Seek Ye First…..

I’m from Newfoundland. The provincial motto is actually from the Bible (hardly surprising for a province with a capital called “St John’s”). It’s found in Matthew 6:33, which reads in whole “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (ESV).

In the context, Jesus is talking about all the necessities of life and how Christians don’t need to worry about them as long as they seek the kingdom of God. This would be nuts if taken to an extreme independent of the rest of the Bible. After all, it would mean that Christians should give up on all things temporal and just sit about waiting for Jesus to return to Earth, and that God has promised us riches if we would but do that. The righteousness of God, and the kingdom of God are not so impractical as that.

We see this in 2 Thessalonians, where it seems that some of Jesus’ followers had gone all cultish and were sitting on rooftops in white robes waiting for the rapture (and we wonder where the
modern “Left Behind” crowd get it…), in Chapter 3 v.9, the writer points out that a person who fails to work should also not eat. So we see that a righteous person is not to avoid work for their own food, but rather seek God and his righteousness IN their work. (see also 1 Cor. 10:31).

Matthew 6:33 is also not a promise for prosperity if we would just be righteous. As we see in the book of Job, God can give righteous people (and it says Job was righteous) a series of bad luck occurances simply for the glory of God. Rather, I think God will keep Christians in all that they need for survival, and moreover will keep Christians in Him until the last day (the survival that counts, surviving the wrath of God)

Author: Stephen Dawe

Steve is a part-time vocational elder Calvary Baptist Church, St. John's as well as a full-time student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, in the Religious Studies Department.