Tuesday, February 6, 2007

No Option but to Hide

When my little granddaughter was two, my daughter wanted to train her not to use her pacifier (soo-soo) during the day but little Elise would sneak into the bedroom and take it out of her crib. One day my daughter caught her walking out of her bedroom with her hand behind her back.
She asked her, “Elise, what do you have behind your back?”
Little Elise answered , “Not my soo-soo…. Don’t ask me !!”

We laugh at our little children because they are so transparent , but if we take an honest look at ourselves we really have not changed , have we? The inclination to hide what we are doing wrong or feel guilty about stays with us even in adulthood.

We can trace this human trait all the way back to Adam and Eve when they hid in the garden after they had eaten the forbidden fruit. God came looking for them, “Where are you Adam? Did you eat of the forbidden tree?” There was no hiding place hidden from God.

Before God miraculously delivered Jericho into the hands of the Israelite people , Joshua commanded the people not to take for themselves any of the plunder from the city - if they did they would bring trouble not only on themselves but also the entire camp.
One of the men, named Achan, saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, and two hundred shekels of silver as well as a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels. He looked around and seeing that no one was watching , took the things , managed to sneak them home without being detected and buried them in the ground under his tent.
Did he really think God did not see him? Perhaps he thought he had gotten away with it , but the next time they went to battle against Ai the Israeli army was beaten. When Joshua cried out to God, God told him there was sin in the camp. Achan was pointed out and his buried treasure found. He could hide from Joshua and the people but not from God.

When Naaman , the Syrian, came to Elisha to be healed from his leprosy and he rose up out of the Jordan with skin as smooth as a child’s, he was so grateful to the prophet Elisha that he begged him to take a gift . But Elisha refused, before the Lord, to take any reward at all. His servant ,Gahazi, was listening and it displeased him that Naaman should be given his health and be allowed to return home without paying any recompense at all. So he ran after Naaman and told him that Elisha had just received two unexpected guests and had sent him to beg for a talent of silver and two changes of garments. Naaman gladly insisted on giving him two talents along with the garments and even ordered two servants to carry them back for him.
Returning home, Gahazi hid the gifts in the house thinking that no one would ever know. Elisha called Gahazi to him and asked him where he had been. He lied saying that he had not been anywhere. Elisha , of course knew exactly what Gahazi had done and told him so… pronouncing the leprosy of Naaman to be upon Gahazi.

We also have the story of Ananias and Saphira who wanted to impress the other believers by their generous gift. They sold some property and declared that they were giving it all to the church but secretly they had hidden some of it for themselves. When Peter asked them if they were indeed declaring all of it as a gift, they insisted that they were. Peter chided them that since it had all been theirs to do with as they wished, why would they hide the truth? We know the story… because they lied to the Holy Spirit they dropped dead and were carried out of the building.

Jonah, not wanting to go to Ninevah in obedience to God’s call, thought he could hide on a ship on its way to Tarshish. But he could not hide… God knew exactly where he was and sent the whale to swallow him and spew him up on the very shore he was trying to avoid. There was no place to hide.

The Lord declares , “Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” (Jer.23:24)
And Is. 29:15,16a God says, “Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the Lord and their works are in the dark, They say “who sees us?” and “Who knows us” Surely you have things turned around! “

The fact that we cannot hide from God no matter how hard we try, that “there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all tings are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account”(Heb. 4:13) is daunting if we are fleeing from God, but it is a wonderful comfort if we are looking to Him for protection and safety. How safe are we if we are protected by the One who sees and hears everything?

Just as children hide from their parents when they know they have done something wrong, they are also very quick to run to them for protection when they are afraid. It seems almost a self-contradicting principle, one that parallels man’s relationship with God.
A sinner hides from God .... but God’s children run to Him to find a refuge, a hiding place.
In our hectic days we sometimes need a place to hide - even for a moment… We can hide in God and He will refresh us…
Sometimes we are in trouble and feel the world is against us…. We can run to God and find a safe hiding place in Him….
Sometimes life is just overwhelming and we feel we cannot go on … God is waiting to shelter us in His love.
Listen to these beautiful , comforting promises from His word,
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress.” (Ps. 91:1,2)
For You have been a strength to the poor , a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm…” (Is. 25:4)
“The eternal God is your refuge …..” (Deut.33:27)
"In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence and His children will have a place of refuge," (Prov. 14:26)
"The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed , a refuge in times of trouble….” (Ps. 9:9)
"Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked…” (Ps. 64:2)
"Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies, in you I take shelter…” ( Ps. 143:9)

Man really has no option – he must hide – but the choice of where he hides is his ,
either he hides from God in fear, or he runs to God to hide in Him.

1 comment:

Yokooso said...

I love it!...God is so good~my shelter is He...