The Hiddenness of God!!!
“God being thus hidden, any religion that does not say God is hidden is not true, and any religion that does not explain why [God is hidden] does not instruct.” –Blaise Pascal
How can one worship an invisible hidden God without doubt!!! How can one follow God and his commandments, without being able to see him? How can one call him father, without being able to feel his physical affection? I think when dealing with spiritual doubt, one begins to question the spiritual and the spiritual nature of god. Wondering can God hear me, does he care for me, does he care what I do on a day-to-day basis. Does he care about the decisions I make, no matter how big or small. Does he even hear me when I pray? And when I pray, am I talking to God or myself? I think this is one of the biggest questions every Christian struggles with at one point or another in their faith.
Where is God? Is God in Hiding?
I guess some christian is reading this blog and saying to themselves, ‘God is not hidden, we can see him all around us in nature. He is within us with the Holy Spirit. How can you say God is Hidden?’
“Truly you are a God who hides himself, O God and Savior of Israel.” -Isaiah 45:15
God being thus hidden…
Well I hope that settles that question. —I think every christian at one point or another ask for God to reveal himself through our prayers, or to give a sign. I myself has asked for a clear concise sign or an audible voice. I’ve asked on numerous occasions for a clear concise directions, (especially in times of difficulty); to just give some type of reassurance to rid myself of doubt. My old Pastor used to say, “He is never there when you want him, but he’s always right on time.” So I know I’m not the only one who deals with this question. As a Christians it’s hard love a God we can’t see – touch – or feel. It’s even harder to obey and follow a hidden God. The Barlow Girls a christian Rock band, made and entire song on worshiping, loving, trusting a hidden God they could neither see or feel. (It’s a pretty cool song, one of my wife’s Favorite.)
“Life is like a game of hide and seek; we are either hiding from God or seeking him.”
“He has willed to leave them in the loss of the good which they do not want. It was not, then, right that He should appear in a manner manifestly divine, and completely capable of convincing all men; but it was also not right that He should come in so hidden a manner that He could not be known by those who should sincerely seek Him.
He has willed to make himself quite recognizable by those; and thus, willing to appear openly to those who seek Him with all their heart, and to be hidden from those who flee from Him with all their heart. He so regulates the knowledge of Himself that He has given signs of Himself, visible to those who seek Him, and not to those who seek Him not. There is enough light for those who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition.” -Blaise Pascal
Blaise Pascal seems to suggest that God is hidden because men ultimately do not seek him, that god has already done enough to convince his followers. —I can already hear the Skeptic’s Replying, “Yeah, but if we could all see him, then things would be so much easier, and then everybody would be a Christian.” –MAYBE…Even if we could all see him, not all would accept him or believe. Even the Pharisees, Sadducess, High Priest, and Temple Priest rejected Jesus even after seeing him perform miracles. Even after he healed the sick, and the blind. Even after the resurrection – he was denied to by many. In this two part message, on Theocentric, they go through the aspects of the divine hiddness of God. And clarifies that hiddeness does not mean absentiness. And that there are many possible reasons why we are not able to see God and that we may never know all the reasons why we don’t see him, but that God’s hiddeness does not negate his existence.
“Hiddeness. God hides for a reason – so that He can develop you on the inside and train you to see with the eyes of faith. In manifestation, you can already see what God is doing. In hiddeness, you learn to look inward and recognize that God is still at work, relying purely on faith.” –(Intercessors Arise)
(Peek-A-Boo)-But others still disagree.
“”Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression?” – Psalm 44:24
Theodore Drange proposed a version of the non-belief argument in 1996. He considers the distinction between culpable and inculpable non-belief to be completely irrelevant, and tries to argue that the mere existence of non-belief is evidence against the existence of God. A semi-formal presentation of the argument is as follows, This also known as the Argument from Non-belief or the Flaw of God’s Divine Hiddeness:
- If God exists, then:
- God wants all humans to believe God exists before they die;
- God can bring about a situation in which all humans believe God exists before they die;
- God does not want anything that would conflict with and be at least as important as its desire for all humans to believe God exists before they die; and
- God always acts in accordance with what he most wants.
- If God exists, all humans would believe so before they die (from 1).
- But not all humans believe God exists before they die.
- Therefore, God does not exist (from 2 and 3).
What reasons could God have in hiding? Could God’s hiddenness actually be an expression of his divine plan? According to the ministry of Intercessors Arise International, God is hidden for the purpose of developing us spiritually. (Aha, I told you all along, his hiddenness was apart of his divine plan.) It is to develop you on the inside. It is the time for building that inner man spiritually and mentally. It helps in revealing spiritual truth, spiritual wisdom and his divine love.
The Doubt of his Hiddenness is Disheartening.
“O LORD, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed[troubled].“-Psalm 30:7
“The subject of God’s hiding is no merely theoretical matter in the Hebrew Psalms. It cuts to the core of the psalmists’ understanding of God and of themselves.” -(Introduction to The Hiddenness of God by Daniel Howard-Snyder and Paul K. Moser)
In reality, it all starts with a seed of doubt, with the believer questioning and wondering where is God in their time of tribulation and turmoil. And it doesn’t necessary always start with doubt, it can often does begins simply with the question of where is God? And why have you hidden your face from me? Some of us make it out of this phase like Job in the Bible even in spite of all his trials and tribulation. But others don’t. Now this question, is more than just a theoretical question or a philosophical question. It’s a question of faith. Theologian/Philosopher Ravi Zacharias begins to answer the question of the hiddenness of God philosophical. But ultimately it comes back to faith, and asking and praying for God to reveal himself to you, -to the individual. One must not forget, the question of God’s Hiddeness, is not a question of theology or philosophy, but a question of faith and spiritualism.
To an atheist a hidden God, just proves to them a God does not exist. To a skeptic a hidden God produces doubt. The founding fathers of the american Constitution believed a hidden God produced deism. To a believer, a hidden God means it is just all part of God’s Divine plan. So who is correct? And how do we handle the idea of a hidden God?
The issue of where is God? And is he hiding is vital is in the forefront of the mind of every atheist, and lingering in the back of the mind of every christian. Even Jesus at one time had to deal with this issue. (Father, why have you forsaken me). Personally speaking when I think of the hiddenness of God, it takes me back to the saying we judge a tree by the fruit it bears. I think the answer is not in being able to see him, but can we see his fruit. So we should be able to recognize God, by his fruit and works. I’ll leave it at that…