A Voice in the
Wilderness

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Re: God Hides Himself (Deuteronomy 29:29)

"Jehovah our God hides Himself; but reveals Himself to us and to our 
children forever, to do all the Words of this Law." (De29:29)

Now...the way we have been used to reading this verse is: "The secret 
[things belong] unto the LORD our God: but those [things which are] 
revealed [belong] unto us and to our children for ever, that [we] may do 
all the words of this law." (KJV)

What is the difference? The word KJV (and others) render as "secret" is 
a participle; a verb which is usually used as an adjective, nominatively 
(things), instead of verbally (action). If we went only by the label 
"participle", perhaps the KJV could be construed to be correct. But 
notice all the 'added' words (italicized in your editions) to make it 
work grammatically. Do those words "belong" belong there? They're not in 
the texts.

Furthermore, the nominative use of this word seems to have been done 
rather "selectively" for -this- verse, isolated. Throughout the rest of 
the book, due to how languages translate from one to another, to keep 
meanings accurately consistent, participles are treated regularly as 
verbs (action). So, why change here, and make it nominative (thing)?

Two lessons for us from this verse:  1) the importance of translational 
consistency, and  2) Why does God 'hide' Himself?

If we read the preceeding verses, what is the subject matter? Israel 
will have been destroyed through God's anger at them for their apostasy, 
and as the nations of the world are seeing what has happened to Israel, 
they are bemused (let me paraphrase): Look at how desolate the land is! 
(vs23), Why was God so angry? (vs24); because they (Israel) forsook 
God's Law (vs25), They worshipped idols (vs26), thus God brought on them 
the curses He had promised for their disobedience (vs27), and God 
uprooted them and scattered them around the world. (vs28)

Now, in that context, are we suddenly speaking of God's "secrets" and 
our "understanding"? We are blessed, thus -we- (WE) have a special 
understanding? Well, no: the context is Israel, and their disobedience. 
Thus, continuing that same context, God has "hidden" Himself. (Using 
that word 'verbally' like the tense is everywhere else in the book)

And so, when God reveals Himself, why does He do so?  For Israel 
"to do all the Words of this Law." (vs29b)

Is this an isolated doctrine, taken out of all context?

God gave Israel His Law. He set before them "..life and good, death and 
evil" (30:15) with His verbosely stated desire, "..I have set before you 
life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore choose life, that 
both you and your seed may live;  to love Jehovah your God, to obey His 
voice, and to cleave unto Him, for He is your life and the length of 
your days; to dwell in the land.." (30:19-20)

But in His foreknowledge, He knew that they would break His covenant. 
They would disobey Him, and go seeking other gods, to "..commit adultery 
with the gods of the foreigners.." (31:16) And thus, He repeats...

"And I will conceal to hide My face in that day because of all the evil 
which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods." (30:18)

This was God's 'prediction'. And what happened when Israel did disobey 
and suffered God's wrath, and they found that God seemed so 'distant' 
from them? "Behold, Jehovah’s hand is not shortened, that it CANNOT 
save; nor is His ear heavy, that it CANNOT hear.  But your iniquities 
have separated between you and your God, and your sins have HIDDEN His 
face from you, that He WILL NOT hear." (Is59:1-2)  God -purposely- hid 
Himself from them, and as He said elsewhere, "Therefore it has come to 
pass that, just as He called, and they would not hear; so they called, 
and I did not hear, says Jehovah of Hosts." (Zec7:13)  When He called to 
them "..you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not hear, but did evil 
before My eyes, and chose that in which I have not delighted." (Is65:12)

So, we can look at Israel and shake our heads at -them- till the cows 
come home... But what about us? All that is written -to- and -about- 
Israel is 'not' merely -for- Israel. It is also as "examples" for us. 
(1Cor10:6) For what purpose?

".., so that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.  
Neither become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, The 
people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.  Nor let us 
commit sexual immorality, as some of them prostituted, and in one day 
twenty-three thousand fell;  nor let us test Christ, as some of them 
also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents;  nor murmur, as some of 
them also murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer.  Now all these 
things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our 
admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.   Therefore let 
him who thinks he is firmly established take heed that he not fall. 
(1Cor10:6-12)

You think you are once-saved-always-saved, and eternally-securely 
on-your-way to Heaven? But do you also have this 'void' within your 
soul? Yes, you faithfully participate in the "guaranteed formula" for 
Christian 'success'. You daily 1) read your Bible and 2) pray, and you 
are 3) -at- 'church' everytime the doors are open and go 'soul-winning'. 
But, when you are alone, by yourself, away from the cultish 
indoctrinations of the group, you just cannot get away from the fact 
that, when you look inside your own soul, there is this big emptiness; a 
huge void. Yes, you "pray"...and do more and more of it, believing in 
the so-called "power of prayer". But when you look honestly, you know 
that your prayers are -not- 'answered'. So then, you look around, and 
see the charismatics over there... they dance around, swoon, get slain, 
babble off with their tongues, and people are getting "healed"...and so 
you go over there to get some 'action' in your soul?

Well, remember, God said about the false prophets who prophesy 
something, and their 'sign' actually comes to pass, but they also teach 
false doctrines -away- from God's Law; that God allows them to exist. 
For what reason? To test His -own- True Believers. "..for Jehovah your 
God is testing you to know whether you love Jehovah your God with all 
your heart and with all your soul." (Deu13:1-3)  Yes, folks... God 
allows charismania to continue for a season, to "test" those who claim 
to be His -true- followers, to see if they are going to remain steadfast 
in His Word, or be swayed over to the false doctrines which claim to 
validate themselves with their signs and wonders. And many are swayed. 
But you can know that they are not God's children -because- they are 
swayed. They are not remaining true to His Word... to "sound doctrine". 
(1Tim1:10, 2Tim4:3, Tit1:9, 2:1)

They continually speak of God "purifying" His Church; quoting Mal3:3 
about "Levi" out of context. Well, for sure, one thing that is happening 
is a winnowing and sifting, dividing between the wheat and chaff. 
(Mt3:12) And here, too, the "few/many" (Mt7:13-14) analogy holds true. 
For you who know anything about farming and combining/thrashing: When 
the grain has been shaken out and augured into the hopper, there is far 
less 'bulk' to the grain, than the chaff and straw. If a farmer bales up 
the straw, it can totally fill the barn, but the grain makes a 
proportionately -much- 'smaller' pile. And what does God promise 
regarding the chaff? The "wind drives it away" (Ps1:4) and is reserved 
to be "burned up" with "unquenchable fire". (Mt3:12)

So, back to our topic: What about that big 'void' in your soul? Why is 
it there?  One of two reasons:  1) You are not -really- 'saved',  or 2) 
You have sin in your life.

First of all, you need to ascertain the verity of your own salvation. 
"Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. 
Do you not know, yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you; unless indeed 
you are unacceptable?" (2Cor13:5)

And then, if you know you are, truly, saved; but you have this void, 
then begin seeking the Lord's face as to 'what' that -sin- may be. 
Perhaps your conscience already knows what it is, but your own lust has 
"seared" your conscience because you have been a "hypocrite"? (1Tm4:2) 
You have been busy "lying". To others; and you've been doing it long 
enough that you now even believe your own lies.

God hides Himself in the context of disobedience. But He reveals Himself 
in the context of us "[DOING] all the Words of [His] Law". (De29:29)

"But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." 
(Jacob1:22) "..for not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but 
the doers of the Law will be justified.." (Rom2:13)  

Amen!