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Everybody Is Looking For Something; So What Are You Looking For?
(This is a sermon I preached indicating what people were looking for in every book of the Bible.It took me only 25 minutes to do so).
Have you ever gone into a store and the clerk asked, "May I help you?" and you replied, "Just looking"? Have you ever opened the refrigerator because you knew you wanted something but you just looked? How about looking in your closet trying to find something to wear? All of us have something in common...the male, the female; the young, the old; the rich and the poor. All of us are looking for something.
Throughout the Bible, people are looking for something. And it is my intent today to help you find what you are looking for through the examples of people in the Bible.
The first five books of the Bible are known as the Pentateuch. They are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
The story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50 proves to us that sometimes what we are looking for us can cause us trouble. Joseph looked for his brothers who pit him in a pit, then he was sold into slavery and then he was put in prison. Still, it was part of God’s plan because Joseph ended up in the palace.
In Exodus, God's people were looking for a deliverer to help them move out of slavery in Egypt. The priests in Leviticus were looking for laws to govern the people. Numbers covers most of the wandering in the wilderness where the people were looking for food and water. Deuteronomy gives us a good example of how long it takes when we look for something in disobedience. The children of Israel were looking for Canaan, the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey. Out of two million who left Egypt, only two pf the original people made it into the promised land, Joshua and Caleb. The others died in the wilderness during through journey.
What Was Being Looked Fo
Joseph went looking for his brothers.
God's people looked for a deliverer.
People looked for laws to govern them.
Israelites looked for food and water in desert.
Israelites looked for the Promised Land.
Joshua looks for the walls of Jericho. Upon finding them and following the instructions of God, the walls came tumbling down. Sometimes finding somethings comes with other instructions that are just as important as finding the thing.
In Judges, all twelve of the major judges had their own agenda. What each had in common was that they all looked for something. Gideon looked for a sign. Not only did he receive one, but then he asked for another one. Sometimes getting what we look for is not enough. The more we get, the more we want.
The Book of Ruth lets us know that what we are looking for just might be out of love and respect for someone else. Ruth was picking up leftovers in the barley field to share with her mother-in-law when she found her Boaz. They married and had a son, Obed who had a son named Jesse who had a son named David. And out of that lineage came our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What we are looking for often brings about more than we expected.
I Samuel tells the story of Saul looking for his father’s donkeys. We see that in I Samuel 9:1-4 Saul is being obedient to look for his father’s donkeys. However, it is not about the donkeys. This is God’s way to give Saul a greater assignment. It is a setup. He has to be willing to do the smaller job first before God puts him in the position of king.
Saul could not find the donkeys. It wasn’t God’s plan for him to find them. God had something better in mind. Giving up on finding the donkeys, Saul follows the advice of his servant, and they go looking for Samuel the prophet. God had already prepared Samuel that Saul would come looking for him. Saul finds Samuel and Samuel anoints him the first king of Israel. Saul went looking for donkeys and ended up being the first king of Israel! By the way, Saul never found the donkeys because that never was God’s intent.
II Samuel tells about when King David was bored he looked through the window on the rooftop. What we are looking for sometimes causes us to sin just as David sinned with Bathsheba.
I and II Kings let us know that like the judges, the kings were looking for something. They were looking for things to accumulate: more wealth, more land, more prosperity and more popularity.
I and II Chronicles simply restate the chronicles of the kings. Ezra was looking to rebuild the temple while Nehemiah was looking to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Esther was looking to save the Jewish people from extinction. Job was looking to find answers to his suffering. He discovered that God is sovereign. Sometimes we find what we are looking for through our suffering/hurts/pains/trials and tribulations.
What Was Looked For
Joshua looked for the walls of Jericho
Gideon looked for a sign.
Ruth looked for leftovers in barley field
Saul looked for father's donkeys
David looked at Bathsheba on rooftop
I and II Kings
Kings looked for more wealth, more land.
I and II Chronicles
Kings looked for power and prosperity.
Looked to rebuild the temple
Looking to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem
Looked for way to save her people from extinction.
Looked to find answers about his suffering.
The numerous psalmists who wrote the 150 Psalms found what they were looking for through praise and worship. For the Psalms are really Hymns about Him. The psalms tell us that we should look to the hills from which comes our help. The psalms tell us that we should delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our heart; whatever we are looking for.
Even though Solomon, the richest and wisest man who lived during his day, wrote Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs, he didn’t find what he was looking for. You see he was looking in the wrong place. He didn’t find it in his 700 wives and 300 concubines. What we are looking for cannot be found in people. At the end of Solomon’s life with all the riches and fame and fortune, he contended that Life is meaningless.
What Was Looked For
Psalmists looked for more of God.
Solomon offered ways to live a happy life.
Solomon looked for the meaning of life
Song of Songs
Solomon looked for a relationship with God.
The four major prophets were no different from the previous examples. Isaiah was looking for the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, but Isaiah knew to wait for he said, “They that wait upon the Lord....
