Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jer. 29:12-13)
The Israelites were in deep trouble and desperate need. They were exiles in Babylon because of idolatry and immorality. Yet Yahweh is faithful to his covenant and will not abandon his people forever. After 70 years, he would fulfill his promise to bring them back to their homeland (25:10-11). God plans to give them a good future and hope. In antiquity, the gods were connected to a particular land. It’s remarkable that as exiles they could come and talk their compassionate God (Ezek. 11:16)! They were not to go after false gods or listen to the prophets in Babylon.
God is listening, talk, talk!
God takes the initiative to listen to his people so they can call on his name again (Deut. 4:29). If we sincerely seek God we will find him. They must have the most important conversation that they could ever have with the most important person—a gracious God! Believers feeling separated from and abandoned by God due to sin or adverse circumstances can still come to him. But why and how?
Do you know who’s listening?
A key word in Psalm 139 is “know.” David faces a hostile world, confident that God has “searched” and knows everything about him and his situation. God has perfect knowledge of all David’s ways, even from afar (2-4). He can’t get away from God, even in dark or mysterious places (15). David finds security in such intimacy (23). God knows all his motives, moves, and all events before they happen! In short, we prayerfully recognize that God Almighty is absolutely omniscient and omnipresent.
So, when we approach God, our words must:
- Acknowledge the divine being he is
- Connect with God at a deeper level
- Demonstrate our dependence on him
Let us have a little talk with Jesus!
In Hebrews 4:14-16, Jesus is our sympathetic High Priest who has ascended and is enthroned in God’s presence! He lives to intercede on our behalf to the Father (7:25; 9:24). This encourages believers to hold firm to our faith and approach God’s throne with confidence, so “we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Since Jesus is the sinless Son of God, we can seek his help whenever we are weak, tempted, or fall into sin. Just as David approached God, we are also exhorted to come and cast our cares on Jesus (Psa. 138:1-3)!
So we must approach God’s throne with:
- Humble words – since we’ve received God’s grace and desperately need mercy
- Trusting words – since we can do so only by faith in what Jesus has done for us
- Confident words – since we are invited to come boldly in our time of need
Take them to the Lord in prayer!
Believers are urged as a priority to talk to God on behalf of “all people”—rulers and common folk alike (1 Tim. 2:1-3). Bringing others to God’s throne is both our privilege and duty.
- Grow our faith in God’s power
- Strengthen all our relationships
- Impact our world with the Gospel
Conclusion: What a friend we have in Jesus! Let us draw near to his throne of grace and find help.