“But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deut. 4:29) From where? What is this verse speaking about?
The people of Israel were looking across the Jordan to the land God had promised Abraham many generations before. The “Promised Land” was/is both literal and figurative. The people were being warned that, after they had lived there long, if they turn from God to follow idols, they would be scattered from the land God promised.
God knew what was in the heart of man. Even before they entered the Promised Land, God was telling them that they would turn from Him; they would eventually, as certain as they stood at the edge of the Promised Land, turn to idols and wander away from God. Moses said, “if you then become corrupt” and turn to idols…, but God knew they would turn. (Deut. 4:25)
God knew they would turn to idols, which are not just trinkets and statues made from wood, bronze gold and materials. Idols are anything that we place before God – money, fame, acceptance, hobbies, lusts, “sins” and even good things that we treat as more important than God, things that we turn to for comfort before we turn to God – our own desires, our own way of thinking even being right or righteous.
“But from there…” means but from that “place” of corruption in which you follow after things other than God. God knew, even as they were about to enter the Promised Land, that they would wander.
God knows we will wander, so He promises: from there, if we seek God we will find Him if we seek Him with all of our hearts and souls (all of our very selves). But we must seek Him intentionally, continually, earnestly, doggedly, longingly, without ceasing, with our whole selves, consciously, with everything that is in us.
The trigger for me going down this road today is an article on a subject that has been dominating the news and taking a central place in our culture, society and lives in recent years. In the article, How I Was Set Free from Bisexuality, the author makes this simple, but profound, statement:
“[S]ometimes wanting God more than anything else, even my own desire to be right, may be all it takes….”
It may be all it takes to find God and for God to make the changes within us to be able to conform to His will, to begin to know His mind and to be what He wants us to be. It is nothing we can do in ourselves. We are prone to wander, as God well knows!
I am so grateful to You, Lord, for all that You are and are able to do in me that I cannot do in myself, in my own strength or even to be able to will myself to be. Thank you Father for working in me to begin to desire what you desire and to change me from the inside out!
 The verb “will seek” uses the piel stem in this sentence, adding a figurative (metaphorical) layer of meaning. In the Hebrew, piel stems were used to convey spiritual, moral and eternal meaning. Piel verbs suggest having more than one application, as in literal, figurative, moral, psychological and/or spiritual.
 1245/baquah means, properly, seek out with a clear objective with attainment always in view (the operative requirement); request, something sought as a requirement. Baquah always occurs as piel conveying “earnest seeking”; i.e. done thoroughly to lay hold of what is intentionally sought; seeking that is not easily put off or dissuaded and keeps the objective in focus.
 The verb tense is conjunctive perfect, emphasizing the verb as central to the sentence, being of central importance to the meaning.
 4672/maa or matsa means to attain by intentional seeking, implying prior investigation; i.e. finding after very deliberate effort; to have success in finding something (especially in the course of pursuit) which is often unexpectedly to happen upon; to discover along the way (to meet upon, encounter – often serendipitously, as a result of divine providence).
 1875/darash means seek to explain, expound (elaborate on); personally seek, especially where something leads (what it includes and implies); to pursue facts wherever they lead, using an inquiring mind; study, exposition.
 The imperfect tense is used, conveying a sense of ongoing, repeated action.
 5315/nephesh, meaning soul, personal identity of the individual, unique personhood – the description of a person’s spirit shaped by their choices. A soul is not a thing, but who we are. C.S. Lewis, “We do not have a soul; we are a soul.” Nepesh means the whole self.
I use The Discovery Bible to gain a deeper, richer and more complete understanding of the Scripture. If you want ready understanding of the original Greek, the original word emphasis and Greek tenses that do not exist in English, to make your reading of the New Testament deeper and richer, check out The Discovery Bible. The Discovery Bible opens up knowledge of the original New Testament text in Greek to you in your everyday Bible reading. It shows the words emphasized in the Greek text, the tenses and the meanings that do not always translate well into English or English sentence structure. If you are ready to dig deeper in your Bible reading, try a free 30-day trial download of The Discovery Bible.