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Who Does God Hide From?

Photo by: Aftab Uzzaman

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…

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31 Responses to “Who Does God Hide From?”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    John 3: 12, “I have told you of earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things?”

    Sadly too many people reinvent God to suit their view of Him, and reject the truth, just as the Jewish leaders did that rejected Him because He did not fit their idea of God.

    I tend to look at God from the question and concept of what is he not and where is He not since everything exists because God created it, all of creation then mirrors God.

    I feel quite foolish trying to imagine God and the thought I may know, yet He reveals enough of Him to make me both comfortable with Him and fearful of Him at the same time.


  2. bullwinkle says:

    I certainly don’t feel that I ever went looking for God. In fact I chose to run from God for nearly 25 years. When God began to call me I fought against him with all that I had, but he chose to place people and events in my life that confirmed how real He was. Knowing that I will never fully understand God, I appreciate that He was gracious and allowed me to hear and understand who Jesus was/is and why he came to earth, for the salvation of “all”. Romans 10:9-10

  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends!

    Seems to me this is another two-edged sword. ;-)
    The answer is yes and yes! Depravity is all-out in each human heart. But, grace abounds and settles on souls. The hungry seek; those who feel no hunger are salted and made aware. Jesus does stand at the door and knock (Revelation 3:20). Sadly, there are some who do not hunger or thirst for righteousness — nor do they answer the knock at the door.

    No natural soul deserves this super-abundant grace — but it is here to be seen and felt in the goodness of this life. Sometimes the natural gospel does lead hearts and minds to Christ. It is by revelation that we awaken to a holy and loving Savior.

    Another sadness is the soul that claims its salvation, but does not love God. Paul wept for the “many (who) walk with their minds set on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:18-19)

    Just to speak the name of Jesus is to introduce the subject! Maru

  4. lostinthe60s says:

    I have to with the agree that those who accept him when he knocks. This makes me wonder why so my Christians go out of their way to try and convert some one that God has yet to plant the seed in their heart.
    Second he only shows us what we need to know. Also trying to pin God to some stereo type is useless endeavour. My conclude that I have also noticed that the bible just does not make sense if God is not in your life and you really do not want to read the bible. Sad that is.

  5. oneg2dblu says:

    lostinthe60s: God has placed eternity in the heart of all men. God has plced a void in man also. One that cannot be filled by man. According to His Word, we are to spread the Gospel, that is why we try to convert someone, for we do not control the state of their heart but we must control the state of ours, if we believe His Word, we will share it.
    He always does the calling, planting if you prefere, and He does use us in the spreading of His Word, the seed, if we obey his word, he uses us.
    Rejection of the word, is proof of the hardened heart, and Faith comes by hearing, hearing the Word of God!
    How we they hear? Gary

  6. oneg2dblu says:

    How will they hear?

  7. poohpity says:

    I have to say I feel in no way does God reveal Himself to those who deserve the revelation because none us deserve that. I fully believe that has to do with my desire to know about God. When I first accepted Christ when I was young the desire at that time was to be forgiven of my sins, it was not until I went through all that I had to go through until I desired to know Him. When my heart was ready to pursue all that I could learn about Him I felt like a sponge trying to soak up all I could and I still never seem to get enough.

    To me it is sort of like a child parent relationship. What child when they are young wants to find out what happened in their parents life to make them the way they are or why they do what they do, they just really take their care for granted. The child expects things from them. It is not until the child gets older do they want to really get to know their parents and some may never get to that place.

    I think God hides from the haughty or proud but then I consider satan and whether as a created being does he really know God because after all if he goes totally against Him, wouldn’t he have to know Him to know what he is against?

    I believe it is truly a gift to learn about God and I do not feel that we ever fully understand the immensity of all that is God. When we desire to get to know our parents it shows trust by them to expose their selves to the child. I know that it is different from knowing God because He has no vulnerabilities while our earthly parents do. I think it is a gift to get to know anyone especially when they are open, honest and real about themselves. I would liken it to a beautiful present all wrapped up but inside lies what is the most important part.

