One of the mysterious themes of the Bible is that God hides himself from some and reveals himself to others.
On one level we might say that God hides from those who don’t want to find him (or who don’t want to wait for him), and who would instead rather look for other gods they can manipulate and control (Deut 31:17-18).
In that respect, God seems to give us what we are looking for and so we hear him say, “You will call upon me and go and pray to me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart (Jer 29:12-13).
As we go down that path we also hear David saying that God rewards those who have a heart for him. He says of God, “To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd” (2Sam 22:25-28).
Yet there is also another story behind those passages. Very often the Scriptures make it clear that God is making the first move and that we look for him only because he comes looking for us, knocking at the door of our hearts (Rev 2:20), by his Spirit giving us an awareness of our need for him (Jer 29:10); (Zech 12:10); (John 16:7-8); (2 Tim 2:25).
So what are we left to conclude? That God reveals himself to those who deserve to see him? Or that, if we want to see what God is really like, we are already experiencing that there is nothing good around us… or in us—that does not find its source in a God who loves us… in an infinite number of ways… and that any desire to know and pursue him needs to be embraced as a gift… rather than as something we are owed…