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All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.
Multiple times in the Bible, it tells us to seek various things. Seek God, His righteousness, peace, His face; all sorts of stuff. Curiosity overcame me and I wanted to know: what does the word seek actually mean? Seeking God is something I long to do, but how can I achieve that? I became determined to study the word seek and get a deeper understanding of its meaning.
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The Word Seek In Hebrew
There’s a bunch of words in Hebrew that are used to describe the word seek. I think the easiest way to lay out this information would be to give the words, then define what they mean. It’ll help us to get an all around feel of what these words mean. All of the definitions are taken from the Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words. Click here to order now!
Baqar– to seek with pleasure or delight. This word can be found in in Psalm 24:7:
“One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
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 inquire of His temple.”
Baqash– to seek, search, or consult. This word has been used to describe seeking something that’s lost or missing, to seek one’s face, or to aim at, devote oneself to, and be concerned about something. The word baqash is used in Jeremiah 29:13, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
How do you react when you find out that your phone is missing? We immediately forsake all other missions and pursue a search. Phones can be pricey to replace and are constantly being used by us. All of our information can be found on it. We can’t deny: they’re super important to us. When our phone is missing, we do not stop searching until we recover it. That’s exactly the kind of fervor God wants us to search for Him with. The Bible tells us to acknowledge God in all of our ways. That’s impossible to do without constantly asking for His input. “Where do you want me God?” “Do you want me to give that away?” “Who should I serve today?” “God, I won’t stop praying until I hear your voice.”
Are there any goals you have in your life right now? Goal setting is extremely important. They motivate you to keep pushing when you would normally quit. Make a goal that you will seek God and find out more about Him. Aim to have an intimate relationship with Him and don’t settle for anything less.
The last part of this definition warms my soul. Everyone can relate to caring for somebody deeply. Our passion runs so deep for them. We care about their well-being and want to know how they are feeling. It makes us happy to offer favors to them. It’s just like the dating stage, but it’s combined with being devoted. To devote to something means give ourselves up entirely to it. When we become married, the father says to the groom, “I give the bride away to you.” From that day forward, it’s no longer about ‘me’, but about ‘us’. The Bible says that we become one flesh. We’re one unit that has to work together and consider one another’s needs and wants. It’s no easy task, but it’s well worth it.
Hence, seeking God by this definition means to have a married, dating relationship with Him. He loves you and adores you very much. Can you remember the last time you spent romantic time with Him by worshiping Him and expressing the amount of trust you have in Him? He is the bridegroom, after all.
Darash– to seek, inquire, consult, ask, or require. You can find an appearance of this word more than 160 times in the Old Testament. Often, it represent avenging an offenses against the LORD or the shedding of blood. For example this is the term used in Ezekiel 33:6,“But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.”
Frequently, it’s used to mean, “inquire of God.” It can mean privately seeking God in prayer, or contacting a prophet who would contact God for them. However, darash can be used to describe inquiring of a spirit that is not God. For instance, King Saul went to ‘inquire of’ the medium.
The prophets used this word when telling others to seek the LORD.
Qirah– an encountering. Found in Exodus 19:17, “And Moses brought the people our of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.”
Shachar– be (up) early at any task; to search for (with painstaking). Isaiah 58:8 states,
“Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.”
My conclusion is that the Hebrew words for ‘seek’ (in reference of seeking God) mean ‘to go after, chase down, search for, ask, or consult.’ If you want want to seek God, make Him a priority and don’t stop chasing after Him even when you feel satisfied.
The Word Seek In Greek
anazeteo- to seek carefully and diligently. Used when searching for a human being, implies difficulty in the effort. Anazeteo is used to describe the kind of search Joseph and Mary endured when they lost Jesus (see Luke 2:43-44).
ekzeteo- 1. to seek the favor of God; Romans 3:11, “There is none who understands; there is none who seek after God.”
2. investigate; 1 Peter 1:10-11, “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.”
3. crave; Hebrews 12:17, “For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.”
4; demand (require). Luke 11:49-51, “Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’ that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah whop perished between the alter and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.”
epizeteo- to seek after or desire. You can find this word in Matthew 6:32, “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”
zeteo- to seek for, to require or demand. Found in Matthew 21:46, “But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.”
These terms for seek in the Greek language are similar to the definitions we found in the Hebrew. I hope this was helpful. Feel free to request any words you want me to break down with you.
“The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.”
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