Monday Reflection – September 16, 2019
Seek God! Seek Good!
Prelude: Today is recognized across the Moravian Church worldwide as Ministers’ Covenant Day. It was on this day in 1741, at a synod in London, that Jesus was recognized as Chief Elder and Head of the Moravian Church. Moravian clergy now observe this significant day by renewing their response to the call of Christ.
Seek good and not evil, that you may live. Amos 5:14
The words of today’s Watchword are found elsewhere in this chapter, so they are almost like a refrain. Almost, because the focus of the other two that precede verse 14 summons the people to seek God. In verse 4 we hear, “This is what the Lord says to the house of Israel: ‘Seek me and live…’” In verse 6 we hear the clarion call from the prophet Amos, “Seek the Lord and live.” I believe the sequence of these instructions is deliberate and critical. God initiates and invites the people to seek him; then the prophet calls the people to seek God. The people are then challenged to seek good and not evil. It is only in responding positively to God’s invitation to seek him that we are able to pursue good and not evil.
But, what does it mean to seek God? Seek here does not mean to search for something that is lost. We have already been invited into a relationship with God; we already know where God is. We do not have to search God out as if he is lost somewhere. Seek means to turn to God in trust and confidence. It does not mean to seek to get something from God, but rather to seek God for who he is. It is a desire to know God, and know him more and more. It is to be diligent, fervent, and persevering in seeking after God.
When we seek after God, we are also seeking good, and when we pursue good, we depart from evil. We cannot seek good without first putting away evil; yet we must wholehearted seek good, or else evil will linger. This invitation and command breaks in like a beam of sunshine in the darkness. The fearful doom already spoken of by Amos is conditional. When a moral change takes place in and among the people, God will dispense his love, compassion and mercy. God’s people should thrust their passions upon God and focus their minds and actions to the practice of true holiness and virtue. Seeking God should be translated into everyday living, where we strive to be like Christ.
We must note that there are awesome benefits to seeking God and doing good. The text says, “…that you may live.” Life is the reward. To live here means to live abundantly or everlastingly. Yes, we may experience material abundance and a great life physically, but there is a far more significant benefit – eternal life. On the other hand, those who don’t seek God are in for a rude awakening. Devastation and perilous times will be experienced when we live outside of God’s will and counsel. It would do us well to seek God, seek good, and denounce evil. Paul offers a word of counsel in today’s New Testament text in Philippians 2:5: Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.