The Kingdom First
The subtlety of sin makes men believe that the promises of God are unreal or are not true, though He has said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33, KJV). God stands ready to make it true, yet man will persist in seeking "these things" first. This may be expected in the sinner, but ought not to be found in the believer. "[Y]our heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these thing" (Matthew 6:32, KJV); and that means that He will supply them.
To make sure of the kingdom is to make sure of all other needed things. Christians must differ from the world in this; while the main search of the "Gentiles" is temporal, the main search of the believers must be the spiritual things of the kingdom, and this will secure the temporal. There is not only a divine philosophy in the command, but a divine reality. Shall we obey Jesus or—be Gentiles?
The army of murmurers is recruited from those who have become "discouraged because of the way" (Numbers 21:4, KJV). A discouraged spirit magnifies trifles and sees only failure all around. They murmur at the things God has sent to bless them, and openly rebel against God and their divinely-appointed leader. They begin by asking foolish questions—which was really condemning their leader—saying, "Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?" (Numbers 21:5, KJV). complaining that there was "no bread" nor "any water" and wanted a change in the bill of fare saying, "[o]ur soul loatheth this light bread" (Numbers 21:5, KJV).
Now if murmurers could see that the result of such conduct was punishment and repentance, they would be a little more careful.
When the fiery serpents came to those fault-finding Israelites they had to come to the altar and repent and make confession and get Moses to pray for them. We are very much afraid that all this class of discouraged murmurers about the preacher, and the quality of the spiritual bread they get, and this and that are not yet all dead. Say, are you one of those who are left? If so, you are dead spiritually. The serpent has bitten you; better repent.
The Seeker Sought
How simple, how sure, how beautiful is the way a lost soul can find salvation. How quickly can a sinner find Jesus when he seeks him with all his heart, for Jesus came “to seek and to save" (Luke 19:10, KJV) him. Like Zacchaeus, when a soul desires "to see Jesus" (Luke 19:3, KJV), it won't be long before the Lord arranges an interview. Every wanderer from God can have an "assurance doubly sure" of being saved, when conscious that God has a two-fold interest in him—that of rescuing him from sin which He hates, and also that of getting him back again into His family. Thank God for a Savior who has sought us, and bought us, and caught us, and taught us, and "wrought us for the selfsame thing" (2 Corinthians 5:5, KJV), even to be cleansed from sin and made joint heirs with Christ to all the glories of His kingdom. Sinner, begin to seek God and you will be found of Him.
R.P., The Nazarene Messenger, September 13, 1906
Used with permission from Nazarene Archives for Coffee Break with Holiness Today.