If God is so powerful and good, why is He silent? If He wants to have a relationship with us, why does God hide? Are we looking in the right place?
The silence of God has to be one of the greatest enigmas of the last 2,000 years. In Old Testament times, we have record of God communicating directly with mankind, at least with the patriarchs and prophets. Why did that stop?
Is God dead, as many speculate in the modern culture of today? Many wonder, why does God allow evil and suffering? It would seem that in this age of world wars and the threat of mankind annihilating himself from the face of the earth, God would intervene directly and save us. Yet He remains silent and hidden from the world.
Or does He?
Looking for the Creator and Author
If you believe that God actually does exist but just stays hidden, then you need to prove whether or not the Bible is true and can be relied upon. It is the Bible itself that challenges the reader to observe the creation to prove there is a Creator. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20, emphasis added throughout).
When one looks at the wonders of the vast universe or the intricate design of the smallest cell, it is hard to deny the existence of intelligent design by the hand of God.
Another assertion the Bible makes is that it is the infallible Word of God. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Once we have concluded that God exists and the Bible is the true Word of God, we are ready to answer the question, “Does God hide?”
Where can we find the answers?
If we allow it to, the Bible itself will help us understand whether God hides. God says when we acknowledge Him and reach out to Him for guidance and direction in our lives, He will not remain hidden (Deuteronomy 4:29; Isaiah 55:6-7).
We cannot continue to ignore God and expect Him to communicate with us. In fact, we are warned that if we continue living contrary to God’s law, we simply cannot have access to God. “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2). Therefore, if we expect God to not remain hidden from us, we must seek to find Him and live by His revealed Word.
Hidden from ages and from generations
The apostle Paul makes an amazing statement about this subject. Notice Colossians 1:25-27: “I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Paul is revealing to the Colossian church that a future hope of eternal glory through Christ living in us is a mystery that has been hidden from the ages and generations! This incredible knowledge of God’s plan of salvation for all mankind has been held back and kept secret from most of mankind. Therefore, people have believed God is hiding.
It has simply not been God’s plan to reveal Himself and His plan of salvation to all mankind in this age. That will be done in the age to come. John 6:44 explains that no man can come to understand Jesus Christ and, therefore, His message unless the Father calls Him.
Also notice this intriguing scripture: “And the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’ He answered and said to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given’” (Matthew 13:10-11).
Isn’t that amazing? Most people believe Jesus spoke in parables to make the meaning clearer to the people. However, it was only made clearer to those God was calling to understand His Word at that time.
Notice a few more verses here to help us understand why the people could not understand. “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.’
“But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it” (Matthew 13:13-17).
God is working out a step-by-step plan
Does God hide? In a way, yes. God’s purpose and intention is to not be seen and heard by the vast majority of the world now. He is only calling and preparing a few now to help them train for leadership positions in the world to come after the return of Jesus Christ to this earth. To these people God may still be invisible and silent in the literal sense, but He is clearly and openly revealed through His Bible and through answered prayer. They do have a close relationship with God.
There is also a wonderful promise in Ezekiel 39 showing that when this day comes, God will no longer hide His face from mankind.Someday soon, Jesus Christ is returning to the earth in great power and glory to rule all the nations of the earth with those resurrected saints who have been prepared to be coheirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).
The book of Revelation proclaims this world-ruling government: “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” (Revelation 11:15).
There is also a wonderful promise in Ezekiel 39 showing that when this day comes, God will no longer hide His face from mankind. Notice that in verse 29: “‘And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord GOD.”
God’s ultimate unveiling coming
After all mankind has come to the knowledge of God and His plan for mankind has been completed, God promises He will be more visible and accessible than ever before. No more will people wonder, does God hide?
Notice these stirring words: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God’” (Revelation 21:1-3).
What a wonderful thing for us to look forward to!
So we see that God has not been hiding from you. He desires a personal relationship with you, as Paul explained: “So that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).
God is not dead. He is on His throne and very much in control of His creation. So is God hiding? God Himself asks us this question through the prophet Jeremiah. “‘Am I a God near at hand,’ says the LORD, ‘And not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?’ says the LORD; ‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:23-24).
Why not open the pages of your Bible and ask God to reveal Himself to you and allow you to see and hear the wonderful things He has prepared for you?
For more, see the articles in the section “Why Does God Allow Evil and Suffering?”