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The Bible records God's appearing to people, performing amazing and undeniable miracles, speaking audibly, and many other things that we do not often witness today. Why is this? Why was God so will...
If you feel that God is hidden Himself in your situation, you are in good company with all of the heroes of the Bible. In Psalm10:1 the question is asked "Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?" and in Psalm 44:24, "Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression?" Our human perspective on life causes us to feel that God has hidden Himself from us, but it is God's way to bring Himself ultimate glory. Proverbs 25:2 says "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter." Isaiah 45:15 says "Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour." When we read scripture we lose the perspective that the miracles that people experienced were throughout a life time. They also spent many years waiting for God's answer to come. Abraham waited some 50 years for his promised child to arrive. Moses wandered in the desert 40 years before his call to return to Egypt, and Joseph spent 14 years in prison before his release and rise to power. The promise of a Messiah was about two thousand years to be revealed. But in the fullness of time, Jesus was born of a virgin. Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." God has always both hidden Himself and revealed Himself in the process of revealing His glory. When Jesus was called to Bethany because His friend Lazarus was sick, He waited for four days until Lazarus had died. His sister blamed Jesus, "If you would have come, Lazarus would not have died. " Jesus said that this was to reveal God's Glory, and then he called Lazarus out of the tomb. When miracles were performed in the Bible, it was always to display God's glory and also in response to a human need that could not be met without divine intervention. God's nature is the same today. He hides Himself for a time, as we seek His face, so that His ultimate Glory and purpose can be revealed in a matter. If God is seemingly hiding from you, seek God's face. Ask him to reveal His Ways to you. Ask Him to show you things that are hidden in the darkness, and ultimately ask Him to show His Glory through your situation.
God is not hidden today. God today, yesterday, or tomorrow is the same God. He talks to us through many ways: His Words, visions, even voices. He performs miracles to help those who seek Him by faith, to rescue them out of dangerous situations. To cure the sick, to comfort those people who grieve, to save them from their sins. God is still present on this earth through the Holy Spirit, but it takes Faith to see Him. "But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and rewards everyone who searches for Him" (Hebrews 11: 6)
During infancy and childhood the parents of a newborn will do everything for him/her, but as the child grows up into adulthood, parental assistance becomes more and more limited to crisis situations. The same is true of God and the human race. During mankind's childhood divine intervention was more frequent because of man's essential helplessness. Now that humanity has somewhat more control its environment and other circumstances, the same need for divine intervention has been reduced. Although God has given us the means to help ourselves over the millennia with technology, government, religion, etc., we are still intrinsically dependent upon him for our day to day and future existence. Even as a thoroughly mature species we will always depend upon God for meaning and purpose in life. The need to maintain communication with him through prayer will not disappear, but more likely increase as we as a species come to understand more precisely for what purposes we were created. For an individual, we are told to "seek and ye shall find." Of course, this means to seek sincerely, not to set up a scientific experiment to determine whether God exists or not. Those seriously needing God's intervention will receive it, or their spirituality is insufficient. The center of gravity of the whole Bible rests on the story of righteous Daniel, continually supplicating God, and being saved from death in the lion's den, in contrast to his accusers. As Christ said (Luke 21:36) "Watch ye, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
When we read the Bible we happen to read only a selected one strand from the total world history. Just consider the tenth chapter of the book of Genesis. Out of so many people groups the biblical history has been always kept on narrowing down to a very very minority people. And these minority people were also not very responsive to God. Like in the book of Amos it was a constant complaint that the people of God lacked the the knowledge of God. So among the people of God those who experienced God and heard His voice were again very very minority people. And these people were misunderstood by the majority. The same has been true at the time of N.T.. Like in chapters one and two of Luke's Gospel, those who experienced God and heard His voice were minority and often misunderstood by the majority people. The same is true today also. There are so many things happening today in the world and all those news are reported by secular media. And though we are Christians and believe in God, our senses are more tuned to the scientific media than to that "still small voice" that is every time striving to get our attention but most of the time a couple of deaf ears is turned to it. In the Jewish Bible the books from Joshua to 2 Kings, excluding the book of Ruth, are called early prophets. I have called these books the prophetic history. I feel they are prophetic because: 1. They provided occasion for God to act and to give prophetic words. 2. They provide examples of God's responses at any given situation. 3. They reveal what is liked by God and what is hated by Him. 4. They provide examples for the faithful of our time to interpret our situation and discern God's will in any situation. May be we can add some more points here. Read this prophetic history and look around what is happening in the world today and you will be surprised to learn what God is speaking and to see what God is doing. In biblical times God spoke and worked but the contemporary people almost never believed that God was speaking or God was working. Even we would have not known that God spoke and worked in the past, if the biblical authors had not written those things from God's perspective guided by the Spirit of God. It is not that God is not speaking or not acting, or that God is not so evident in our time. Only thing is that the writing of the Scriptures is complete and God is not giving any new revelation, specially in writing. God is speaking today mostly through the faithful, may by words of their mouth or by their written words. Most probably many of us will be judged for not having heeded those words of God. Personally I have experienced the hearing of God's word and His miracle. Even I have experienced the protective hands of God's angels in my life. But like Paul, I will only say that "it is doubtless not profitable for me to boast, I will come to the vision and revelations of the Lord:..." (2 Cor. 12:1-6). In fact, there are promises in the Bible that God will be active in a profounder way in future than at biblical times. "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservantsI will pour our My Spirit in those days" (Joel 2:28-29). "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." (Jn. 14:12). So we all come across God speaking to us, acting in our lives and God's angels serving us, but the difficulty is whether we recognize them as such or not.
