Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.
Being brought up in a Bible-believing Protestant home, I had to memorize verses from the King James Version of the Bible. I’m glad I did. Not only did I learn God’s word by heart, but the words were written in my heart. They’re in there. Down deep.
One of the verse I had to learn was, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.” It is a question of priorities, and it is really very simple: Put God first and everything else falls into its proper place. Put God first and you shall have all things according to their worth.
The converse is therefore also true: Put something else first and you will lose all things, and the surprising thing is that you will eventually also lose the thing that you put first. Here are some examples:
Let’s say you put money as the very first thing in your life. You spend your whole life trying to get money. Making this your greatest value you will eventually lose everything of real value. Good friends will disappear and you will find yourself with similarly vile money grubbers. Goodness will disappear for if you are really seeking only money you will compromise your values at some point along the way.
What was it you were really seeking in the money you were trying to accumulate? It wasn’t about money after all, it was about power or prestige or pleasure. All those things will evaporate. You will be powerful, but those over whom you have power will hate you. You will have prestige, but the only people who will admire you will be those who are as slimy as you are. You will have pleasure but it will be fleeting like a drug. Finally, in the end, even if you are as rich as King Midas you will die naked and alone, as we all do.
The same can be applied to anything that is put first instead of God. The present debate over same-sex “marriage" is another example. Those who seek some distorted kind of marriage as their great good will end up not having marriage at all, for they will have destroyed the very thing they were seeking by seeking it the wrong way and as the wrong priority. Take any longing or lust or ambition and think it through and take it to its end point and you will see that, not only will the thing that is falsely desired be destroyed in the process, but everything else will be poisoned by the false desire as well.
This reminds us of the profound truth that all sin is a misplaced or distorted love. It is not that we have desired something, but that we have desired it in the wrong way.
The Bible verse therefore may be stood on its head with a stunning result: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and everything else will be added to you.” or “Seek ye first anything else and everything will be taken from you.”
Or to stand upside down another gospel precept, “Lose your life to gain it. Gain your life and lose not only your life but everything else.”
There are therefore two ways open to each person:
- Put God first and everything will be yours.
- “Put yourself first and nothing shall be yours.” In other words, “Put yourself first and that’s all you’ll get.”
Yourself. That’s all you’ll get.
Nothing more. Do you really want just yourself when the whole of creation could be yours?