Isaiah 55:6 (ESV):

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;

What does it mean to seek the LORD? What does it mean to find Him?

2 Answers 2


The senses (Logos Bible Software) of דָּרַשׁ (seek).

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The sense of מָצָא (find).

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The context helps to explain.

  1. Seeking is turning from sin, Finding is God's forgiveness.

  2. Seeking is turning away from our self-made plans, and finding is trusting in God's plans

  Seek the LORD while He can be found, 
  Call to Him while He is near. 
  7Let the wicked give up his ways, 
  The sinful man his plans; 
  Let him turn back to the LORD, 
  And He will pardon him; 
  To our God, 
  For he freely forgives. 
  8For My plans are not your plans, 
  Nor are My ways your ways 
       —declares the LORD. 
  9But as the heavens are high above the earth, 
  So are My ways high above your ways 
  And My plans above your plans. (Isa. 55:6–9, JPS)

  11So is the word that issues from My mouth: 
  It does not come back to Me unfulfilled, 
  But performs what I purpose, 
  Achieves what I sent it to do. (Isa. 55:11, JPS)

  5Trust in the LORD with all your heart, 
  And do not rely on your own understanding. 
  6In all your ways acknowledge Him, 
  And He will make your paths smooth. 
  7Do not be wise in your own eyes; 
  Fear the LORD and shun evil. (Prov. 3:5–7, JPS)
  • Great use of Isaiah 55:7-9, upvoted +1 Jun 6, 2021 at 2:52

God is a spirit, and near to everyone, and he can be found, discovered and experienced by those who seek and call him through their spirit, in "spirit and truth" (John 4:23-24). Seeking him spiritually simply means seeking him earnestly to witness him in one's life. To find God is to have the knowledge (gnosis) of God which means to have a personal acquaintance with him. Humility, repentance, righteousness are generally a prerequisite to find God or receive an answer from him. Those who call or seek him and find him and will have faith and will be saved (Joel 2:32; Rom 10:13).

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary on Isa 55:6:
The condition and limit in the obtaining of the spiritual benefits (Isa 55:1-3): (1) Seek the Lord. (2) Seek Him while He is to be found (Isa 65:1; Ps 32:6; Mt 25:1-13; Joh 7:34; 8:21; 2Co 6:2; Heb 2:3; 3:13, 15).

call—casting yourselves wholly on His mercy (Ro 10:13). Stronger than "seek"; so "near" is more positive than "while He may be found" (Ro 10:8, 9).

near—propitious (Ps 34:18; 145:18).

God is eagerly waiting to be found, as he seeks to save the lost (Luke 15)

Psalms 32:6 Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.

Isaiah 65:1 I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation that was not called by my name.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words Greek: oida

Know, Known, Knowledge, Unknown:

from the same root as eidon, "to see," is a perfect tense with a present meaning, signifying, primarily, "to have seen or perceived;" hence, "to know, to have knowledge of," whether absolutely, as in Divine knowledge, e.g., Mat 6:8, 32; Jhn 6:6, 64; 8:14; 11:42; 13:11; 18:4; 2Cr 11:31; 2Pe 2:9; Rev 2:2, 9, 13, 19; 3:1, 8, 15; or in the case of human "knowledge," to know from observation, e.g, 1Th 1:4, 5; 2:1; 2Th 3:7.

The differences between ginosko (No. 1) and oida demand consideration:

(a) ginosko, frequently suggests inception or progress in "knowledge," while oida suggests fullness of "knowledge," e.g., Jhn 8:55, "ye have not known Him" (ginosko), i.e., begun to "know," "but I know Him" (oida), i.e., "know Him perfectly;" Jhn 13:7, "What I do thou knowest not now," i.e. Peter did not yet perceive (oida) its significance, "but thou shalt understand," i.e., "get to know (ginosko), hereafter;" Jhn 14:7, "If ye had known Me" (ginosko), i.e., "had definitely come to know Me," "ye would have known My Father also" (oida), i.e., "would have had perception of:" "from henceforth ye know Him" (ginosko), i.e., having unconsciously been coming to the Father, as the One who was in Him, they would now consciously be in the constant and progressive experience of "knowing" Him; in Mar 4:13, "Know ye not (oida) this parable? and how shall ye know (ginosko) all the parables?" (RV), i.e., "Do ye not understand this parable? How shall ye come to perceive all... " the intimation being that the first parable is a leading and testing one;

(b) while ginosko frequently implies an active relation between the one who "knows" and the person or thing "known" (see No. 1, above), oida expresses the fact that the object has simply come within the scope of the "knower's" perception; thus in Mat 7:23 "I never knew you" (ginosko) suggests "I have never been in approving connection with you," whereas in Mat 25:12, "I know you not" (oida) suggests "you stand in no relation to Me.

[ESV 1 Corinthians 8:1-3] 1Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. 2If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. 3But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

[ESV Proverbs 2:1-11] 1My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, 2making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; 3yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 4if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, 5then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. 9​Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; 10for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; 11​discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you,

[ESV Philippians 1:9-10] 9And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,

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