When God Hides

Does God ever hide from us? Its scary to toss around that thought. We like to view God as being all-accessible and always present. Through Christ, our High Priest, God is accessible. (Hebrews 5) Truthfully, God is also omni-present. We can't hide from God. He is present everywhere at once. He completely fills the universe. However, at the same time scripture shows us that God can and does choose at times to hide Himself.

In the book of Micah, the prophet relays God's message to the heads of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel. Due to their disobedience, God shows His displeasure. In chapter 3, when warning of their coming judgment, Micah prophesies this chilling truth, "Then they will cry to the Lord, but he will not answer them; He will hide his face from them at that time,
because they have made their deeds evil." (Micah 3:4)

Its hard to phathom God's hiding from us. However, if you look through scripture you see that God does indeed hide, and He's consistent in His reason.

They will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
Proverbs 1:28

When you spread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
Isaiah 1:15

Then my anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured. And many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say in that day, "Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?"
Deuteronomy 31:17

The big question is WHY? Why does God choose to hide Himself? Looking at these passages of scripture it appears that God hides Himself from evil. God is not interested in hearing the cries and prayers for deliverance from pain from those who do not seek deliverance from sin. When we worship our "idea" of God, instead of God Himself, the real God may choose to hide His face. God is so disgusted when we pursue sin and things other than Him. He's so disgusted that He hides His face from it. Isaiah 59:2 says, "but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that He does not hear.

Before Jesus gave up His last breath on the cross He asks God, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani?". "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46) Since Jesus Christ took on our sin on the cross, He paid our death penalty. As He hung on the cross, bearing the sin of mankind, He was cut off from God. God sticks to His consistency of hating sin and hiding His face from it. He does so to even forsake His perfect Son.

With the knowledge of this truth, how do we respond? First, we make sure the we chase holiness. God obviously takes it pretty seriously. Secondly, I think we run from sin. We don't tolerate, entertain, enable, or dabble in sin. Our God hides His face from it! We must be proactive and cautious about getting anywhere near sin. James 1:14-15 says, "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."

We run from death. We want nothing to do with death. I think its fair to say that we hate death. Well, as the last passage reminds us, death is the result of sin. Shouldn't we also hate that which causes the result? Not only is sin the result of death, sin comes as a result of temptation. So as God hides His face from sin and evil, we should seek to do the same.

Thankfully we have a God who forgives! However, if you truly think about it, to forgive is to forget. To forget is to hide your face from the sin of the past. God's hiding is not a bad thing! Its a beautiful thing. I'm glad God hides His face from evil. Because of Jesus Christ, God chooses to hide His face from the evil I've done and will do. The slate has been wiped clean, and I am able to live as a new creature bringing Him glory!