|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
55:6-13 Here is a gracious offer of pardon, and peace, and of all happiness. It shall not be in vain to seek God, now his word is calling to us, and his Spirit is striving with us. But there is a day coming when he will not be found. There may come such a time in this life; it is certain that at death and judgment the door will be shut. There must be not only a change of the way, but a change of the mind. We must alter our judgments about persons and things. It is not enough to break off from evil practices, we must strive against evil thoughts. To repent is to return to our Lord, against whom we have rebelled. If we do so, God will multiply to pardon, as we have multiplied to offend. But let none trifle with this plenteous mercy, or use it as an occasion to sin. Men's thoughts concerning sin, Christ, and holiness, concerning this world and the other, vastly differ from God's; but in nothing more than in the matter of pardon. We forgive, and cannot forget; but when God forgives sin, he remembers it no more. The power of his word in the kingdoms of providence and grace, is as certain as in that of nature. Sacred truth produces a spiritual change in the mind of men, which neither rain nor snow can make on the earth. It shall not return to the Lord without producing important effects. If we take a special view of the church, we shall find what great things God has done, and will do for it. The Jews shall come to their own land; this shall represent the blessings promised. Gospel grace will make a great change in men. Delivered from the wrath to come, the converted sinner finds peace in his conscience; and love constrains him to devote himself to the service of his Redeemer. Instead of being profane, contentious, selfish, or sensual, behold him patient, humble, kind, and peaceable. The hope of helping in such a work should urge us to spread the gospel of salvation. And do thou help us, O Spirit of all truth, to have such views of the fulness, freeness, and greatness of the rich mercy in Christ, as may remove from us all narrow views of sovereign grace.
Verse 6. - Seek ye the Lord. Again the strain changes. The people are once more addressed, but in a tone of reproach. Israel must "seek the Lord" without delay, or the opportunity will be past; God will have withdrawn himself from them. He "will not alway be chiding, neither keepeth he his anger for ever" (Psalm 103:9).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Seek ye the Lord while he may be found,.... The Lord is to be sought unto at all times, whenever the people of God meet together, especially on sabbath days, and while the external ministry of the word lasts, and life itself; so the Targum,
"seek the fear of the Lord, while ye are alive.''
Kimchi compares it with Ecclesiastes 9:10. The Jewish writers, as Aben Ezra and others, generally interpret it before the sealing of the decree, or before the decree is gone forth. It may be understood of place, as well as time, and be rendered, "seek the Lord in the place where he may be found" (l); God is to be found, as Aben Ezra observes, in all places, and at all times; under the Old Testament there was a particular place appointed for the worship of God, the tabernacle and temple, where he was to be sought unto, and might be found; under the New Testament, all places are alike, and wherever the church and people of God meet together, there he is to be sought, and there he may be found, even in his house and ordinances:
call ye upon him while he is near; the same thing designed by different words: seeking and calling design not only prayer, but the whole of public worship, and the time and place when and where the Lord is to be found, and is near. Aben Ezra thinks it refers to the Shechinah in the sanctuary. Perhaps it may have some respect to the time of Christ's incarnation, and his being in the land of Judea; and to the destruction of the temple by the Romans, when the Lord could be no more sought unto, and found in that place; or when the Christians were obliged to move from Jerusalem, because of the siege of it; and when the Jews had no more an opportunity of hearing the Gospel there.
(l) So in the Jerusalem Talmud, as quoted by Abendana on the place,
"seek the Lord, where he is found, in the synagogues, and in the schools; call upon him, where he is near, in the synagogues, and in the schools.''
And so another Jewish writer, mentioned by him, interprets the words,
"whilst the Shechinah is found in the sanctuary; before he hides his face, and causes his Shechinah to remove from you.''
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
55:6 Seek - Labour to get the knowledge of God's will, and to obtain his grace and favour. While - In this day of grace, while he offers mercy and reconciliation. Near - Ready and desirous to receive you to mercy.
Isaiah 55:6 Parallel Commentaries
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