Wise men still seek him by John Fischer
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” (Proverbs 25:2 NIV)
I normally don’t like bumper stickers, especially with Christian slogans, because they so often seem to trivialize the message, but one exception stands out. It used to show up around Christmastime, though I haven’t seen it for a while. It is the simple but profound assertion: WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM.
I like this because it says at least two things. First, those who seek God are wise. God affirms the dignity of the searcher and the search. The fact that God has set it up this way – has concealed his matters and invited us to search for him – confirms our nobility. It says we have enough smarts to look for him and recognize him when we find him. In fact, the proverb above puts the searcher in the realm of kings. It’s a noble task to seek after God.
Second, those who seek God are given the benefit of the doubt, that if they seek him, they will find him.This is actually a promise in Scripture: “He rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV) This is why those of us who already know him don’t have to jump all over those who are seeking when they get something wrong or don’t put it in exactly the right words. If they are truly seeking, they will find him, and it will be God who opens their eyes anyway. We need to respect the search of those we know who are seeking and not get impatient with them or think of them as stupid for not seeing what we see. When it’s time, they will.
This may mean you might have to bite your tongue a little bit and not say everything you know all the time. Better to listen for those parts of the truth the seeker has already found and affirm them. Jesus didn’t spill all the beans as soon as he started preaching. He let a little bit out at a time. He talked in code (parables). He asked a lot of questions. He protected the search. He didn’t give what was sacred to dogs or throw out pearls to pigs. He always said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” and then he went on to not say everything. He made them hang on his words and come back for more. All of this protects not only the dignity of the search and the searcher, but also the dignity of the truth.
It really should be this way; otherwise, we could just put it all on a bumper sticker.