How does one understand things that happen around us when we don’t have answers? We tend to be a people who want to be in control, know what is happening and know why it’s happening, yet often we find ourselves in a tight spot where there are absolutely no answers for our inquisitive minds! How do we handle this? How do we comfort our passion to learn and calm the need to know? I have visited the following text before but want to look at it in more depth today. It has been a Scripture that has given me much comfort over many years … a text that is in fact inexhaustible.
Dt 29:29 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.
The first thing that pops into mind is the fact that Moses, the man God used to author Genesis to Deuteronomy under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is closing in on his death date. He is about to hand over the leadership reigns to his faithful assistant, Joshua. Under inspiration, He is speaking from the heart with passion. In chapters 27 and 28 he delivers the curses for disobedience and the blessings for obedience, and in chapter 29 we find a renewal of the Covenant between Israel and God. Now what flows in verse 29 could be broken down into easy to grasp points:
The Text Speaks of God’s Wisdom
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever”. Here you see God breaking up spiritual truth into two distinct categories. Our Bible says “secret” and “revealed”. The original language (Hebrew) presents it in far more vivid terms: “covered” and “uncovered”. The covered things (secret) are not meant to be known by us.
In some ways, we might be able to discern certain ways of God, such as COVID-19 and its various strains as His judgment on this world for its virtual rejection of the true God and persistent rebellion (as well as other forms of judgment that He has sent our way as a race, tribe or individual), yet in reality we cannot understand all of God’s workings or His mind or why He does or permits things to happen, be it good or bad.
So here’s the thing … it does not matter who we are, how educated we are or how well we know the Scriptures … the “covered” things (the secret things) are not for us to comprehend fully. This means that even the person who can read the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek of the Bible and understand better than most cannot comprehend the covered things of God! For reasons of God’s own and our protection He intentionally keeps many things from us … just as parents keep certain things away from their children. So irrespective of how eager and passionate we are to know the “covered” things, they are God’s business and not ours. Do you remember how the disciples wanted the “why” question answered?
Ac 1:6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”
It was a political question that included governmental authority, finances, job creation, freedom, slavery, etc. … and see how Jesus answered, “It is not for you to know”. The lesson for us is simple. There are things God does not want us to know about. He will reveal it in His time should He deem we need to know about the “covered” things.
The Text Speaks of Revealed Wisdom
Have you ever stopped to think about the revealed things … the “uncovered”? These are far more the most important things for anyone, especially Christians, to dig into and know about. What Moses is referring to are the things revealed in Scripture. God has not left us in the dark. In fact, He reveals everything we need to know about this life, salvation and eternity.
His Word addresses morals and ethics, sexuality and intimacy, marriage and divorce, parents and children, church and ministry, pastors and leaders, governments and business, prayer and singing, emotions (the full range) and joy, sin and rebellion, heaven and hell, angels and demons, etc. Everything we need to know about for this life in general and in specific, and everything we need to know about for the next life is revealed for us on the pages of the Bible! We have what we need to know!
The Text Speaks of Practical Wisdom
God says … the “uncovered” things “belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”
Notice “belong to us”. Many don’t have the Lord’s Word and many more don’t want the Lord’s Word … but that Word is ours to grasp the realities in it. Let us never take God’s Word for granted.
Also, notice “and to our children”. Parents need to share God’s Word with their children. Moses teaches that (Deuteronomy 6)! Throughout the world, children are growing up wayward, doing just about everything and anything the Lord speaks against. The children don’t know this because parents don’t share God and His Word with their children. Look at the condition of our schools and look into the juvenile detention centers and ask the “why” question. The answer is reveled in God’s Word. This fact in itself shouts aloud for the desperate need of healthy Churches and healthy Sunday Schools.
Finally, notice “that we may follow”. The “uncovered” things are not just to be known but obeyed! Did you notice the text did not say … “know” but “follow”. As all Scripture is God out-breathed … all Scripture is to be obeyed. God knows nothing about partial obedience.
Thank You, Glorious Father, for making things so easy for us to understand in Your Word. Graciously help us to known as much of the revealed things in Your Word as possible and put them into practice. Thank You for relieving our minds about the secret things that are not our concern. Grant to all Christian parents the ability to educate their children in Your Word to prepare them for life and salvation. Send forth Your Holy Spirit powerfully into our lives, families and churches enabling us to be Your obedient, faithful servants for Jesus’ sake. Amen.