Seek Ye My Face
“I sought him, but I found him not.”
Song of Solomon 3:1-2
- Sometimes we have very strong feelings that the Lord has withdrawn His favorable Presence from us.
- We are delighted and spoiled by His Presence, and His absence makes our hearts groan with longing.
- If once we understand the glorious jealousy of our holy God, we will understand His demand for our love.
- Earlier today I taught regarding the importance of being spiritually minded, rather than carnally minded.
- True spiritually minded saints will not be content with anything else or anything less than His full Presence.
- If you have not tasted of the spiritual fruits of His Spirit, then you will not understand this sermon at all.
- The highest use of a life is to seek the face of God and walk with Him as friend with friend (Exodus 33:11).
The Doctrine: The Lord does withdraw His special Presence at times from his saints.
- We find the psalmist describing such a separation (Psalm 13:1; 27:7-9; 30:7; 42:1-11; 43:1-5; 63:1-2,8; 69:3; 77:2-10; 88:1-18; 130:5-6; 143:7).
- We find other examples of such a thing (Job 1:12; 2:6; 29:2-5; II Chron 32:31).
- Peter, like Hezekiah, was forsaken by the Lord, in his temptation (Lu 22:31-32).
- These separations are often the results of our sins, but they are also His glorious ways in teaching us our need of Him and drawing from us greater love (Is 59:1-2).
- We cannot ignore Solomon’s song of songs, which gives our Lord Jesus as Lover.
- Scripture testifies of Jesus (John 5:39), and marriage does also (Eph 5:32); and by these two rules of New Testament light we understand Solomon.
- In this love story, we read of ‘lover’s games’ of withdrawal and pursuit.
- “Draw me, we will run after thee,” begins the mutual lovers’ game (1:4).
- “Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest. Why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of they companions?”(1:7-8).
- “Behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice” (2:9).
- “By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me” (3:1-4).
- “I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love” (5:2-8).
- “O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised. I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother’s house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate. His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not, nor awake my love, until he please” (8:1-4).
The Delight: It is a fact of loving relationships that reunions after separation are sweet.
- Though we may say He has forgotten, we forget His great love (Isaiah 49:13-16).
- Our glorious Prince and Husband is of very short anger, He will return (Ps 30:5).
- Job felt the great pity and tender of mercy of God in the end (James 5:10-11).
- Sweet fellowship with full joy is offered to His saints in the light (I John 1:1-9).
- He encourages us with wonderful words of prophecy of the church (Is 54:10-16).
- And He encouraged Israel with reunion after their unhappy divorce (Jer 3:6-14).
The Duty: Though we feel discouraged by His absence, He waits for us to seek Him.
- He has commanded us to seek His face (Psalm 27:8; 105:4; Isaiah 45:19; 55:6-7), though such a command would not be necessary unless we may be separated.
- When He withdraws Himself, we should respond like the apostles (John 6:66-69).
- If we humble ourselves to draw nigh to Him, He will draw nigh to us (Jas 4:7-10).
- The Lord brings affliction in our lives for sin to cause us to seek Him (Hos 5:15).
- His thoughts toward us are good; if we truly seek Him, we will find (Je 29:11-13).
- His offer of fellowship is neither impossible nor difficult, but we open (Rev 3:20).
- We seek His face by confessing our sins, remembering and meditating upon Him, reading His Word, praying in the Spirit, attending His assemblies with maximum preparation, and begging for His Presence with great passion and desire.
- If He is truly our Eternal Portion in both heaven and earth, then we will seek Him diligently and fervently.
- He is of tender mercy and great love; He will not utterly forsake His own; He will return with great joy.