  8. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart… to me the most amazing question is, “Why did God choose to reveal himself to us, Christians, and yet remain hidden to so many others?
    Perhaps the only answer is, He alone knows the heart and how to soften it, when to soften it, and where to soften it enough, for us to accept Him! He alone breaks down the worldly towers we build for ourselves. Gary

  9. poohpity says:

    Hosea 6:3 says, “Oh that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him, and He will respond to us as surely as the coming of dawn or the rain of early spring.” Then again in Hosea 6:6, “I do not want your sacrifices–I want your love; I do not want your offerings—I want you to know me.”

  10. florida7sun says:

    Mart, I am continually blessed by BTA and all who contribute. Today my thoughts took me to the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and the importance of investing all the treasure God has given to us through His love:

    “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Luke 10:27

    We cannot love without His love.

    “We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

    In responding to His Offer in John 3:16, He opened an account for us and deposited Himself. We have His Word.

    God’s love is a free commodity. We cannot buy it. What He has given to us – and what we have received – He commands us to give away. The more we love; the more of His love is bestowed upon us.

    Like “The Widow’s Offering” (Mark 12:41-44); when we invest all we have out of obedience and our poverty He is faithful. He enriches our account in accordance with our hunger for Him and faith in His Word.

    He does not charge us $5.00 per month, like some banks do in using their transaction cards. Even when we err in some respect, He lovingly desires to forgive us and fill our account to overflowing. – 1 John 1:9.

    He has seen our statement of net worth. We were deeply in debt and never able to repay our obligations. Yet, in seeking Him with an earnest heart, He cleansed our balance sheet. He gave us access to His Father and all the riches of Christ Jesus. In Him we are showered with His Grace and are rich beyond measure.

    He paid our debts, each and every one. As we open His Word with a loving heart and share what we have received, His Spirit takes us deeper and deeper into His storehouse. More and more of Him is revealed to us, and we are blessed accordingly.

  11. gerpie says:

    I wanted to say – first – that I think I may have offended or hurt you, Gary and/or you, Ray. I am extremely sorry if I did – that was not my intention at all.

    Especially with you, Ray – in thinking about it – I realize that you spent time in thinking about your response. I am sorry I was not very considerate of your time.

    And with both of you – I wasn’t thinking about ‘publicly’ offending you in any way – that wasn’t my intention.

    Especially as I am blessed by both of your comments a lot of times – yours this morning, Gary. I was so happy that you do believe that the truth is in the Word! And it made my day – as I was making dinner for my daughter and granddaughter.

    So I am sorry for any and all offense that I have been.


  12. florida7sun says:

    Hi Gerpie:

    God loves you and so do I. No offense is ever taken. BTA is a wonderful resource that enables us to grow in Christ and encourage one another.

    Blessings to you, as well.


  13. poohpity says:

    I was just thinking that God does not hide himself from anyone just look at creation in itself it testifies of God. (Psalms 46:10) Even though God is Holy and we do not deserve to know anything about Him, He made a way through Jesus Christ for us to personally know Him. Just think when we look around at everything in the world and the universe we have an invitation to know the creator of everything. Whether we accept that invitation or continue on our search to put human reasoning into the mix to figure it all out, we still have an open invitation from God Himself.

  14. oneg2dblu says:

    gerpie… we do not take offense with anothers opinion,
    we are all entitled to have the freewill to have any opinion we choose. Everyone here has one and many times we express a response we wish we would have not done so quickly, but at least we are honest in our opinions.
    So, the blog designers do allow us much grace when things can get rather emotional, or human.
    There is a sometimes unspoken love of each other here as we all work through this medium of expression.
    You and your comments are needed and loved, so please
    continue to participate freely. No offence is taken.
    Thank you for your not wanting to hurt anyone,concerns.
    In His Love, Gary

  15. poohpity says:

    Gary, you said, “we do not take offense with anothers opinion”. If that is how you feel then it would be nice to say, “I do not take offense with anothers opinion” because I get offended when someone calls names, talks down to others, demeans another or even says that what someone else says is not relevant or important and those are their opinions. I am sure others get offended also although nothing that Gerpie has said has brought any offense but it would be nice to let others talk for themselves.

