Thursday, June 23

Heavenly "Hide and Seek"

It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. (Proverbs 25:2)
How easy it would be to skip this verse on the basis that we are not kings. But that would be to make a serious mistake and miss a blessing. On the one hand we are called "kings" in the New Testament:
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Revelation 1:6, and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

On the other hand, though not granted earthly nobility, we are nonetheless to be kingly-like in our deportment. And it is this that opens the meaning of the above verse in Proverbs. Now, if you accept this explanation, then all that's left is to ask, what does it mean for God to get glory by concealing, and for kingly people to gain glory through revealing? 

God's Glory is to Conceal
Secret things belong to God (Deut. 29:29a). And God's thoughts are as far beyond ours as the heavens are above the earth (Is. 55:8-9). So superior is God to man that it caused the apostle Paul to explode, Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (Romans 11:33). Given God's infinite wisdom and knowledge, He's sort of "forced" to conceal from man due to man's incapability of handling it. But there's more than that here. It is God's nature to reveal himself to his creatures (Deut. 29:29b). He put his image in man for this reason. So, how does concealing "things" bring glory to God? 

God does not need to hide things from us as if man were clever enough to discover everything about God and so "getting one up" on him. Oh, no! Quite the opposite. It is that he is too awesome for us to comprehend unless he were to unveil himself in bite-sized portions. He has to, as it were, feed us slowly. George Lawson writes: "His wisdom would not be divine if we could understand him to perfection, nor his sovereignty absolute if he were obliged to do nothing but what his creatures would approve." So, our Almighty Lover of the soul must let out a little truth at a time like just so much rope, only so much as we can handle and thus, appreciate. This goes on myriad times every moment of the day and night as God deals with all of his creatures. I would suggest that this revelation continues throughout all of eternity! Glory to God for only he knows just what we can handle and when to dole out of his immensity.
Man's Glory is to Reveal
God has given man a mind to inquire, to ponder, to meditate. And no higher occupation could be discovered than that of pondering and inquiring of the Almighty! As Paul wrote, "how inscrutable his ways!" (Rom. 11:33). "Inscrutable" comes from the Latin and could be translated literally, "not searchable." Still, we search. It's man's glory to make the attempt, and this in all humility. When he sees God for who he is how can man not be humble? I love the way Job puts it in chapter 26. God, he praises . . . for death and hell are wide open to him; he put the black hole in space (or non-space!); he suspends earth in space, causes clouds to collect rain, draws a line which separates light from darkness, and his voice rebukes the oceans! Well outside the capability of any human to perform, Job casts God's immensity as over against man's palpable weaknesses! Then, as if to cap off such glorious rhetoric, he says, "Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, AND HOW SMALL A WHISPER DO WE HEAR OF HIM!" (v. 14). See the stark contrast? Gargantuan. But we ponder, we seek, we examine, we kingly ones search out these things, and not lesser things. And the more deeply we search them out the more amazed we grow. 

Evermore give us such noble hearts, O Lord!

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