Well this is a good question and the answer is written down in God's word. The signs and wonders that followed Jesus while he was upon this earth. John 20:31 so that we might believe Rom. 15:4 these things written afore time, 1 John 5:13 believe in God. In the early days when Jesus was on earth these miraculous things were done so that men might believe on him that offers us eternal life. Now today and since Jesus is no longer upon this earth. If our faith is where it should be, we take this written word account that all that was done during this time is true. And our faith will direct our paths. If your faith is strong enough to believe Gen 1:1 then the rest is easy. My point is if your faith is strong you will not need a feeling or an indwelling. Or a miracle. The Lord is there for the baptized, believing Christian.
It is no wonder that so many of those that seek God seem so confused as to whether are not God seems to be so hidden from man. For those who have developed a solid relationship with God, we do not need to fear that our relationship with the Trinity will ever be broken. But what about those that are not yet at a place in their journey where they are able to feel that secure in God 's love? A renewing of one's spirit becomes necessary and extremely important through non-ceasing prayer. One must earnestly pray for a greater understanding and a closer walk with our Lord and Savior. Study the scriptures diligently, if you truly love and believe in God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit, He will reveal Himself to you in a way that you can understand. Seek a home church through spiritual friends, where you can worship in spirit and in truth. To have asked your question, you already know that there are churches, and there are churches where the Spirit of God is not fully revealed. They vainly seek His blessing, they profusely abuse His grace, and more importantly, they lack "Saving Faith. Jesus built His church on the faith that Peter exhibited through his knowledge of who Jesus is, and Peter's trust in God. Matthew 16:18--"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it". In a "house of faith", faith is evidenced through the behavior of its spiritual leaders, and in a growing segment of the believers, due in part to their obedience and trust in God. If the church is one that is built on faith, your keen observation over an extended period will reveal to you that this is where God wants you to be. At that point and if the Holy Spirit moves you, unite in fellowship with that church. It is the nature of a Christian to show concern for the lost; however, the focus for one to have who is seeking a closer relationship with God is to keep the focus on Jesus Christ. After the church, and your prayers, and your study has equipped you with the full armor of God, then you too will be prepared to cary out God's will for your life. Why is/was God so evident in the Bible and so hidden today? It is in part due to the popularity of sin and its wide visibility, and the increase of the sins in the entire world that have made it possible for many to now believe that God is not as visible to man as he is in scripture. The other part perhaps is that the "harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few".
Basically, the reason is because the word that came "became flesh and dwelt among us" is now not to be known this way any more. 2 Corinthians 5: 16, "...though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more." This runs in the same thought as when Jesus spoke to Thomas and said to him, "... because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."
God was much more evident in times past because those people had no Savior... they only had the PROMISE of a Savior. God communicated through various people (shepherds, priests, rulers, etc.). The great day of the birth of the Savior finally arrived and with very few exceptions, God was immediately silent, handing all authority to Him who lived among us, the Lord Jesus Christ. With His advent, everything that has needed to be said was said through Him, Jesus, directly or though the Apostles. That's all that needed to be said, that's everything we need to hear. As Jesus Himself said, "It is done!" and "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."
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