The Purpose of Life
Psalm 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
There is a purpose in life, a purpose for our lives, that is bigger than what we occupy our time within the routine course of life. How do we know that we are doing what we were created to do? Are we really in God’s will for our life? What were we created to do? What is our purpose in life?
We can do many different things over the course of our lifetime. And what we occupy our time with is usually connected to the things we have natural skills and talents for. And so, we naturally gravitate to this occupation or that occupation, based on what we are good at. One person is inclined to do a certain thing, while someone else is gifted in another area. And, of course, our gifts and talents come from the Lord. He built them into us before we were born. And so, what we do in life should naturally stem from the gifts and talents the Lord placed in us before we were born. But the purpose of life is bigger than that.
None Who Understood
Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Roman church discussed at length a comparison between the righteousness of keeping the law of Moses under the Old Covenant and the righteousness that is by faith in Jesus Christ under the New Covenant. And he made a reference to Psalm 14 in Romans chapter 3.
Psalm 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. Psalm 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
Psalm 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Paul is making the point in his discussion of righteousness that no person was ever justified or made righteous before God by keeping the law of Moses. But there is another point that can be made. It says that God looked down to see if there were any who understood. Understood what? That they should seek the Lord.
“Seek” here is the word darash [daw-rash'], which means to seek with care, to enquire after, to investigate, to follow, to seek out. In other words, the Lord could not find anyone who was enquiring after Him, no one who was seeking Him out, no one who was investigating into understanding Him. And so, God looked down from heaven to see if there were anyone who was seeking God, and He could not find any.
Seek After and Enquire
Psalm 27:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
The word here for “seek after” is the word baqash, meaning to seek to find, to seek to secure, to seek the face, to desire, demand, to enquire, to seek out. What was David seeking after? To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life, to behold the Lord’s beauty, and to enquire, to reflect, to consider, in His temple.
That word for enquire, to enquire in His temple, is the word baqar, the same root as the word for seek, and it means to seek, to enquire, to consider, to reflect, to search, to look for. One of the things David was seeking after was to enquire in God’s temple. He wasn’t talking about the temple made out of stones. He was talking about God’s dwelling place, His sanctuary, His abode, the place where God Himself could be found.
Enquiring in His Temple
1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Can we as believers enquire in God’s temple? Of course, we can. We ARE His temple.
Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Ephesians 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
New Testament believers are in the temple of the Lord because they are themselves the temple of the Lord. Yes, we can certainly enquire in, reflect in, and search things out in His temple.
Seek Ye the Kingdom
Luke 12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
These previous definitions for seek and enquire seem to closely match the meaning of the Greek word Zeteo, which is used in Luke 12:31 which says, But rather seek ye the kingdom of God, and which means to seek a thing, to seek [in order to find out] by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to enquire into.
It becomes apparent from all the definitions previously mentioned that the phrases seek after God, enquire in His temple, and seek the kingdom of God, speak of the same thing, a pursuit that involves enquiring after and gaining knowledge and understanding about God.
God looked down from heaven to see if there were any who did understand and seek God. It looks like God expected that at least a few men would understand that their very purpose of living was to seek God, and that all other things were secondary to that. But He found none who understood, none who did seek Him.
Connecting the Dots
Romans 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
The word for “understandeth” that Paul uses here in Romans is a translation of the word Suniemi, soon-ee'-ay-mee, which means to put (as it were) the perception with the thing perceived, to set or join things together in the mind. We could say that they did not understand, they had not put it together in their minds, they had not connected the dots, so to speak, to understand that their purpose in life was to seek after God.
It said, there is none that seeketh after God. “Seeketh after” is the word Ekzeteo, which we can see is almost the same as Zeteo, which we saw in Luke 12:33, when Jesus said, but rather seek ye the kingdom of God, which means to seek in order to find, to seek a thing, to seek [in order to find out] by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to enquire into.
Feeling After Him
Now, in Acts 17 Paul was in Athens, Greece, and the Bible says that his spirit was stirred up in him because of the idolatry he saw taking place there. So, he preached the gospel, and he caught the attention of some of the Athenians, who invited him to come to Mars Hill and explain what this new doctrine was.
Acts 17:22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
Acts 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
Acts 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, [God has made all men] and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; [and placed them on the earth]
Acts 17:27 That they should [do what?] seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
That they should seek the Lord. It’s the same word, zeteo, meaning to seek [in order to find out] by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to enquire into.
And he said, If haply they might feel after Him and find Him. Some have rendered the word “haply” as perhaps. But if we look it up in the Concordance we find that it means therefore or wherefore. God has made all nations of men on the earth, and has set the boundaries of their habitations, that they should seek the Lord, and THEREFORE find Him, though He is not a great way off from any of us.
What is the conclusion here? What can we take away from these passages of scripture? The conclusion is that the primary purpose of man existing upon the earth is that he should seek after God, and search for Him through thinking, meditating, reasoning, and enquiring into. Why? So that we would therefore find Him, though He be not far from any of us.
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Jesus said for us to seek, and we would find. Seek what? Seek God. And what would happen? We would find Him.
May we be among those who understand that our purpose in life is to seek God, to enquire after Him, to continually gain understanding of Him and His kingdom, and to pursue Him until we find Him. Amen.