Summary: God keeps secrets
A. INTRODUCTION: WHY PEOPLE KEEP SECRETS?
1. To surprise.
2. To shield us from disappointments.
3. To keep us from danger.
4. Because we are not ready.
5. To keep us from temptation; “curiosity kills the cat.”
6. To preserve their relationship.
7. Because they love us.
B. GOD KEEPS SECRETS
1. God is a revealing God. God’s nature is to communicate truth, just as the nature of the sun is to shine.
2. We couldn’t know. “Revelation is an act whereby God communicates truth to us that we couldn’t otherwise know.”
3. God’s infinity, our limitation. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us . . . that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29, NKJV). Infinity means “without limits.”
4. It’s beyond our nature to grasp the very nature of God. “Our mind knows there are things it cannot know, and it knows God cannot be completely understood, unless the unknowable can be known, the invisible can be seen, and the inaccessible be attained.”
5. A gap between God and man, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8, 9, KJV).
a. We do not know God’s method of thinking.
b. We do not know the content of God’s thinking.
6. God’s name is secret.
a. “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is secret?” (Judg. 13:18).
b. Jesus has a name no one knows. “He had a name . . . no one knew” (Rev. 19:12, NKJV).
C. THREEFOLD SECRET OF GOD
1. Past. We do not know how God created the universe.
2. Present. We do not know all God is doing. “We see through a glass, darkly” (1 Cor. 13:12, KJV).
WHAT A SILENT GOD DOESN’T TELL YOU
• Not to eat dangerous food
• When a “deal” is a scam
• When someone lies to you
• When an accident/crisis is coming
• When you will die
3. Future. “Of that day . . . no one knows. . . but My Father” (Matt. 24:36).
D. WHAT PRESENT SECRETS DOES GOD HIDE?
1. Why we differ from others? Why some are more receptive to the gospel. Why some have more intelligence than others? Why some are born into different cultures?
2. We understand why God gives good leaders: Joseph, David, etc. We struggle to understand why God raises up Nebuchadnezzar, Pharaoh, Hitler, etc.
a. God uses them to deal with evil (Judg. 4:1-2).
b. God uses them to do good (Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Reagan).
c. The darkness makes light even brighter. “I form the light, and create darkness” (Isa. 45:7, NKJV).
d. God’s primary purpose is not our comfort or worldly success, but to bring glory to Himself. “For of Him and through Him and to Him . . . be glory forever” (Rom. 11:36).
3. Why some are called to preach, others to business, and others are limited. “God gives us many kinds of special abilities, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all” (1 Cor. 12:4, ELT).
a. We are accountable to grow our abilities.
b. We grow as we faithfully use them.
c. His approval. “Study to show thyself approved of God” (2 Tim. 2:15, ELT).
d. To glorify Him. “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Cor. 1:31, NKJV).
4. How God’s sovereignty and our free will work together. The Bible describes God choosing (Eph. 1:4), predestinating (Eph. 1:5, electing (1 Peter 1:2). Yet God provides salvation for all (John 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:4).
E. LIVING WITH THE SECRETS OF GOD
1. God has reserved the right to keep secrets.
2. God reveals secrets under certain conditions.
a. Revealed to those who worship Him. “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him” (Ps. 25:14).
b. Revealed to those who live holy. “His secret counsel is with the upright” (Prov. 3:32).
c. Revealed to those who study and learn. “Study to show thyself approved” (2 Tim. 2:15, ELT).
3. We are not responsible for the things He keeps secret, but for what we know.
a. We surrender to do His will.
b. We seek to know and follow His plan for our life.
c. We learn to know Him, and make Him known.
4. There is joy, peace and fulfillment to those who walk with Him.
“And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own; and the joy we share as we tarry there; none other has ever known.” – In the Garden (Charles A Miles, 1913)