In a context of future judgment brought by God upon His rebellious children (Deuteronomy 29), Moses anticipates a question asked by surrounding nations who witness the devastation.
They want to know why the destruction happened. He answers the question showing the justice of the judgment God brought. Then he concludes with verse 29 which says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”
It’s as if Moses was saying, “Listen. When you’ve heard all God has to say about future judgment, it will still be true that you don’t know everything.” Ask yourself, “Do I know God?”
How would you answer? I would say to every Christian the answer is yes. And what would I mean? I would mean that you know God loved you enough to send His Son to become human, to live and serve as Jesus did, and then to suffer and die as an atoning sacrifice for us. You would know things like God is good, holy, just, loving, impartial, patient...and that Jesus Christ is the reflection of the character of God.
And there are many aspects of God’s nature, heart and will, revealed in scripture that we grow to know as we live in Christ. However, I ask again, “Do you know God?” And the answer is no. For we cannot fully know God. Even considering the revelation God has given us of Himself in the scriptures, there remain many more questions than answers. Just as God told Moses that a man could not see God and continue to live, so we cannot begin to grasp fully all the profound aspects of our God. We just don’t have the capacity!
A number of things follow from this consideration:
1) We ought to more fully focus on the things God has revealed to us in the Bible rather than on what is yet concealed from us. The Bible is a deep, deep well of faith-building truths that we may spend our lives drawing from without coming near to exhausting its riches.
2) Though there are profound truths touched upon in Scripture, the vital truths which pertain to life and godliness (what we must know and believe in order to become and remain saved and be enlisted in His purposes) are clearly revealed (Ephesians 3:1-5 and 2 Peter 1:3).
3) God is eternal. And, though we are able to consider only truths about Him in relation to His creation of planet earth, the cosmos and humans, as well as all life, the things that are known of God are much more than sufficient to be absolutely convincing that He is worthy of all our souls’ adoration. “Great is Jehovah and greatly to be praised (Psalm 145:3).
Let’s praise God that the secret things belong to Him, but the revealed things belong to us and our children forever that we may follow all His words!
Written and submitted by Doug Oakes, minister, Woodlawn Church of Christ; Zanesville; email firstname.lastname@example.org