Hiding

1. Orthodox, 2. Roman Catholic we’re all familiar with.  3. “John Morton” (aka Starting point for all the rest of the Archbisops’ etc).

You can’t hide from God:

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. – – GENESIS 3:8

The thought of two humans covered with fig leaves trying to hide from the all-seeing, all-knowing God is laughable. How could they be so silly as to think they could actually hide?  Yet we do the same, acting as though God doesn’t know what we’re doing.  Have the courage to share all you do and think with him.  And don’t try to hide – it can be done.  Honesty will strengthen your relationship with God.

After sinning, Adam and Eve felt guilt and embarrassment over their nakedness. Their guilty feelings made them try to hide from God.  A guilty conscience is a warning signal God placed inside you that goes off when you’ve done wrong.  The worst step you could take it to eliminate the guilty feelings without eliminating the cause.  That would be like using a pain killer but not treating the disease.  Be glad those guilty feelings are there.  They make you aware of your sin so you can ask God’s forgiveness and then correct your wrongdoing.

These verses show God’s desire to have fellowship with us. They also show why we are afraid to have fellowship with him.  Adam and Eve hid from God when they heard him approaching.  God wanted to be with them, but because of their sin they were afraid to show themselves.  Sin had broken their close relationship with God, just as it has broken ours.  But Jesus Christ, God’ Son, opens the way for us to renew our fellowship with him.  God longs to be with us.  He actively offers us his unconditional love.  Our natural response is fear because we feel we can’t live up to his standards.  But understanding that he loves us, regardless of our faults, can help remove that dread.

 

Don’t hide behind your inadequacies:

So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”  –  EXODUS 3:10

Moses made excuses because he felt inadequate for the job God asked him to do. It was natural for him to feel that way.  He was inadequate all by himself.  But God wasn’t asking Moses to work alone.  He offered other resources to help (God himself, Aaron, and the ability to do miracles).  God often calls us to tasks that seem too difficult, but he doesn’t ask us to do them alone.  God offers us his resources, just as he did to Moses.  We should not hide behind our inadequacies, as Moses did, but look beyond ourselves to the great resources available.  Then we can allow God to use our unique contributions.

 

Fear of failure causes us to hide:

So they enquired further of the LORD, “Has the man come here yet?”

And the LORD said, “Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage.” –  1 SAMUEL 10:22

When the Israelites assembled to choose a king, Saul already knew he was the one (10:1). Instead of coming forward, however, he hid among the baggage.  Often we hide from important responsibilities because we are afraid of failure, afraid of what others will think, or perhaps unsure about how to proceed.  Prepare now to step up to your future responsibilities.  Count on God’s provision rather than your feelings of inadequacy.

 

Nothing can be hidden from God:

O righteous God,   who searches minds and hearts,   bring to an end the violence of the wicked   and make the righteous secure. – PSALMS 7:9

God “searches minds and hearts”. Nothing is hidden from God – this can be either terrifying or comforting.  Our thoughts are an open book to him.  Because he knows even our motives, we have no place to hide, no way to pretend we can get away with sin.  But that very knowledge also gives us great comfort.  We don’t have to impress God or put up a false front.  Instead, we can trust God to help us work through out weaknesses in order to serve him as he has planned.  When we truly follow God, he rewards our effort.

(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? – EPHESIANS 4:9

The “lower, earthly regions” may be (1) the earth itself (lowly by comparison to heave), (2) the grave, or (3) Hades (many believe Hades is the resting place of souls between death and resurrection). However we understand it, Christ is Lord of the whole universe, past, present, and future.  Nothing or no-one is hidden from him.  The Lord of all came to earth and faced death to rescue all people.  No-one is beyond his reach.

 

Our light for God:

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.  –  MATTHEW 5:14-16

Can you hide a city that is sitting on top of a hill? Its light at night can be seen for miles.  If we live for Christ, we will glow like lights, showing others what Christ is like.  We hide our light by (1) being quiet when we should speak, (2) going along with the crowd, (3) denying the light, (4) letting sin dim our light, (5) not explaining our light to others, or (6) ignoring the needs of others.  Be a beacon of truth – don’t shut your light off from the rest of the world.

 

©KingsWay NIV 1973.

 

 

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