  16. gerpie says:

    Thank you Ray and Gary for your comments. You both make me feel welcome here – along with my thoughts. It has been a blessing to me reading Mart’s thoughts and then each person’s thoughts.

    I have thought about this topic of Mart’s – and I would say that both are true – as are all the verses that everyone has mentioned – and all the verses that are in the Bible. However, as Romans 9:16 says: “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” And all the other verses that say that salvation is the gift of God.

    I know that I myself never have ‘deserved’ mercy – yet God has shown me mercy. This God of ours and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ continually amaze me – it is never ending the ALL that they have done for us. To see – and then to see more of what they are and have done – on and on – never ending – it is amazing.

    And though I desire to know more and more – yet is my heart in the right place?? Sometimes I feel it is – yet for the most part – I think and pray (as Jeremiah 31:18 says) “…turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God.”

    Blessings to all of you,

  17. Ted M. Gossard says:

    Interesting how God does seem to hide, or seems hidden from us at times. I think of “the dark night of the soul.” But that God is the center of attention in all of that, I think speaks well to a living faith.

    Of course God is not in the thoughts of those who want to escape him, as the psalmist says.

    Maybe God seems hidden because he wants to reveal something new of himself to us, in and through Jesus.

    Thought provoking post, Mart.

  18. SFDBWV says:

    The question ask is “Who Dose God Hide From?”.

    Often when I think of Christ being sacrificed for others my mind takes me to the concept of human sacrifice. This then takes me to ancient and even remote civilizations that practiced such a religious belief.

    It seems the farther back in history we go the more common our beliefs and customs were.

    Clearly I see this all because I believe what the Book of Genesis tells me. That in the beginning God created everything that exists in 6 days and rested on the 7th. That He placed the seasons in the stars for all to see, that in the beginning man walked with God and was in complete fellowship with him.

    Once sin entered creation Adam had not forgotten all God had shown him nor was the story or seasons of man erased from the stars.

    The genealogy of Adam to Noah tells of the story of man the flood and birth of Christ all in the simple meanings of their names.

    When Noah’s descendants repopulated the earth they carried with them the story of creation, the fall of man and the story of salvation through the sacrifice of an innocent with them all over the globe.

    Of course in the telling and retelling of these stories they were altered to sound better and to appease the listener, the stories got changed.

    However they all had a common origin of truth.

    What God did was create a special people through whom not only would He tell mankind the true story of creation and redemption, but through whom redemption would come.

    Once the redeemer came, then His story was also recorded so hopefully men would not repeat their original mistakes of retelling the tale and get it wrong again.

    I have said all of this because I do not feel that God is hiding from anyone, He has made Himself known through the writings of the OT as well as the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    He is not hiding from people, people are ignoring Him; too often at a very heavy price.


  19. florida7sun says:

    Good morning Mart and Friends:

    It’s a bit cloudy this morning. The sun is beginning to rise above the Alantic Ocean. It will break through the clouds and shine as Jesus does in our hearts.

    “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24

    “I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.” – Psalm 31:7

    Our Lord and Savior is not hiding. He desires to remove the clouds that cloud our view of His Glory.

    Blessing to all, Ray

  20. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… Thanks for your thoughts,but I was not speaking for you. I’m orry you felt offended, but happy you shared your opinion.
    When I was refering to the “no offence taken,” I was saying that we, Ray and I, to two that were addressed by name, took no offence.
    The part where I was explaining that “all have an opinion” is well expressed in your response.
    No offense taken in that either.
    But, as you have said, others may choose to take offense.
    When that offense is expressed here, it is also their opinion, and we “all” have one. That was my collective point. Gary

  21. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    It seems to me that “hiding” from the people is in the spirit of “turning away” – God’s action toward a rebellious and idolatrous nation. God’s wrath is always righteous and comes after a time of sending messengers, showing forth his holy character, and sending the trials that will cause his people to awaken to righteousness and sin no more.

