“I Am Found Of Them That Sought Me Not.”    

Isaiah 65:1

            The Lord God says, “I am sought of them that asked not for me.” Paul tells us that this refers to the calling of his elect among the Gentiles (Rom. 10:20-21). God is here describing our state and condition by nature. - We asked not for him. Before he saved us by his grace, we had absolutely no interest in him. We were without God, without Christ, without hope, and lost in this world (Eph. 2:1-13). We were not in the least concerned for him, his will, or his glory. We saw no beauty in him and thought we had no need of him. But now, the Lord says, “I am sought of them that asked not after me.” What was it that aroused in our souls a desire for him? What caused us to seek him? The answer is obvious to all who know him. We began seeking him because he sought us by his grace. This is clearly the teaching of the Bible. In fact, this is precisely the teaching of this verse. We did not suddenly change our natures and decide, by an act of our free will, to start seeking the Lord. We began to seek him when he began to make himself known to us by the gospel. That is exactly the meaning Paul, by divine inspiration, gives to this verse. In Romans 10:20, he quotes Isaiah’s opening line like this - “I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.” Christ is revealed to chosen sinners by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 1:15-17; 10:17; II Tim. 1:9-10). The Holy Spirit does not reveal Christ to sinners in any other way. God has chosen by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. When the Word of God comes to a sinner in effectual, saving power, it comes as the declaration and revelation of his salvation (Eph. 1:13-14). The believing sinner is enabled to see, by the grace and power of God the Holy Spirit, the accomplishment of redemption, righteousness, justification, peace, pardon, and eternal life in and by the Lord Jesus Christ. Seeing all grace, righteousness, salvation, and eternal life in Christ, we seek him, and seek these things in him. Thus it is written, “I am sought of them that asked not for me.” The lifelong pursuit of every believer is Jesus Christ, our Lord, our God, our Savior (Phil. 3:7-14). “I am found of them that sought me not.” Before Christ was revealed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, we were not seeking him (Matt. 6:31-33). We were seeking this world, pursuing the lusts of our flesh (Eph. 2:1-3). But now we seek him. We seek him earnestly and continually, where he has promised to be found, in his Word, in his house, and among his people. “I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.” He is still talking about us, the Gentiles, we who were not his people, who had no promises, covenants, or hopes of grace and salvation, but a people who are now the people of God (Isa. 63: 19; Hos. 2:23; I Pet. 1:10). When the gospel is preached, the Lord Jesus himself says, “Behold me, behold me” (Isa. 45:22; II Cor. 5:20). These words are repeated, or doubled, to show the heartiness, willingness, and sincerity of the gospel call. Christ is willing to be beheld by sinners. He says to you, right now, “Behold me, behold me!”

Don Fortner