Is God in the “concealing” and “hiding” business?
“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings is to search out a thing.” (Proverbs 25:2 AMP)
I’ll admit, I’ve read this verse as often as once a month for many years as part of my regular journey through the book of Proverbs. And it’s always been a mystery to me. Every time I think I have it figured out, there’s some new twist.
My first idea (as far as I can recall) was that this was one of those verses that demonstrates the character of God by contrasting it against something else. I have no idea why, but my first thought was that it must have something to do with scandal — that God would receive glory when the sins of a repentant person are concealed (so as not to bring hurt or injury to others), but that earthly kings or people who seek glory for themselves would hunt down every detail and bring it into the public eye.
In other words — seeking something out would show that you’re a gloryhound and not interested in bringing glory to God.
Then I heard someone — a friend of mine, actually — refer to this verse when exposing what he considered the “sins” of another person. He felt it was his right to do so, because as part of the family of God he considered himself a “king.” In his mind, this verse authorized him to make sure everyone knew what was going on in the other person’s life.
This injured my conscience — after all, why would you do the opposite of what God seemed to want to do? It didn’t make sense to me.
It wasn’t until several years later that it dawned on me that this verse could be talking about a “thing” other than something that people might want to conceal. Honestly, it seems so obvious to me now that it’s almost embarrassing. But it reminds me that we bring our own presuppositions to the Word of God more than we know… and we desperately need the Holy Spirit to help us as we read.
As with much of Scripture, I’m sure that there are multiple layers of meaning here. But within this passage is this concept:
God Enjoys Hiding Things From You… For You
Jesus had a practice of teaching profound truths by hiding them just below the surface of a parable. Why? The valuable gems are not available to just any and everyone for the grabbing. Instead, they are for the hungry — those who are searching. There are, of course, lessons to be learned on the surface as well. But those who take the time to peel back the wrapping are the ones who discover that the juiciest, most valuable parts are enshrouded deep within.
Likewise, when we face some tangible need in our lives, God has already made provision for us.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (Ephesians 1:3 NKJV)
Every blessing already belongs to us… and is contained within the Kingdom!
“Well that’s all fine and good, but I don’t need a spiritual blessing… I need a natural one,” you may be thinking. “I can’t pay the bills with a spiritual blessing — they expect actual money!”
It’s true that we must take the blessings contained within the Kingdom and translate them into the natural realm. But that is our part. God cannot invade this natural realm and simply place Himself in the midst of your difficult circumstance and fix everything for you! To do so would violate the very principles of the Kingdom and of the Earth!
But what He can do is show you where He has hidden the treasures you need. Much of the time when we talk to God about a financial need, for example, He responds by revealing something to us: an unmet need in the marketplace, an innovation, an idea, or even an invention.
Made In His Image
When God began to think about His prized creation — the one He hadn’t yet made — He knew that Adam would need certain things. And God produced those things by doing the work of Creation. He spoke light into existence. Next came water, land, the earth, plants, animals, etc. Where did those things come from? Within Himself. He imagined them first, and then engaged in the work of bringing them into existence.
We, as His sons and daughters, are intended to work just like He does. The ideas, innovations and insights that He gives us are not just for our amusement. He wants us to engage in the Work of bringing those things into existence. Doing so will translate into income and influence for us so that we can continue to expand His Kingdom.
But the entire process begins by seeking out the things He has hidden from us. If everything were obvious, or if Had left them out in the open, anyone could discover them and capitalize on them. It wouldn’t take any effort — anyone could just walk by and spot them… and thereby steal the blessing that God intended for you.
This is why, my friend, there’s a struggle involved in receiving from God. There’s a hunt… a chase… some digging and effort involved. It’s not the same as sweating and toiling and receiving nothing but thorns. Quite the opposite: we pursue Him and He shows us where His hidden treasures can be found.
If you’re challenged by a need in your life today, it’s time to pursue Him and His Kingdom. That’s where your answers are hidden!Tags: hidden treasures, Kingdom of God, Listening to God, Proverbs, provision