Proverbs 11:27

Seek and Ye Shall Find

Introduction:

1. The principle that is found in this passage is similar to a principle found often in the Bible: you reap what you sow.

2. Solomon (as well as New Testament writers observed this principle often—and made many spiritual applications from it.

3. However, this verse puts a slightly difference emphasis on it: “You usually get what you’re looking for…” “Seek and ye shall find…”

27a He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour…

THE TERMS…

1. Diligently Seeking –

a. Diligently seeketh: to seek early or earnestly; look early or diligently for…

b. This is not just a haphazard kind of seeking… but with great diligence.

2. Good –

a. Pleasant; agreeable; pleasant (to the higher nature); good; excellent; valuable in estimation; appropriate, becoming; morally good; kind; benevolent…

b. This term is broad enough to have 1001 applications to all areas of life…

c. It could mean good things, good friends; good fellowship; good attitudes; good policies; good use of the tongue; good days; etc…

3. Procureth –

a. This term means to seek and find… seeks and obtains… seeks and secures…

b. The point is that the one who seeks diligently… seeks in such a way that he obtains… he secures… he finds what he’s looking for!

4. Favour –

a. pleasure, delight, favour, goodwill, acceptance, good will

b. Solomon seems to imply favor from GOD here primarily.

5. Putting the terms together:

a. The one who seeks good diligently, will obtain favor from God.

b. The one who diligently seeks, usually finds what he’s looking for.

c. Diligent seeking is the kind of seeking that produces results…

d. God shows divine, sovereign favor to the one who seeks diligently… and He knows our heart… if we are seeking diligently or not.

VARIOUS APPLICATION OF “DILIGENTLY SEEKING GOOD…”

1. Seeking the good of others…

• Phil. 2:4 – seeking the welfare and benefit of others, not self. This is the mind of Christ. (vs. 5)
• Phil. 2:19-22 – Timothy was such a man. Are you?
• Do we seek good for others, or just for self… for me… my family… my own…?
• I Cor. 10:24 – seeking the welfare (good—not wealth)… of others… in a context of liberty. In other words, always be willing to give up the exercise of your “rights” for another brother… seek HIS good… not your pleasure.

2. Seeking a change for the good of your spiritual life…
• Hopefully, we all want changes in our lives… change for the good.
• Only those who are perfectly Christlike should not seek change.
• Paul was not one of those. He had not yet arrived. Hence, he longed for more transformation into the image of Christ.
• Those who SEEK for such change—will find it… they will find the favor of God.
• Diligently seeking for spiritual growth and transformation could be likened to a hungry and thirsty man diligently seeking to be fed… diligently seeking a drink of cool water
• The whole process of growth and change is based upon the principle of seeking… hungering… thirsting… longing.
• Matt. 5:6 – Those who hunger will be fed!
• No hunger, no feeding. No thirsting, no drink.
• God knows the desire of our heart. If we are not diligently seeking to be fed, He isn’t going to feed us! If we are not hungering because we’ve been fed in the world… God isn’t going to feed us.
• Take that one step beyond: no drinking or feeding means no growth…
• Plants grow this same way. Tiny fibers extend out from their roots seeking water and nutrient… always hungering… and when there is a supply, always finding…
• Sometimes plants dry up because their supply of water or nutrients dries up.
• But our supply is found in the Lord Himself. This source never dries up… BUT—we need to keep on seeking… hungering… thirsting… and we will be fed.

3. Seeking that which is “good” for your spiritual life…
• Some seek what is good for them economically without any regard for that which is good for them spiritually.
• As a result, they are willing to let Raytheon or IBM lead them withersoever they will…rather than being led of the Holy Spirit.
• Lot sought that which was good for his family economically—but found the spiritual climate of Sodom not quite what he had hoped!
• You usually get what you seek diligently for…
• Solomon admonishes us here to seek that which is GOOD—good for us spiritually.
• To seek spiritual things diligently means to put them on the TOP of the list of priorities. (Matt. 6:33).
• If you seek God and spiritual things FIRST… then you will seek them diligently. Other things will fall into place… God will take care of the rest.
• But if we diligently seek after the wrong things… things that are NOT good for us spiritually, God can BLOW upon all of our efforts!
• Haggai 1:7-11 – These folks were not seeking evil things, but they were not seeking that which was GOOD spiritually.
• As a result, all of their hard work, effort, and labor was but in vain. God blew upon it and brought it to naught.
• The implication is that had they been seeking diligently that which was good spiritually… the kingdom of God FIRST… then God would have blessed in other areas too.
• Those who seek good spiritual things in their lives, usually get what they are looking for.
• Jesus said, “Seek and ye shall find.” God isn’t hiding on us. Neither are His blessings beyond our reach.
• BUT—God does want us to seek them diligently…

