November 13, 2021

The Hiddenness of God

Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.
Isaiah 45:15
God is both revealed to us and hidden from us. This contradictory aspect of the Divine is frustrating, but if we dwell on it, it begins to make sense. So what does it mean that the God we read about in scripture, the God whom we want—no need—to get to know is hidden from our eyes and from our understanding?

First of all, God is hidden behind what we call second causes. God created the universe and the laws of nature. The phenomena that we take for granted, the things that are a normal part of the world we live in, those are aspects of God. Thus, God is hidden in plain view. God is also hidden behind the goodness and industry of our neighbors. We are fed and clothed by farmers and factory workers and truckers and sailors the world over. But behind all of them is the God who provides for our needs.

Second, God is hidden from us because we're simply not "there" yet. We cannot see the ends of God because we're part of the process. We have hopes and promises for the goodness of the results, therefore we trust in the God we cannot see, even while searching for God in what we can see. 

Finally, God is hidden in grace. We experience amazing grace. But it is amazing precisely because we cannot understand how the almighty Creator of all that is can love us so much, even though we are sinful and ungrateful and so often mean-spirited. 

Thus, even the hiddenness of the Eternal reveals to us a God whom we understand better precisely because God is hidden; and whom we can joyfully discover by looking in places we might not expect to find God.

Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
 Ephesians 3:20-21
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Help me this day to let go of my own preconceptions about you, O God, that I may find you in places where I do not expect.
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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