Thursday, February 3, 2011

A God Who Hides

It is a common complaint, "If only God worked miracles today openly, I would believe in Him."  Now I do believe that God does miraculous things today.  But while I know of cases where people were healed when the doctors could not explain it and of strange events which I find hard to explain as coincidences, I have not seen anything like the parting of the Red Sea or the feeding of the five thousand.  And while I would not limit God from doing anything, it does seem there are periods of time when God is doing some new thing and He pours out miracles.  Why does God not do this constantly, and would He not get more converts if He did?

It needs to be stated from the outset that God is not interested in a purely intellectual faith.  The demons have that (James 2:19).  Nor is God interested in a faith that is only concerned in the immediate benefits it can obtain from Him (John 6:26,27).  God is not a heavenly Candy Man whose main goal is to cater to our whims.  What God wants is for us to trust Him for salvation (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 4:4,5; Acts 16:31) and to love Him (1 John 4:19; 2 Corinthians 5:14,15; Matthew 22:36-40) and to live our lives in obedience to Him (Romans 12:1,2; Titus 2:11-14; James 1:22-25).  Further, God desires that those who do these things will do them even if they do not immediately see the benefits involved (Romans 4:18-22; 2 Corinthians 5:7; John 20:26-28).  Also, though the critics will undoubtedly reject it, it is the position of the Bible that God has tried this and it did not work.  At the time of the exodus from Egypt, God poured out the miracles, but the Israelites grumbled and complained and disobeyed, consistently refusing to obey God, until He sentenced them to wander forty years in the wilderness.  Jesus Christ came doing blatant miracles and was told He had a demon and was crucified. Simply seeing does not necessarily produce genuine faith.

Also, the more blatant the miracles seen, the deeper the judgment (Matthew 11:20-24; Luke 11:29-32). Therefore the hiddenness of God may be the best gift He can give an unbelieving world.  But He says that those who seek Him in His way and on His terms will find Him (Matthew 7:7-12; John 7:17; Luke 16:29-31), though no one can truly seek God unless God is doing a work in his heart (John 6:44; 1:12,13; Romans 3:11).  But the bottom line is that God is not a performing dog that we can make jump through our hoops.  If we are not willing to come to Him on His grounds, based on the evidence He gives, He is not willing to meet our demands.  He is God, and He requires that we meet Him where He is.


  1. Hi Mike,

    Enjoyed the read. Yes, seeing miracles alone does nothing to the natural human heart. In Jesus' parable of Lazarus and the rich man, he concluded the lesson by saying that even if the man's unbelieving brothers saw a man rising from the dead they still wouldn't convince them - then he proved it, by rising from the dead, and still his enemies scoffed at the witnesses and worked feverishly to cover up his resurrection.


  2. How right you are Brad. Seeing is not necessarily believing and even it one believes intellectually, it does not necessarily mean you have saving faith.