Summary: 4 sermon in the series You Need A Hug - Comfort In The Changes of Life
God Are You Still Here pt. - Sermon 4
Series - You Need A Hug - Comfort In The Changes of Life
The two phrases introducing this phars of heavenly comfort are complementary. No man has seen God at any time, and in this sense God hides himself from our view. In Jesus, his beloved son, we have a perfect and final revelation of the father, which constrained Christ to confess, "He that hath seen me hath seen the father" (John 14:9). While Jesus lived among men, He could not be hid.
Isaiah’s strong words apparently charge the Lord with being negligent of his people while they were in bondage and exile. Either He had forgotten them or they had forgotten Him. WIth clearer light they came to trace His footprints. God had appeared to be unseen, indifferent, but now the people discovered He had been at work on their behalf, overruling all things for his glory and for their good.
There are times in our lives when, in the midst of adverse circumstances, it does seem as if Isaiah’s word about God hiding Himself is true. He appears either to have departed or to have veiled His face from the eye of faith.
Take some of life’s mysterious aspects. The testimony of saints is that sometimes God conceals himself in the day of trouble. When Mary and Martha sent for Jesus to come and heal their sick brother Lazarus, Jesus delayed and hid Himself for several days. At Calvary, the Father’s face was hidden from the Savior Himself.
How true is it that there are many hidden things which no haman skill can unravel! We have to walk in the dark with God. Yours is indeed the God of mystery, a God that saves." At times the heart of man is mystified by the providential dealings of heaven. God veils the purposes of what he permits, and we see through a glass darkly.
Or take the problem of unanswered prayer. The psalmist pleads with God not to turn His face away as if resolved not to listen to his cry, "Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication" (PS. 55:1). There are seasons when we pray for necessary, legitimate things, but the heavens appear to be closed and no answer is received. THe one who hears and answers the prayers of others apparently turns and hides Himself from our needs. Adversity, failure, and disappointments sometimes seem to indicate God has forgotten to be gracious.
In one’slife there may be radical cause for his hiding. If the life is displeasing to the Lord, then the smile of his face can never be expected. "When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust" (Ps. 104 29) The lack of divine favor is going to give us troubled hearts. Jesus hid himself from those who failed to love and obey him. O may the benediction of his countenance be our abiding portion. May we never consciously indulge in anything that would cause him to hide from our vision.
Isaiah’s cryptic words may likewise be applied to Christ. The father hid himself in son, for God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. THe most wonderful veiling of the Almighty is associated with Jesus, who alone gazed upon the father. "No man can see Me and live" was God’s pronouncement through Moses "(Exod. 33:20).It is only as we see God in Christ that we can live, presently and eternally. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Foather, He hath declared Him" (John 14:9). Again, "He that hath seen me hath seen the father". Often in the Old Testament, God veiled Himself in angelic form or appeared as a man. In the Gospels he was incarnate in Jesus; "Veiled in flesh the Godhead see".
IN THIS DISPENSATION GOD MOVES IN HIS SILENT, HIDDEN MYSTERIOUS WAY UPON THE HEARTS OF MEN THROUGH THE MINISTRY OF HIS UNSEEN SPIRIT. "The wind blow wherever he pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit"(John 3:8).