“The God of Israel, who saves his people, is a God who conceals himself”.
Isa 45:15 GNB
So often, we cannot see God at work. He seems to have disappeared. In this modern world of rush and bustle many find that in their experience he has vanished altogether. Then, sometimes, he comes from nowhere, works some mighty deed, or starts a new movement, and he is very much in evidence.
In Isaiah’s peep into the future restoration of Israel, foreigners will flock to Jerusalem to worship God. When they do so, they will say, “This God of Israel hides himself”. He hid himself (in their view) when the Babylonians crushed the Israelites back in 586 B.C. and carried many of them off into Babylon. As they saw it he remained hidden throughout the captivity years. But then, seemingly from nowhere, came the Persians and restored Israel and God came out from his hiding place, radiating all his glory. Whatever the historical circumstances there is an element of truth in the assertion that God hides himself.
We ourselves experience dark periods. Try as we will to know and get through to God, he seems frustratingly reluctant to come and cheer up our gloomy spiritual struggle. He hides himself when we have doubts and start wondering if the theories of the atheists might just be true. He seems to hide himself when the church appears to be on the back foot, splitting into tiny fragments and sub-groups. He seems to hide himself when Christian leaders are found to have been in error or sin. But always he reappears just when many have written him off. Christ rises from the dead in many ways, and ours is a resurrection faith!
Lord, when I cannot see you, help me to hold on till I can.