Isaiah 45:15 Isaiah informs us God is a God who so often “hidest thyself” We have learned that God’s ways are perfect and his ways are not as ours, “For my thought are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” (Isa. 55 : 8)
Truly God’s work is so often hidden from us. They are mysterious ways, yet our faith rises above the mysteries, and our faith calls them God’s good ways.
We know God’s plans for us are hidden from us in the counsels of eternity. We know God’s plan is so often hidden in the variety of his agencies he employs. The results comes as a surprise as well as much happiness when he makes them known to us.
In dealing with people individually and with mankind at large, and as with his people Israel, there are many ways God reveals himself.
First, let us study the revelation of God himself. He is a revealing God. He was known to Israel as the one who revealed himself to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to Moses, Samuel, David and all the holy prophets.
We Know God as the Being who has revealed himself in nature, in human reason and conscience, in providence, and greatest of all in the person of Jesus Christ, St. John declared “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” (St.John 1:14) that is to say that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (IICor.5:19)
We worship Jesus as the God who show us light, (St.John 1;9) He has made it clear to each of us his character, his true nature, his unchanging disposition toward, his sinful people.
He has revealed the condition under which he will reinstate each one of us, the apostle Peter stated, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin, and ye shall receive the gift of the holy Ghost. (Acts 2:48)
Secondly, God has concealed himself “Thou art a God that hidest thyself” We see this truth in the government of mankind. Israel did not comprehend what the lord was doing with her, as a nation she entirely misunderstand her mission.
The Lord concealed the purpose he had in Israel’s training and hid providential treatment. Other nation such as Rome and Egypt was serving a divine purpose, and they knew it not. In the processes of nature the power of God is in the beneficent forces of nature, working out for us the needed changes of the seasons, the bounties and the beauties of the earth, and the wonders of human attainment, yet God’s hand is unseen and his touch unfelt.
Thirdly, God is unseen in his working out of our redemption. How little did the apostles, while they accompanied our Lord and ministered to his needs and witnessed his suffering, imagine that he was laying the foundation of a spiritual and universal empire, truly a kingdom of truth and love.
What a great purpose, what a grand design that had been concealed beneath the humble person and the peaceful ministry of the Son of God. Yet, in all the subsequent outworking of the divine plan, how much has there been of Divine concealment?
Fourthly, let us note God’s conduct toward each men and women. We believe that God is in charge of all of our lives, shaping and moulding us and deciding what shall be the witness that each of our lives shall bear, and the work we shall engage.
What shall be our contribution to the great campaign he is conducting in each of us, yet his hand is so often generally speaking we are unable to detect the plan, the unity and the purpose of our lives, yet it is because we live by faith and not by sight that we are convinced of the presence of his intervening and overruling power. Many are the dark passages in our career, there are times we are prompted to utter loudly, “Verily thou art a God that hidest thy self.”
Fifthly, and lastly, let us note God’s is manifest in his redeeming love and mercy. The last word I wish to use is a word which expresses everything, ” the Saviour” Israel is brought very low, God’s face is surely hidden from his people, he seen to have forgotten them, but he comes in redeeming grace, and “with the saving strength of his right hand” proves himself their refuge and their Saviour.
So much of the time the human race go from bad to worse, and when it seems we are delivered over to total corruption and ruin, “there is born in the city of David a Saviour, Christ our Lord.”
In the time of our darkest experiences, and misfortunes have multiplied, and it appears that total disaster is imminent, yet all our extremity is God’s opportunity, and God shall appear in delivering power “Unto the upright their arise the light in the darkness.” Circumstances of distress are no proof of God’s absences. He may be only hiding his face for a short time.
Let all of us in our integrity appeal for and anticipate a merciful and complete redemption. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (I.Cor.15:51,52