One of the amazing things about God is that he seeks out and pursues sinful people. Adam and Eve committed high treason against him in the garden, and yet God came pursuing them–wanting to mend the broken relationship. The entire Bible is the story of God seeking man. The very last book of the Bible has Jesus knocking on the heart doors of individual Laodiceans seeking entrance and fellowship. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and sup with him, and he with me.”
A. W. Tozer mentioned that even when we think we are seeking God, it’s really more accurate to say that God is seeking us and what we think is our seeking is really just our response to him. Theologians call this “prevenient grace.”
Recently I found a new instance of “God as pursuer” in the Bible. It’s in the last verse of Psalm 23. When David says “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,” the word “follow” there can also be translated “pursue.” I like that! “Follow” sounds a bit passive, but “pursue” sounds much more active. The very same Hebrew word is used in Exodus 14:8-9 where we are told that the Egyptian army “pursued” after the children of Israel as they escaped from the land of Egypt by way of the Red Sea. Transport that image of Israel being pursued by Pharaoh’s army into the last verse of Psalm 23 and see how goodness and mercy pursue us all the days of our lives! It also conjures up a picture of Francis Thompson’s “Hound of Heaven.”
I’m so thankful that God, in his infinite mercy and grace, has pursued me all the days of my life!