Hidden in God
By Charles Wages
God knows everything. This is something we must acknowledge if we believe in the true God. However, it is God's power and privilege to conceal or hide as well as reveal or make known. How true is the Scripture that says,
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" (Romans 11:33)
It is comforting to note that in Psalms 91:1-9 we are told,
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." (vs. 1)
God's Hiding Place
In modern times we have seen several dramatic instances where people have been hidden from the enemy. Anne Frank was hidden for long, and often peril filled months from the Nazis. Corrie Ten Boom endured a similar time of hiding to preserve her life and others. In very present times, hostages in the middle east are in hiding, hoping to eventually be rescued. In Biblical times God sometimes hid His servants to fulfill His ultimate plans and purposes through chosen persons. For example, Moses was hidden from the enemy in order to protect him for God's plan to preserve Israel. Hebrews 11:23 says,
"By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment."
We are aware of this well known account of Moses and what God accomplished through him in leading His people out of Egypt and then giving the law to Israel. It is heartening to see the dedication of this servant who was hidden of God through his parent's obedience and courage. It is said of Moses in Hebrews 11:23-28 that he:
Refused association or identification with the world (vs. 24)
Chose affliction with the people of God (vs. 25)
Esteemed (compared and contrasted) a godly life to a pleasurable one (vs. 26)
Forsook the worldly life for a life for Christ (vs. 27)
In the Old Testament we are instructed that God made places of refuge for those who were accused of even murder until they could be judged by the congregation. These were called "cities of refuge."
They are spoken of in Numbers 35 and Joshua 20. These cities were strategically placed so they were readily accessible to anyone, yet the accused had to flee into them for safety and security. What a beautiful picture of the safety the sinner has when he or she flees to the Lord Jesus who is our Refuge. Psalms 46:1 reads,
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
Later the Psalmist wrote,
"There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High." (Psalm 46:4)
We have instances in the book of Acts of the servants of God literally fleeing for refuge to a place. For instance, Paul and Barnabas in turning to the Gentiles, to bring the redeeming message of Christ, were severely persecuted by the Jews. In Acts 13:50 the Jews stirred up the people and an attempt was made on Paul and Barnabas to stone them to death. We are told in Acts chapter 14,
"They were aware of it and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth about... And there they preached the gospel." (Acts 14:6,8)
Sometimes, all of us feel as if we would like to run away and hide some place. It, no doubt, is true that we all need a hiding place, but where is there a city of refuge in this world? We can also ask ourselves, to whom should I flee? The Lord said to the disciples, "Will ye also go away? Peter answered, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life" (John 6:67- 68). A man by the name of Andre, who was a British Adjutant, was convicted of spying, and just before he was hanged in 1789, he wrote,
Hail! Sovereign Love, which first began
That scheme to rescue fallen man;
Hail! Matchless free eternal grace,
Which gave my soul a hiding place.
On Jesus, God's just vengeance fell,
Which would have sunk a world to hell;
And bore it for a sinful race,
And thus became my Hiding Place.
A few more setting suns at most,
Shall land me on fair Canaan's Coast,
Where I shall sing the song of grace,
And see my Glorious Hiding Place.
Yes, we all need a "hiding place." It could be a secret place of prayer, a quiet moment of meditation apart from the world, an early morning reading of God's holy Word. Above all, we must believe and know that our hiding place is not just a place but a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember,
"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life shall appear then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3:3-4)
God's Hidden Purpose
We should acknowledge that all wisdom and knowledge is of God. In fact, all wisdom and knowledge was hidden until He desired to reveal it. Colossians 2:3 speaks of God and Christ and says,
"In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
Not only was God's wisdom and knowledge hidden until He desired to reveal it, but His eternal purpose for the ages was only known to Him until revealed through "holy men of old." Ephesians 3:10-11 speaks of this wisdom in verse 10, and then says,
"According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord."
God purposed before the foundation of the world His great plan of the ages and it was all worked out in the finished work of Christ. The great truth concerning the mystery of this age of grace was hidden in God until revealed to and through the apostle Paul. The Old Testament prophets knew nothing of this wonderful "secret" until God desired or willed it to be known. Ephesians 3:9 is clear when it says,
"And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ."
It is equally important to notice what God reveals of His wisdom and purpose, but also when He lets it be known. The Scripture tells us very plainly that,
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God (God breathed), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16)
However, we must note that all Scripture is for us but not all is written to us. God, in His infinite wisdom, contained truth within Himself until He desired to make it known or revealed. For example, He revealed to Old Testament prophets concerning His great plan and purpose for Israel, the chosen nation. This included a kingdom here on earth. The gospels record this message to Israel in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Many of the parables relate to this message. Some understood, some did not. To the believing disciples Jesus said,
"Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables." (Mark 4:11)
Then He tells the reason for parables in regard to the unbelieving (Mark 4:12). The parable hid the truth from them!
The mystery concerning the church, the body of Christ, was hidden in God, not the Scriptures, until God made this truth manifested through the apostle Paul. Colossians 1:24-30 deals with this wonderful truth, once hidden but now revealed.
"Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints."
1 Corinthians 2:6-8 clearly shows that the world knew nothing of God's hidden wisdom concerning the mystery or secret.
"Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect (mature): yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory."
We must ever keep in mind that the devil uses every means at his disposal to keep all the Word of God from people. Why? So people will not believe the glorious gospel of God's grace. We are told in 2 Corinthians 4:3,
"But if our gospel be hid; it is hid to them that are lost."
How is this "good news" hidden from the lost? The devil blinds their minds and closes their hearts (2 Corinthians 4:4). Remember,
"The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God."
Why? Because things of the Spirit are "spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14).
In conclusion, we need to be reminded that:
Man hid himself from God—Adam
Man was hid by God for His purpose—Moses
All believers are hid with Christ
All believers are hid in God
"For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:3)
And, that we all, as believers have a "hiding place." Our hiding place is Christ, It has aptly been said, "A man never really sees himself until he sees himself in Christ." We see ourselves, as believers, "in Christ." Our hiding place is a person. Our position is in the "heavenlies" where Christ is officiating as the "Head of the church" (Ephesians 1:22-23). This enables us to "set our affections on things above" (Colossians 3:2) and to "keep looking up" although there is only mud under our feet.
What effect does this have on believers? It gives us:
All because we believe His Word which is now completely revealed and gives us a hiding place in the midst of trouble and turmoil.
What a wonderful salvation,
Where we always see His face,
What a peaceful habitation,
What a quiet resting place.
And remember what the condemned man wrote,
"A few more setting suns at most,
Shall land me on fair Canaan's coast,
Where I shall sing the song of grace,
And see my Glorious Hiding Place."
Mp3 Studies By Pastor Gregg Bing
Ephesians - 06 - The Fullness of the Times
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