The Hidden Things Belong to God
“The hidden things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of this law.”
Deuteronomy 29:29 HCSB
“I don’t understand.”
This refrain has repeated in my prayers lately. I graduate the first week in May, and I move from my childhood home to a much smaller living space in another state the last week of May. I don’t want to move, but circumstances outside of my control have made it necessary. My older sister will remain at her job in South Carolina. My younger sister has her heart set on going to a fantastic college in Georgia. My mom and I will be fourteen hours away from both of them.
My heart is breaking.
We finally found a wonderful church at my home in Georgia where we were building a community. And now we are leaving. My mom has been searching for a new job for months, and my only job lead was in Georgia. I don’t know what our future will hold. And I don’t understand why it has to be so hard.
In the midst of this time of struggle, my mom has taken up a simple practice of dwelling on a name of God each day. She shares a few verses and a little devotional thought or prayer on one name or characteristic that God brings to mind that morning. By doing so, she has helped remind me that my anchor in the storm of uncertainty is dwelling on my certainty that God is who He says He is, and He is good. So, as I read Deuteronomy 29:29 and the twenty-eight verses that come before it in the chapter, my ears are tuned to hear God’s character, and the name of God whispered to my heart is: Provider.
In Deuteronomy chapter 29, God is renewing His covenant with the people of Israel before they enter the Promised Land. He warns them that if they obey their stubborn hearts (verse 19) and chase after false gods, He will not ignore their sin, will destroy them and the land, and will drive Israel out. This seems harsh, but think about the rebelliousness of the Israelites to this point. They did not deserve the Promised Land. No human deserves anything good from God. But in His grace, God was patient with His stiff-necked people and offered them a paradise if they would obey Him. Just as it was in the Garden of Eden, that paradise was contingent on His people’s obedience; the result of disobedience would be death and destruction because of the evilness of sin. Just as it was in the Garden, God’s people disobeyed, and the history of Israel was riddled with war, exile, and oppression.
But then there came a time when a Nazarene Rabbi spoke these words:
“Don’t keep striving for what you should eat and what you should drink, and don’t be anxious. For the Gentile world eagerly seeks all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.
But seek His kingdom, and these things will be provided for you. Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom.”
Luke 12:29-32 HCSB
You may be wondering what on earth the connection is between the harsh words of Deuteronomy 29 and this encouraging teaching of Jesus. The connection is Jesus. When all humanity fell short of keeping the covenant, God sent One who would perfectly keep it on our behalf. Instead of the banishment and suffering we deserve, God delights to give His eternal Kingdom to those who believe in Christ. This is a paradise that cannot be shaken or taken. Our sins cannot disqualify us. Instead, the mercy and grace of God offer us everything we need in this life and an eternal home on the grounds of faith alone. That faith is naturally coupled with good works which bubble up from a heart of thankfulness. The good work Jesus calls His little flock to in this passage is to seek the Kingdom.
As Deuteronomy 29:29 says, the hidden things belong to God. Why we have to suffer, what the future holds, and why God closes doors that look so good while leading us down paths that look painful, are all hidden things that belong to the Provider. But He has revealed this to us: He is good, and He will take care of us. We must trust and obey the commandment to seek His Kingdom. If we will surrender our questions and fears and take one step at a time down the path He is revealing, doing our best in dependence on the Holy Spirit to love God and others as we go, He will meet our every need. He delights to give us the Kingdom!
So, no. I still don’t know why. I still don’t understand the hard path ahead; however, I do know the One who knows, and I trust Him. Today, I will seek His Kingdom and watch with hopeful eyes for His provision. Will you join me?
- Are you facing circumstances you don’t understand? Bring your questions to God and know that He hears. It’s okay to cry out! It’s okay to bring a complaint to Him. Just don’t stay there. Reaffirm your trust in Him today, surrendering your concerns to Him in prayer and then saying these simple words or your own version: “God, my Provider, I trust You to take care of this situation and take care of me as I walk through it for my good and Your glory. Help me trust You more.”
- Take some time to consider a name of God that reminds you of a quality of His character that you need to remember today. Read favorite old passages and try to find some new ones that talk about this characteristic. Pray, praise, journal, write a song, whatever helps you to meditate on who God is. Simply meditating on God is a powerful way to seek His Kingdom!
- Consider the Kingdom that you have been promised as a believer in Christ, dwelling on the wonderful hope of Heaven. Let your heart fill with thanksgiving to God for sending Jesus to fulfill the covenant requirements we could never fill and provide a way for us to inherit this wonderful hope. Thank God for delighting to give you the Kingdom and then ask Him, “What is one way I can seek Your Kingdom today?”