.’ So they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, ‘Whose image and inscription is this?’ They said to Him, ‘Caesar’s.’ And He said to them, ‘Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.”

Ephesians 1:7-10 reads, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.” (Emphasis mine) 1 Peter 2:21 reads, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” Our concern as Christians is not to ask, “What would Jesus do?” but to remember what Jesus did! May we walk by His grace in His steps. Jeremiah 10:23 reads, “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” Someone advises, “We should pray before we act and get counsel and strength from God; and we should offer prayer after the act to get the blessing of God upon what we have done. Otherwise we shall labor in vain and we shall fail. We should do this no matter how busy we are. We should do this because we are busy. Remember this: To pray is to live: not to pray is not to live, it is simply to exist.”[2]

2 Chronicles 2:12 reads, “Hiram also said: Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, for He has given King David a wise son, endowed with prudence and understanding, who will build a temple for the LORD and a royal house for himself!” Proverbs 8:12 reads, “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And find out knowledge and discretion.” Proverbs 16:21 reads, “The wise in heart will be called prudent, And sweetness of the lips increases learning.” Proverbs 14:8 reads, “The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, But the folly of fools is deceit.” Proverbs 14:18 reads, “The simple inherit folly, But the prudent are crowned with knowledge.” Proverbs 12:23 reads, “A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.” Proverbs 22:3 reads, “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished.”

Hosea 14:9 reads, “Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right; The righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them.” Isaiah 5:21 reads, “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!” Matthew 11:25 reads, “At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.’” (Emphasis mine)

II. Seek the Lord and His providence!

1 Chronicles 16:11a/b reads, “Seek the Lord and His strength . . .” In part, the term “providence” involves resources. Philippians 4:13 reads, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Deuteronomy 33:25b reads, “As your days, so shall your strength be.” Isaiah 40:28-29 reads, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.”

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 reads, “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Psalm 138:1-3 reads, “I will praise You with my whole heart; Before the gods I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name. In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul.” (Emphasis mine)

Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Acts 17:28a reads, “For in Him we live and move and have our being.”

III. Seek the Lord and His presence!

1 Chronicles 16:11 reads, “Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!” In part, the term “presence” involves relationship.

Do you have a genuine relationship with God? Ephesians 2:8-10 reads, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Romans 10:17 reads, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 reads, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
Do you have a good relationship with God? 1 Corinthians 1:9 reads, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” Dr. W. Graham Scroggie (1877-1958) stated, “I would rather go through the Great Tribulation than endure what I believe some Christians will go through at the Judgment Seat of Christ.”[3] Dr. J. Oswald Sanders (1902-1992), a 20th century New Zealand Christian leader, shares the following in Enjoying Intimacy with God: “Both Scripture and experience teach that it is we, not God, who determine the degree of intimacy with Him that we enjoy. We are at this moment as close to God as we really choose to be. True, there are times when we would like to know a deeper intimacy, but when it comes to the point, we are not prepared to pay the price involved. . . . Everything in our Christian life and service flows from our relationship with God.”[4]

Isaiah 55:6-7 reads, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”

Dr. W. B. (William Burt) Pope (1822-1903) explains, “We must not forget the emphatic manner in which the expression ‘evermore’ is added, both as exhortation and encouragement. The actual assemblies we must delight to visit, and be found in our place continually. Here, as in everything else, we have great advantages over the people of the ancient covenant. They came up only by their representatives three times a year, and on certain other set occasions. During the intervals they could only ‘remember Zion.’ We have constantly recurring opportunities. Every Christian sabbath we are invited to assemble; and on certain evenings in the week we may join the congregation in the services which are held around the invisible altar and ark. There are some special occasions when the members of Christ's discipleship gather around the table of the Lord; if I may so speak, nearer than usual to the ark, and its mercy-seat, and its glorious face. Never be absent then, unless the Lord Himself keep you away. Seek His face and seek His strength continually. But this last word reminds me that there is a sense in which the true Christian is never absent from the house of the Lord, ‘Whose house are we.’ We are not commanded to come up at set times to obtain a glimpse of His face, have our sins forgiven, gain a renewal of strength, and then go away for an interval of absence. We dwell in His house. We live and move and have our being in the mystical temple. The word of the text seems to say, ‘Seek Him here, but seek Him continually,’ in our private devotions, in the midst of our duties, in our family worship, and everywhere. This ‘evermore’ echoes in eternity. It is not necessary that we should determine how far the Hebrews understood the reach and meaning of this Word. Whatever they believed, or hoped, or felt in presentiment, we have the full revelation that our worshipping assemblies are earnests of an everlasting fellowship of more perfect worship in the house above. There is an eternal temple awaiting us where we shall not need to seek the face nor to seek the strength of our God. Both shall have been found in their utmost blessedness, to be lost no more for ever. The countenance of God in Christ shall be the eternal joy of the redeemed. Meanwhile the commandment is to seek His face for ever. Count time and all its opportunities of seeking the Lord as given for one sole purpose, the preparation for that eternal fellowship.”[5]