4. Seeking good at your job…

a. This principle is broad enough to apply to every area of one’s life.

b. Do you seek the GOOD of your company… your employer?

c. Do you DILIGENTLY seek good for your employer?

d. Prov.10:4 – Those who diligently seek good for their employer usually find favor… and that may even pay off financially!

e. Things are not always equal in the workplace.
• There is a lot of dishonesty, hypocrisy, buddy system, cronyism, lying, and misrepresenting… that takes place.
• But apart from all of that… the worker that DILIGENTLY seeks to do a good job… will be noticed eventually…
• He will find favor… eventually… under normal circumstances.
• Remember—these are Proverbs—they do not apply to each and every situation… but are generalities.
• Prov. 12:24 – He may even rise to the position of leadership…
• Prov. 22:29 – he shall stand before kings… praised for his diligently seeking after good.
• Generally, the worker who diligently does GOOD work will find favor.
• He will be noticed… his work will stand out… he will be advanced… will do well.

5. Seeking good at school…

a. The student who diligently seeks good at school will find favor too.

b. This does not mean that the student has to be brilliant… but rather diligently seek to do good… to do his or her best.

c. That is the child who will be noticed by the teacher… and whose diligence and enthusiasm will be praised…

d. The student with average ability… but who applies above average diligence… will do well. He will probably do much better than a student with greater intellectual ability, but who lacks diligence.

e. Thomas Edison has been quoted many times for saying, “Genius is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration.”

6. Seeking good in marriage…

a. The husband who seeks a good relationship with his wife will usually find favor…

b. Even if there have been difficulties in the relationship, the wife who sees her husband is trying… even DILIGENT about doing his part… being a good husband will be pleased. What wife wouldn’t?

c. People don’t usually expect perfection in their spouse… but they DO expect to see their spouse WANT to make it work… diligently seek GOOD for their home life…

d. The Bible says that we are to esteem OTHERS better than ourselves. That certainly applies in marriage. It’s hard not to love someone who is doing that… and working at it DILIGENTLY!

e. What wife wouldn’t want a husband who went the extra mile to put his wife first? To love her as Christ loved the church?

f. What husband wouldn’t love a wife who did the same?

g. It’s a great encouragement to a spouse just to know you’re trying hard to work at it!

h. The spouse that diligently seeks good for the relationship will naturally find favor!

7. Seeking good in the local church…

a. The believer who is continually looking for good in the local church will find it. (Conversely, the one who is continually looking for something to complain about will find that too!)

b. If you diligently seek for something hard enough, you will find it!

c. Be the kind of believer who diligently seeks the GOOD of the congregation…

d. Look for good qualities in other members… and overlook those areas where they need improvement.

e. Look for ways to increase the good in a congregation… if you see a deficiency, rather than murmuring about it—DO something good. Fix it! Support it… help it… nurture it… heal it… seek to make that which is less than good, good…

f. That is the member who will find favor… with men and with God!

g. How do you seek the GOOD of the local church?
• Be a peacemaker… (Cf. second part of verse 27!)
• Be available to work towards improving areas that need help…
• If you hear, “We don’t have a very good youth ministry”—then diligently seek to make it good!
• If you hear, “We don’t have a very good music ministry”—then diligently seek to make it good!
• If you hear, “We don’t have a very good Sunday school ministry”—then diligently seek to make it good!

h. James 1:27 – pure religion and undefiled is to “diligently seek good”… for others in the Body of Christ…
• Diligently seeking good is an activity… active, not passive.
• What a testimony and what a demonstration of the indwelling life of Christ, when all of God’s people are actively and diligently seeking GOOD for others.

27b But he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.

1. The reverse of this principle is true as well.

a. Those who seek good usually find what they are looking for.

b. And those who seek mischief usually find that too!

2. Notice the absence of the word “diligently” with respect to seeking mischief.

a. Actually, it is not a word that is absent, rather it is another term for seek, only a milder term…

b. Seeking after good requires diligence. It is not as easy to find. It can be found, but requires diligent seeking.

c. However, mischief can be found much easier.

d. You don’t have to look quite so hard to find trouble.

3. The main point of the proverb is that people usually find what they’re looking for… whether they are looking for good or for mischief!

4. Ps. 36:4 – states that evil men stay up at night devising mischief! Thinking about ways to create trouble. (Consider those who send out internet viruses… just for the fun of it!)

5. Note also what the two different men (one seeking good and one seeking mischief) RECEIVE in this comparison:

a. The one who seeks good for others, finds FAVOR for himself.

b. The one who seeks mischief for others, finds MISCHIEF for himself.

c. The bottom line: be careful what you seek for others. You might just find it for yourself!