I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
The Hebrew word used denotes seeking at the dawn or beginning of a day. From the words "I love them that love Me" it might be inferred that man must love God as a preliminary or condition to God's loving man. The truth, however, is, that God's love of man must in every case precede man's love to God, and be its chief producing cause. "We love Him because He first loved us." There is no natural power in men of loving God. No one of us will love God because everything around proves that God loves him. Our love to God is nothing else but the reflection of God's love to us. What produces love to God? You cannot make yourselves love God. It is God alone who can make you love God. When we answer to His love, becoming new creatures through the motions of His Spirit, then, as though He had not loved us before, so endearing is the relationship into which we are brought, that He says "I love them that love Me." If we cannot make our selves love God, we may think over the proofs of His love, we may look at His picture, read over His letters, and so put ourselves in the way of receiving those influences which can alone change the heart. From the words "Those that seek Me early shall find Me" we need not argue that if He has not been sought early it is in vain to seek Him late. What are the motives which should conspire to urge the young to an immediate attention to the things which belong unto their peace?
1. The life of the young is as uncertain as that of the old. Health and strength are no security against the speedy approaches of death. Now is the only moment of which you are sure.
2. They will have much greater difficulty in their seeking who fail to seek early. Many suppose that one time will be as fitting as another, late as early, for seeking the Lord. They think that, if they live, repentance will be as much within their power twenty or thirty years hence as it is now. But this is a supposition for which there is no warrant. An old writer says, "God has, indeed, promised that He will at all times give pardon to the penitent, but I do not find that He has promised that He will, at all times, give penitence to the sinful." By continuing in sin habits are formed which will strengthen into taskmasters, and which, when men grow old, will be well-nigh irresistible. Very small is the likelihood of producing any moral impression on those who have grown old in forgetfulness of God. We know no so unpromising a subject of moral attack as an aged sinner, always supposing him to have heard the gospel in his youth. Then give God the prime of your strength, the flower of your days, the vigour of your intellect, the ardency of your affections.
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.