Seek God and Rejoice!
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The LORD is great!” — Psalm 70:4
We begin a new year of devotional teachings from Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein with a focus on joy, simcha — the joy found in the grateful acceptance and celebration of each day God has given to us. Join us as we explore Rabbi Eckstein’s teachings on the joy found in connecting with God and with others.
We invite you to dig deeper into the Jewish roots of Christianity with Rabbi Eckstein’s monthly teaching series, Limmud. Check it out here.
For all the books that are included in the Torah, there are countless others not included. Some prophets’ prophecies are included in the Bible, others weren’t. For example, the book of Obadiah is only one chapter long. Do you think that Obadiah only prophesied one chapter in his whole life? No! Yet, that was the only one included. Why? Because for all the wondrous things that were prophesied about over thousands of years, the only words canonized in our Torah are those that are eternally relevant to each and every generation.
With that background, let’s look at this verse from Psalm 70: “But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you.” King David declared that “all” – every single person for all time – who seek God will be rewarded with joy and gladness in Him. Not just some people, not just fully righteous people, but all people. These words are as relevant today as they were when David first penned them thousands of years ago. Imagine that you are standing before David today, and he personally issues this promise to you: “Seek God and you will find joy.” How might that put a spring in your step?
It really is that simple. However, where many people get stuck is in how to seek God. What does it mean to seek God? In 1 Chronicles 22:19 we read, “Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God.” Seeking God means devoting your heart and soul to finding Him in every situation, in every moment, of every day.
Seeking God means walking outside and taking in the nature around you and seeing the Creator. It means looking at sweet children or beautiful animals and seeing God, their Maker. Seeking God also means that when you find yourself in an uncomfortable confrontation at work or at home, we need to see beyond the circumstances and see how God is orchestrating the situation for our very best. What joy to know that even our toughest moments are from God for the good!
Seeking God most definitely includes studying His Word and integrating His messages. It certainly means calling out to God in prayer and supplication. When we set our hearts on seeking God, we can find Him in all we do, and with that mindset, David promises joy.
How might you seek out God today? Keep God first place in your awareness and notice how you are filled with joy and gladness as you recognize that God is everywhere when we seek Him.
Check out Rabbi Eckstein’s study on Abraham, the father of our faiths, Abraham, in his Limmud (“study” in Hebrew) teaching, “Abraham: The Patriarch of Loving-kindness.”
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President
© 2013 International Fellowship of Christians and Jews 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 4300, Chicago, IL 60602