Hiding from God
Hiding from God
We can never hide ourselves from God, though many have tried (e.g. Jonah). In Jer 23.23-24, the Lord declares, “Am I a God who is near and not a God far off? Can a man hide himself in hiding places, so I do not see him? Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” Similarly, in Psa 139.7-12, David says, “Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Thy hand will lead me, and Thy right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,’ Even the darkness is not dark to Thee, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to Thee.”
If only we were as continually aware of God as he is of us! What a difference that might make in our lives! But that is where faith comes in. Faith is trusting that God sees us even if we cannot see him. Job expressed this kind of faith. In the midst of his terrible suffering, it seemed to Job that God was hidden from him. He cried out, “Behold, I go forward but He is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him; When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him; He turns on the right, I cannot see Him” (Job 23.8-9). It seemed to Job as if God was hiding from him. In spite of this, Job could say, “But he knows the way I take” (vs.10).
If the Lord counts all the stars and knows them all by name (Ps 147.4; Isa 40.26), then he certainly knows where you are in your life at any given moment. He is El Roi , “the God Who Sees” (Gen 16.13). He is the Good Shepherd who knows each of his sheep by name (Jn 10.3). He knows us intimately and personally. He knows our struggles. He knows our needs, even before we ask (Mt 6.8,32). He knows our heart (Acts 1.24; Heb 4.12). He knows our frailty, “For He Himself knows our frame [i.e. “what we are made of”]; He is mindful that we are but dust” (Ps 103.14). He knows every detail about us (cf. Ps 139.13-15), even the number of hairs on our head (Mt 10.29-31).
Of course, how this all hits you depends on your relationship with God. Where are you with the Lord? Is your life such that you would rather he didn’t know you so well? Or can you take comfort in knowing that you couldn’t hide from him if you tried?