David writes in Psalm 23:4-6, “Yea, 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” (Emphasis mine) The presence of God was what he sought. David also writes in Psalm 16:11, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Emphasis mine)

When we are disobedient we dread the presence of God. Remember Adam. Genesis 3:6-12 reads, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ So he said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?’ Then the man said, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’” (Emphasis mine)

When we are directionless we desire the presence of God. Remember Moses. Exodus 33:12-15 reads, “Then Moses said to the Lord, ‘See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.’ And He said, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ Then he said to Him, ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.’” (Emphasis mine)

Dr. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., writes, “Fifteen of the thirty-six chapters in the book [of 2 Chronicles] or almost one-half of the material are given over to the reigns and revivals of these five kings, for they honored God during their reigns by leading their people in revival. It is not an extraordinary claim, then, to see the theme of revival as one of the central organizing motifs of 2 Chronicles—it is a programmatic theme for the whole of 2 Chronicles.”[6]

Dr. Kaiser explains, “The centrality of 2 Chronicles 7:14 for the study of revivals in the Bible can be witnessed by the fact that it provides an outline for 2 Chronicles and sets the agenda for the material selected from the lives of five key Davidic kings of Judah. Each of the four conditions for revival is taken up, separately as the single most important term for the reigns and lives of these five Judean monarchs.”[7]

2 Chronicles 7:14 reads, “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.”

Dr. Kaiser demonstrates the relationship of the reign of five kings with four elements of 2 Chronicles 7:14. For example, the reign of Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11-12) corresponds with “humble yourselves”; the reign of Asa (2 Chronicles 14-16) corresponds with “seek my face”; the reign of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17-20) corresponds with “pray”; the reign of Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29-32) corresponds with “turn from your wicked way”; and the reign of Josiah (2 Chronicles 34-35) corresponds with “humble yourselves”.[8]

Remember King Asa. 2 Chronicles 14:2-4 reads, “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God, for he removed the altars of the foreign gods and the high places, and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images. He commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to observe the law and the commandment.” 2 Chronicles 15:10-15 reads, “So they gathered together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. And they offered to the LORD at that time seven hundred bulls and seven thousand sheep from the spoil they had brought. Then they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; and whoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 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.” Sadly, we read in 2 Chronicles 16:12, “And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but the physicians.” Remember Asa did this after a great time of revival!

Hosea 10:12b reads, “For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” (Emphasis mine)

In The 365 Day Devotional Commentary Dr. Lawrence O. Richards states, “Seeking the Lord is the first step in every revival.”[9]


1 Chronicles 22:17-19 reads, “David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying, ‘Is not the LORD your God with you? And has He not given you rest on every side? For He has given the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the LORD and before His people. Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God. Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the holy articles of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the LORD.”

2 Chronicles 11:16-17 reads, “And after the Levites left, those from all the tribes of Israel, such as set their heart to seek the LORD God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the LORD God of their fathers. So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong for three years, because they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.” 2 Chronicles 12:13-14 reads, “Thus Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem and reigned. Now Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king; and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put His name there. His mother's name was Naamah, an Ammonitess. And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the LORD.”

Remember King Jehoshaphat. 2 Chronicles 20:3-4 reads, “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.”

Psalm 34:10 reads, “The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.” Proverbs 28:5 reads, “Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the LORD understand all.” (Emphasis mine)

Psalm 27:4-5, 8 reads, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. . . . When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ My heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.’”

1 Chronicles 16:10b-11 reads, “Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!”


[1]David E. Owen, “Thanking God for His Presence” Sermon Notes (1 Chronicles 16).

[2]Guido Gardens Library, 1 Chronicles 16:11, Unattributed Article #417.pdf Accessed: 11/14/15 .

[3]Carl G. Johnson, Prophecy Made Plain for Times Like These (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1972), 111.

[4]J. Oswald Sanders, Enjoying Intimacy with God (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1980), 13-14.

[5]The Biblical Illustrator, ed. Joseph S. Exell – Psalms, W.B. Pope (Psalm 105:4-6) Database © 2012 WORDsearch Corp.

[6]Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Revive Us Again: Biblical Insights For Encouraging Spiritual Renewal (Nashville, TN: B&H, 1999), 6.

[7]Kaiser, Revive, 5.

[8]Kaiser, Revive, 6.

[9]Lawrence O. Richards, The 365-Day Devotional Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Victor, 1990), 268. Database © 2009 WORDsearch Corp.

Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Don’t Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah and

Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice [Both available on in hardcover, paperback and eBook] & / / (251) 626-6210

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