As children we have played “hide and seek” and known the nervous stillness of hiding in silence, almost afraid to breathe lest we be found. If we have lived through the terror of war and search parties of enemies or bandits, we have known the breathless silence of hoping our hiding place would not be discovered. The hiding place has to be very hidden indeed, from sight and sound! But God, who sees all we do, knows all we think, hears all we say, and from whom we cannot hide, has prepared a hiding place that is so safe we need not keep quiet when there—we can sing and shout! We are safe from the enemy even when we are singing loudly, “Here I am.”
Psalm 32:6 and 7 speaks to us, and for us, even as it expresses the truth David understood in his time of need. “For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.” The one from whom we cannot hide has made it possible for us to hide in him. He himself is our hiding place. How fantastic: impossible to hide from him, unless we hide in him.
In Psalm 17, prayer is on David’s lips as he cries, “O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer,” and he pleads in verse thirteen that Satan will be disappointed. As we read and also pray with this eighth verse, “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,” indeed Satan will be disappointed at the results. Satan will be furious when we who cannot hide from God take our place under His wings, a secure, prepared hiding place.
“Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee,”: we sing. How wonderful that it is not just romantic poetry, a fanciful song, but Truth with meaning that is applicable to each one of us. It is possible to find our hiding place in God. The Second Person of the Trinity made it possible by dying on the cross. The “splitting” of the Rock opened up the “cleft place” in which to hide.
Think of it another way for a moment. Come to Psalm 27:5—“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.” This is certainty. God has for us a hiding place.
In order to provide the hiding place, the Second Person of the Trinity had to let himself be without a hiding place. As Jesus hung on the cross, naked, taunted, and reviled, he was exposed to everyone who looked. In Psalm 27:9 David cries out, “Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.” What is the basis upon which we can find a hiding place, and upon which we can know that God will not hide his face from us? The basis of an exchange. Jesus was exposed, with no hiding place, when he was on the cross, so that we might have the absolute assurance of having a hiding place. He became sin for us, he who knew no sin, but also he was exposed for us, he who had always throughout all eternity been one with the hiding place. They mocked him, those who were able to gaze upon him in agony and shame, and he cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He was willing to be without a hiding place so that he could become our hiding place.
We are told in Colossians 1:26 and 27 that for ages the full understanding of all this wonder was not known. After Christ came to fulfill all the prophecies, to be the Lamb of God who died and also became our High Priest, then the full understanding was no longer “hidden” from anyone who would listen with “ears of understanding.” Paul says he was made a minister “to fulfill the Word of God, even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
No longer is the wonder of Truth to be hidden in any way. Now Gentiles as well as Jews are to see the pieces fitting together. Paul goes on in verse 28 to say we are to “warn every man” as well as to teach people in “all wisdom.” By warning, by teaching, by preaching, and by discussing, we are to make the Truth clear, so that people can first find their need of a hiding place and then find the one hiding place.
We are not to settle back passively into the hiding place, as if we had nothing to do but hide! In Colossians 3:2 and 3 we are prodded to do certain things: “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” How is your life “hid”? It seems to me that this is explained to us in Romans 6: we are to have changed lives. We are not to continue in the sin Christ died to free us from. Do we become perfect? No. There is a struggle to the very end. We are told that we are to keep confessing our sin, and that he will forgive us and cleanse us. But there is to be a change. And part of that change involves another kind of “hiding,” hiding under the ground, in a kind of death.
We need to be buried, as a seed, a kernel of corn, before we can bring forth the desired result. The seed is sown in us, and we ourselves are the ground, good ground or thorny ground. But then again we are to be the seed, “buried in the ground,” dead to self, dead to pride, dead to a desire to be thought of as humble, dead to ambition to succed, dead to desire to be a failure as a self inflicted punishment, dead to everything that would hinder us from God’s plan to use us.
In Revelation 6:14–17, a strong, important prophecy is given. We are not to hide our eyes and thoughts from this truth:
And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”
In that coming day there will be only two divisions of people: those who will be loudly verbalizing their belief in God’s existence by crying out for the rocks to hide them from him whom they did not acknowledge and accept before, and those who did hide in him during their lifetime and are secure in their everlasting hiding place. We are to pray for each other that a “door of utterance” may be given, so that the Hiding Place will not remain hidden to men.
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