Pastor Ed Jones
Why was God so willing to reveal Himself in Bible times but seems hidden and silent today?
One reason God may seem hidden today is the simple fact of willful, unrepentant sin. “Then they will cry out to the LORD, but He will not answer them. At that time, He will hide his face from them because of the evil they have done” (Micah 3:4). People miss evidence of God because they refuse to believe—it’s hard to see when you won’t open your eyes.
Far from being hidden, God completed His plan of progressive revelation to mankind. God at times used miracles and direct address in order to reveal His character, His instructions, and His plans. In between God’s times of speaking, there was silence.
God’s first miracle, creation, has never been hidden. Creation is the primary evidence of God’s existence and the way He exhibits His many attributes. From what was made, man can see that God is powerful, sovereign, and eternal.
Following creation, God spoke to people further declaring Himself and informing man of His ways. He first spoke to Adam and Eve, giving them commandments to follow and, when they disobeyed, pronouncing a curse. He also assured them and all mankind that He would send a Savior to redeem us from sin.
When Jesus came to earth, after 400 “silent years” from God, He performed miracles to prove He was indeed the Son of God and to foster faith in Him. After His miraculous resurrection, He enabled His apostles to continue performing miracles in order to prove they were truly sent by Him, again so that people would believe in Jesus and heed the New Testament.
There are several reasons why, after the time of the apostles, God is no longer speaking audibly to us or making Himself as evident. As noted above, God has already spoken. His words were faithfully written down, and they have been miraculously kept for us through the ages. The Bible is finished. God’s progressive revelation is done. We need nothing more, and we are not to seek extra-biblical revelations. To do so calls into question the efficacy of Scripture that God has declared to be sufficient.
Another reason for the hidden state of God today is alluded to by the prophet Habakkuk, “The just shall live by his faith” (Hab. 2:4). God does not give His people a continual chain of miraculous signs; He never has. Rather, He expects them to trust what He has already done, search the Scriptures daily, and live by faith, not by sight.
Finally, let us remember that, even in those times when it seems that God is doing nothing, He is still the sovereign Lord of all creation, constantly at work, bringing about the completion of His perfect plan. One of the best examples of God’s hidden working is the book of Esther, in which God is never mentioned but which shows His sovereign hand at work from beginning to end.
Ed Jones pastors Fellowship at the Ranch Church at Robson Ranch. This nondenominational church meets at the Robson Clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. For information, visit Fellowship’s website, fellowshipattheranchchurch.com.