The Hiddenness of God

God is that of which nothing greater can be conceived. This is the essence of Anselm of Canterbury’s ontological argument for the existence of God. The Scriptures also proclaim the greatness of God. He is King of kings, Lord of lords, creator of heaven and earth, the Alpha and Omega.

God’s majesty and power have inspired men to create amazing works in tribute, from grand cathedrals to works of literature and music. Men and women throughout history have dedicated their lives to his service. Thousands have been willing to die cruel deaths at the hands of those who oppose them rather than disown God.

It is no exaggeration that God is the most awesome, amazing, and incredible being there is. He spoke everything we see, hear, touch, smell, and taste into existence. From nothing. He thought of it, he said “let it be,” and it was, and still is. And it works.

From time to time, I look at a periodic table because it is a testimony to the magnificence of God. From this collection of about a hundred different atoms, basic building blocks of life, we have sunsets and chocolate, mountains and dragonflies. They all have different properties because some have more electrons or protons than others and God thought of all of them and decided to use them to make everything. Then he decided to allow some combinations of them to have life — from algae to elephants. Amazing.

The wonder of creation is truly, in every sense of the word, miraculous. This is not even to talk of the incarnation or how God has spoken to and through his people throughout history. Those times when we really start to catch a glimpse of the magnificence of God, it can leave us in speechless wonder.

And yet, this incomparable God is the epitome of humility, more humble than any of his creatures. He lets his work speak for itself — in billions of cases — and he even allows some of his work to speak against him. God is the most brilliant artist, yet he leaves his work unsigned. The constructor of mountains and oceans has no plaque to commemorate his work. We are able to peer into atoms and into galaxies, yet nowhere do we see God. His handiwork abounds, but there is nothing to tip us off directly. No edge of the curtain turned up to give us a glimpse.

Except perhaps in one place — our mirror. His word tells us that we are created in his image. Somehow we look like him, though whether that’s physical or spiritual has been a long object of speculation. We only know that in his image, male and female, we are created.

Our God desires humility in us because he is humble. Pride is not his characteristic.

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Isaiah 57:15 (ESV)

God dwells all around us. He is as near as the blood in our veins, yet through his humility he is content to be hidden. Through humility, he allows himself to be overlooked and uncredited. Amazing.


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