    You cited:

    “Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ And I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods.” (Deuteronomy 31:17-18)

    God is always attentive to the cries of faithful hearts. He preserved Joshua and Caleb in the day he decreed that all that generation of Israel that went into the 40-year desert experience would die, including Moses. God gave the word recorded in Deuteronomy 31 as the leadership of the nation was transferred from Moses to Joshua.

    The love of God cannot be quenched, even when his covenant is violated.


  22. oneg2dblu says:

    To all here collectively… I would say that God does hide himself from many today. We, most of us reading this, believe in the “Trinity,” the Father,Son,and Holy Spirit, as being the fullness of God. That is how we see God all three, eqally being Him.
    So, He hides this Trinity of Himself,from many today.
    Many may see a form of god in nature, or the creation, but many do not. Many see God as the Father of Creation, but do not see Jesus Christ as the Son of God. That part is hidden from them.
    The scriptures say, that God has blinded them, or hidden part of Himselif you will.
    Just as Christ is hiiden in part in the Old Testament, He also reveals himself fully as Jesus Christ in the New Testament, but many can not see it, as He has hidden it from there spiritual eyes as well.
    I believe that those who possess the gift of understanding, and this fullness of the Trinity, can see God in all things, and on all levels. That is the Awakening of the Spirit, which many are blinded to today. IMHO, Gary

  23. remarutho says:

    Hello Mart and Friends!

    Let me not generalize about any dear soul who may come to BTA to take in what folks are saying about matters of Christian faith. The current topic is “Who Does God Hide From?”

    At his coming, Christ will be seen and perceived by all creation. Paul wrote of him:

    “He is the image of the invisible God the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
    And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven…” (Colossians 1:15-23)

    This message is not obscured by my ignorance nor my willful need to wrestle my fellow believer to the floor for the sake of argument. I send up prayers and praises this morning that “in him (the second Person of the Trinity) all things hold together!”

    In Him,

  24. gerpie says:

    Can I add a thought to this subject of being offended? To me – I don’t think it is a ‘bad’ thing to be offended – we simply are offended or we aren’t – by something someone says or does. (I’m not saying we aren’t needlessly offended at times). And I think it to be a good thing to mention it – especially if we are exceedingly offended and can’t get it out of our system. —

    An example of an offense for me – is when someone hears a vile statement about our God and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – and then repeats it – even if it is to show just how vile people are. I am extremely offended – I do not want it repeated – I can’t stand hearing it. It’s not a matter of me choosing to be offended – I AM offended. — When I watch tv, listen to the radio – and a vile statement is repeated – I immediately turn it off.

    So I would say – if we are offended – we are offended – that is all. And if someone personally offends us – talk about it – I don’t think the talking about it is a bad thing. Matter of fact – there may be a huge blessing in talking about it. We may get to know the other person much better.

    That’s my opinion.


  25. gerpie says:

    Oh EXCUSE ME – my first paragraph: I don’t think it to be a BAD thing to be offended!!!!!

  26. florida7sun says:

    The beauty of Radio Bible Ministries is the sharing of our love for Jesus and His Word.

    Just speaking His Name in reverence and love clears the air and puts everything in a proper perspective.

    In 1987, Elizabeth Dole, then United States Secretary of Transportation, gave the keynote address at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. Her husband, Senator Robert Dole, was a candidate for president campaigning in New Hampshire. I contacted Mrs. Dole and invited her to speak to a city-wide prayer breakfast in New Hampshire’s largest city.

    I asked the Mayor to issue a Proclamation calling for a day of prayer. He did… but then added “I may or may not show up.” (I am happy he did; with many others in attendance).

    In inviting with Mrs. Dole I requested she not reference politics or her husband. I asked her to tell us about Jesus in her life. She did so in a glorious way. But, what was especially meaningful to me was the breakfast before breakfast as we prayed together.

    She asked that the Lord would use her mightily in speaking of His Love and His Peace. What a beautiful prayer she offered to God.

    Following her introduction to those gathered; Mrs. Dole shared from the Book of Esther, her faith, and the relevancy of Esther’s life to those in Christ. She related the importance of petitioning God for His Grace and Mercy; and sharing His Love and Goodness with others.