Jeremiah was looking for God to stop giving him a word to speak to His people. But God wouldn’t stop and Jeremiah said, “It’s like fire shut up in my bones" as he warned the people about the upcoming destruction of Jerusalem. Jeremiah wanted the people to repent. They didn't repent and ended up in exile, and he wept throughout the Book of Lamentations. Ezekiel was looking to speak to the lifeless people of his day and God showed him how to do it through the Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones. Daniel was looking to read the handwriting on the wall while in Babylon. It was there that he shut up the jaws of the lion while he was in the lion’s den.
Each of the twelve minor prophets looked for something different. Hosea was commanded by God to look for a prostitute wife. Joel told us to look forward to the Day of Pentecost. Amos looked for justice to roll down like a river. Obadiah looked as God destroyed the Edomites. Jonah looked for a ship to run in the opposite direction going to Tariish instead of one going to Nineveh. Micha looked for the birthplace of Jesus. Nahum looked to destroy the peope of Nineveh. Habbakuk looked to God to answer his questions. However, God did not answer them the way Habakkuk expected. Zephaniah looked for messages from God regarding His judgment upon the people. Haggai looked to rebuild the temple. Zechariah looked for ways to relay God’s messages to His people. And he found a way by having night visions.
If you are looking for information about tithing, Malachi tells us to bring all the tithes into the storehouse. And that if we don’t tithe, then we rob God.
Everybody is looking for something. Matthew gives us the record of the three wise men looking for the Baby Jesus. Mark gives us the account of Jesus telling the man to go into the city to find a donkey for him to ride into Jerusalem on. (Not same donkey Saul was looking for).
Luke 15 is the Lost and Found Chapter about the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. In John we find Jesus telling different people how to find what they are looking for: Nicodemus (how to be born again), the woman at the well how to receive living water. And of course, don’t forget that Mary Magdalene went to the garden looking for Jesus. Instead of finding a dead Jesus, she found one who called her by her name.
What Was Lookd For
Wise men went looking for Baby Jesus.
Jesus sent man into city to find donkey for Palm Sunday,
Luke 15 - Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, Prodigal Son
Nicodemus looked for way to be born again.
History of the Church
Early in the Book of Acts, we find Peter and John at the gate Beautiful where the beggar was looking for a handout. Peter and John said, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give you.” Also, in the Book of Acts, Saul (another Saul) was on his way to Damascus to look for Christians to kill. There he had his conversion experience. Sometimes when we are headed toward a sinful situation, God will throw us off our beast and we end up serving him. Saul’s name was changed to Paul and he went on to write 13 books telling us about Jesus Christ.
In the Book of Romans, he gives us the Roman Road Plan of Salvation. (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 10:9-10)
If we are looking for peace in the church, Paul tells us I and II Corinthians not to have factions and arguments in the church. If you are looking for confirmation not to give up in well doing, look in Galatians 6:9 where Paul tells us “Be not weary in well doing for we shall reap in due season if we faint not.
If you are looking to find out how to do spiritual warfare, look no further than Ephesians 6 where you are told to put on the whole armor of God. Paul tells you how to find joy in Philippians, the joy book. “Rejoice and again I say rejoice.” The book of Colossians warns us to look out for false teachers. I and II Thessalonians tell us to look forward to the rapture if we are still alive when Jesus comes.
If you are looking for instructions on how to run a church, look no further than I and II Timothy and Titus. Paul gives these three young pastors good advice. In the one chapter book of Philemon, Paul tells us through the example of a runaway slave that sometimes when we find what we are looking for something, we need to go back and get some things straight for those we left behind.
We now look to the General Epistles for many things. If we are looking for the definition of “faith” we find in Hebrews that faith is the substance. If we are looking for instructions to live the Christian life, look no further than the Book of James. James also told us to be doers of the word. I and II Peter tell us to look out for false teachers because they are in the church as well as out of the church.
We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, and 1 John 1:9 tells us to confess our sins. Are you looking for love in all the wrong places? Go to I, II, and III John for John tells us that God is love. Jude, like James, was a brother of Jesus. Jude tells us to look for those who have been faithful and have stood the test of time because of their faith.
Book of Revelation
As we come to the very last book of the Bible, we see in Revelation that John had been banished to the Isle of Patmos. He was there all by himself. Sometimes God has to get us alone so He can show us what we are looking for.John was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day. He looked up and saw what heaven is like. He was shown a new heaven and a new earth. He saw God sitting on His throne and Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega. John saw streets paved with gold. John saw the 24 elders bowing down and the angels worshipping God. John saw Satan and his demons cast into the lake of fire. John saw what it would be like at the end of the world. Because John saw it, he was able to show us what heaven is like.
Everybody is Looking For Something
Everyone is looking for something. Maybe today you are looking for love, joy, peace, friendship, a better relationship, finances, or a closer walk with God. Everybody is looking for something. It might not be donkeys like Saul, but you are looking for something. You will not find inner peace until you find what you are looing for. There will always be a hole in your soul until you find it. Not alcohol, not drugs, not illicit sex, not in food or drink, not in shopping malls.
Everybody can all find it in the same place...in Jesus Christ. The Jesus loved us so much He died on Calvary’s cross. Yes, He was crucified. He was buried and that third day God raised Him from the dead. Then He ascended into heaven where He knows sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty making intercessions for us.
Look no further than Jesus Christ.
Everybody is looking for something. Find it in Jesus. Glory be to God. Amen!