Why does God hide things?
I’ve always had a marketing mind.
I’ll look at something and think “How could I get people excited about this?” Every book I pick up I think of a new cover design, every product I try I think of how their instagram should look, and every restaurant I step into I wonder what their website is like.
My brain is always taking something good and trying to get it in front of the most eyes.
I suppose that is what marketing is- showing the best side and making people want it. You don’t hide the good stuff- you put it on billboards, you make commercials bragging about your great underwear, and testimonials from people who think your company is the best. You show off what is good and hide what isn’t.
While reading the Bible these last few months, I keep seeing the word “hidden”. I read about God’s hidden wisdom, his hidden mysteries, and his hidden kingdom.
If all of these things are so great, why would God hide them? Shouldn’t they be on billboards and available for everyone to see? Why would God hide something that he wants everyone to know? As I read verses about it, it felt counter-intuitive. I think God may need a new VP of marketing.
But over the last few weeks as I’ve been studying the verses that talk about being hidden, here are a few things that stand out to me:
1. God desires humility:
Matthew 11:25 — You have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children.
God’s constant encouragement throughout his word is that we have hearts and spirit that is humble. While most things in the Bible aren’t a simple formula (you do this and you receive that), there are a lot of promises linked to a humble heart.
James 4:6- God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble
1 Peter 5:5–6 Humble yourself so that he may exalt you. (The Greek word here means to raise to dignity, honor, and happiness)
The verse I read in Matthew- the hidden wisdom being revealed to the humble.
So why does God hide his wisdom? A calling of our hearts to humility, a promise that when we assign ourselves a lower rank and have a modest opinion of who we are- he shows us hidden mysteries.
The less we think of ourselves, the more we focus on God, the more there is to be fascinated with! I read a commentary on Matthew 11:25 that said this- “Experts in things sensible and secular are commonly least experienced in spiritual things. The wise in human understanding are proud of it, so they rest in it. God hides his wisdom from those people and asks them to become humble in order to gain wisdom”
2. God wants to be our greatest desire:
Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
This verse has been messing with me the past few months. The first time I read it I thought “Lord, how can I have a heart like this”. Recently as God has convicted me or stripped away things that I’ve desired and loved in my life, now my heart is beginning to quote this verse and mean it, “There is nothing on earth that I desire besides you”
When we truly desire God and NOTHING ELSE, this is an incredible spot.
Jeremiah 3:33 I call to God and he will answer. He will tell me great and hidden things I have not known.
In our desire for Him, he begins to reveal hidden things.
Matthew 13:44 The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
This is such a beautiful picture of God being our greatest desire. This dude finds some treasure, which is representing God. He sells EVERYTHING he has with joy to buy that field. I think many of us take the “free” part of salvation, the beauty of the gospel where he does everything and we do nothing, but we stop there. God didn’t just come to save us or to be our religion- he came to be our greatest desire.
The picture of this man selling everything has been very meaningful to me recently. As God has started to ask for more of me, it’s effecting my hobbies, the media I consume, and my identity. I’ve literally had to sell everything in exchange for the kingdom. The “cost” is high.
So why is God’s wisdom and mysteries hidden? Because as he becomes our greatest desire, those hidden things are revealed.
3. Like any relationship, God wants us to get to know him:
Proverbs 2: My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.
As I think about this verse, I realize that God hides his wisdom just like any other relationship we are in. The first time I went on a date with Caleb, I didn’t learn everything about him.The first year we were married, I couldn’t tell you everything he thought. Even now, after almost 10 years, I don’t know everything there is about Caleb.
As your relationship grows, you learn more, you lean in, you understand hidden pieces of the person. If not, your relationship gets old pretty quick. I remember this with Caleb’s high school friends. They talk about how they always want to create new memories together and not rely on things that happened 20 years ago.
They are still seeking each other- still growing. He hides his wisdom so that we will seek him, so that our relationship with Him will continually grow. As we would seek to know someone, build our relationship with them, or intentionally want to get to know someone we are romantically interested in, so will our pursuit of God reveal new hidden mysteries about him.
As I’ve been praying through this hidden wisdom, I now understand why it’s not on a billboard. While salvation can fit on a billboard (We sin, he saves), a relationship with God can’t. His desire for our humility, our desire, and our growing relationship is personal. The more we seek and pursue who he is, the more we are joyfully ready to sell everything we own, the more we humble ourselves like little children- the more hidden mysteries become revealed.
If you aren’t regularly uncovering the mysteries of God, I would say you’re not seeking him like you would another relationship. Are you willing to pursue him like your friends or your spouse? It is the sweetest thing there is- and soon you too can be saying the words from Psalm 73:25. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
Want to learn more about being consumed by God? Join Hannah at the Akron Women on Purpose Conference - March 7, 2020!