    The Jewish holiday of Purim is based on Esther and is a wonderful time of celebration. Gifts are shared in abundance and in freedom.

    The joy of the Lord is a blessing we can share daily wherever He has placed us… even in cyberspace.

    Grace and peace, Ray

  27. poohpity says:

    When we first started this topic I really felt that God does not hide from anyone and then today I began to think as I was feeling resentful about the current circumstance with my adult daughter staying with me. I had told her before she came that I could not afford to provide for her that she needed to care for herself. I do not want to trouble you with all the details but it turned out that rather than getting a job she enrolled in her 5th college and has chosen to go to school rather than provide for herself. So needless to say I am paying for all the basic necessities and gas to get back and forth to school which has left me without the ability to provide for 2 weeks out of the month. I have become very frustrated and resentful.

    The reason I brought this up is because in my anger I have grieved the Holy Spirit and have lost my joy and peace. So now I can see how God does hide Himself from us when we act in ways that are not becoming to a child of God just like it is mentioned in Ephesians 4:29-32. I thought about when we quarrel, use harsh words and dislike others we are grieving the Holy Spirit and God hides His face from us to get us back into a place of dependence and trust in Him only. So God is hiding from me because my heart is not where He wants it to be.

  28. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh…thanks for sharing. We are all tested by the world around us, and sometimes it overwhelms us to anger and misplaced lassing out, or grieving of the spirit.
    If I know anything about the love you have for the
    Lord, you will soon be gushing again about Him in all circumstances, even this vert tough one you now face.
    I do not know why we go into the valleys of life, but that changes our perspective, and the mountaintops seem soo much more inviting when we do.
    If I could bring you a fresh filling of His Spirit by mere words, it would bless us both.
    Perhaps it already has. In Him all things are possible.
    May His Peace be rendered to overflowing in you today. Gary

  29. davids says:

    Blessings, Deb.

  30. gerpie says:

    Poohpity – my heart goes out to you in the situation you are in – especially because I know from experience that first – raising children is extremely difficult at times – and then when they are adult children taking advantage of you it is even harder yet. I would encourage you to look at this from a little different perspective – that being – does God want us to let our children take advantage of us? And especially when they are adults? Should we be trying to be so ‘nice’ to them when – in a sense – they are walking all over us? What kind of people are we teaching them to be if we allow that?

    That’s my thoughts. (And it is from experience – I had to tell one of my sons that he had 3 weeks to find another place to live. It didn’t take very long after he moved out for he and I to have a very good relationship – once he found out what the real world was like).

    God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you in this.


  31. foreverblessed says:

    The thing Pooh brought up rings a bell with me. God hides from us when we do not obey the lead of the Holy Spirit.
    Yesterday I was in my church housegroup, and since this fall a lady attends who is a psychiatric patient, she is looking into christianity for help. Last week we prayed for her during the morning, and that was such a good thing, my heart was glad: this is what we should do, pray for one another. God is working powerfully when christians come together in one accord, and when worries, sins etc are brought up in our hearts then we confess it to one another, (telling about it) so we can pray for one another. (I also believe this is only possible among complete humble christians, those who will not point a finger at you when you confess, who do not judge you either, who know that everybody was a sinner saved by grace). We have to be careful to go beyond praying, like giving all sorts of advice. (That is tricky, when does the Spirit lead, and when do we in our own carnal mind want to help another.)
    But the prayer is God at work.
    James 5:16
    But yesterday the house group leader said, she did not want this kind of thing, we can pray afterwards, when the morning is over, and everybody who wants to leave is gone. And that we should be careful, because mentally ill people drain your energy, they suck you empty, that were her words.
    And at that moment I was so saddened, it was such a deep sadness.
    Then I realised, this is what the Holy Spirit also feels: saddened by our unwillingness to go beyond our comfort zone and help the weak, as the Spirit leads.
    Then God goes into hiding, He is not so active among us anymore. (then the Holy Spirit looks like the picture of the cat, half visible)

    Adult children back in home is another story, Pooh, may God bless you with much joy, love, strength and wisdom in Christ.

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