We must "carefully seek" God because His presence is often hidden from us. "I will hide my face... because you have turned..." (Deut. 31:17-18). Put another way, the "hiding of God's face" comes from our own hiding from God. Our sins separate us from God and cause His face to be hidden from us (Isa. 59:2). It is never God who turns away from us, but we who turn away from Him...
God created man for loving fellowship, but man broke fellowship with God and turned away. Man's sin led to self-imposed exile and death. When God asked Adam, "Where are you?" he was asking him to "come out of hiding" to confess the truth about his condition (Gen. 3:9). Sin leads to the shame of alienation and ultimately to death.
But God never turned away from His love for man, not even after man had chosen to turn away from Him. God pursued man, even to the point of dying in his place as a sinner (Rom. 5:8). Yes, "God so loved the world" that He paid the price for man's sin and thereby delivered us from our exile. Just as both hands were placed on the head of an sacrificial animal to symbolize the "life for life" identification and exchange of the sinner with the sacrifice, so our sinful identity is exchanged for the righteousness of Messiah sacrificed on our behalf.... By faith we "lean our hands" upon the head of Yeshua, accepting that He is our sacrificial substitute before the Father. We "lean into Him," meaning we trust in the merit of His sacrifice and abandon our sins with Him... At the Cross God turns to us so that we can turn back to Him. It is the place where God cries out, "Here I am, Here I am" (Isa. 65:1).
"Seek ... seek." We seek God because He first sought us. This is always the right order. We "seek the LORD and His strength," which is another way of saying that "salvation is from the LORD" (Psalm 3:8). We do not seek God in the power of our own strength, but by trusting in the power of His might. "Not by works of righteousness," but by the heart's cry and trust... And we "seek His presence" always. Fellowship with God comes when we abide in a trusting relationship with Him. The Hebrew word "tamid" (ΧͺΦΌΦΈΧΦ΄ΧΧ) recalls the perpetual sacrifice made on our behalf. Because of Yeshua's constant intercession, we can boldly draw near to the Throne of Grace to receive help in time of need (Heb. 4:16; 7:25).
A Closing Thought:
Over and over the Scriptures command us to seek God's presence. "Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near" (Isa. 55:6); "Seek the LORD and live" (Amos 5:6); β"You will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13). We are commanded to seek God because God wants to be sought; likewise, God seeks us because we desperately need His love... It is a "reciprocal seeking," a holy reconciliation, that the Spirit bears within us. As we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Let us draw near to Him now.
The idea of seeking "God's face" is an idiom to refer to the Divine Presence and Power, though some of the mystics have said that the metaphor is intended to represent God's attributes of mercy and compassion (ΧΧΧΧ) rather than His attributes of justice (ΧΦ±ΧΧΦ΄ΧΧ). It was the LORD (YHVH) who breathed into man the "breath of life" (Gen. 2:7).
Finally, the Hebrew verb darash may be etymologically related to an earlier root (i.e., darakh:ΧΦΌΦΈΧ¨Φ·ΧΦ°) that means "to walk" or "tread" (the noun form, i.e., derekh:ΧΦΌΦΆΧ¨ΦΆΧΦ°, means "pathway," or "journey"). This would seem to imply that seeking the LORD is expressed through the walk of faith as expressed by our decisions.