My son can’t figure out how I can find always find him so quickly when we play hide and seek. One day it will occur to him that talking trash while he’s hiding isn’t such a good idea.
Interestingly, the concept of hiding has been around at least as far back as Genesis chapter 3.
Sin entered the human race through the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Immediately, man and woman began to hide from God. While it may see silly in some respects (i.e. God is omnipresent and omniscient), in other respects it makes total sense. God is the righteous judge who shall by no means clear the guilty (Exodus 34:7). He is wrathful toward all the ungodliness and unrighteousness of man (Romans 1:18). Although we have no record of his righteous justice and righteous indignation being described prior to the fall of man, we know that certainly Adam and Eve were aware of these attributes because “his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20).
Therefore it makes sense that they would hide because they were aware of their guilt and shame before a just God. They hid themselves in the trees of the garden (Genesis 3:8). And that’s where they made their mistake.
There’s nothing wrong with hiding from God. Yes, you heard me right. There is nothing wrong with hiding God –as long as you choose the right hiding place.
For instance, Moses hid in the cleft of the rock (Exodus 33:22) in direct obedience to God. That was a good place to hide.
Adam and Eve, on the other hand, chose to hide in a place not prescribed by God. In their flawed wisdom (how quickly the fall tainted their thinking), they believed that they could use the very trees of God’s creation to hide from the one who created them. Further, they believed their shame could be hidden by mere leaves sewn together (that logic is not much better than my 6-year-old’s hide and seek strategy). They had not realized that shame runs much deeper than physical appearance. Their problem was actually an issue of the heart.
The first couple’s hope could only be found in the very God they were hiding from. By the end of Genesis chapter 3, God had provided a covering where their nakedness and shame would be hidden by the skins of animals. The bloodshed by these animals for the sake of covering (atoning for) the guilty painted a vivid a picture of Christ’s coming redemption.
Like the first couple’s animal covering, or like Moses’ hiding place in the rock, our ultimate hiding place is in Christ. Jesus, the Son of God, received the wrath of God on our behalf, shedding His blood for our sin, bearing our nakedness, sin, and shame so that we might run to Him and find our hiding place.
Instead of running from God to hide, we must run to God for our hiding through His provision in Christ.
For those who do not know Christ by faith, today is the day of salvation. Repent of your sin and turn to Christ by faith.
Likewise, believers need to be reminded to hide in Christ. No matter how long you have followed Jesus, the call to run toward Christ is just as pertinent. Christ is the only safe hiding place for:
- The troubled heart seeking peace,
- The jealous, greedy, or lustful soul longing for contentment,
- The pride-filled person in need of humility,
- The sinner in need of hope,
- The exhausted saint in seeking rest.
Conversely, hiding in gluttony, materialism, debauchery, achievement, independence (or a million other forms of sin) will always lead to exposure to the fact that left to ourselves (i.e. without Christ) we are naked and ashamed.
“You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah” (Psalm 32:7)
Now that sounds like my son’s kind of hiding place!