Have you ever tried to fully grasp the idea of eternity? We imagine what it might be like, or compare it to things we understand, but our finite minds cannot comprehend eternity. Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! Romans 11:33 (NLT). God exists outside of time. In fact, He created time – and us. As we exist inside of time, we have no reference for the absence of time – or for eternity. We simply cannot understand God’s ways.
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29 (ESV)
I just finished reading Deuteronomy, and this single verse caught my attention. What are the “secret things”? For context, the preceding verses list the awful consequences of disobedience, while the following verses reveal Israel’s restoration when they return to the Lord. So here are my thoughts.
(1) The secret things belong to the LORD our God… These are secret things God has chosen to hide, to conceal, to keep close. God is sovereign and good. Everything He does is good. In fact, the same Hebrew wording is used in other scripture reflecting God’s gracious protection: Job 14:13 (NIV) ….conceal me till your anger has past, and Psalm 27:5 (ESV) …. he will conceal me under the cover of his tent. I believe if God revealed everything, our human minds would shut down – we could not handle it. Wisely, He reveals what we need to know when we need to know it. He conceals things for our protection!
(2) …but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever… At this point in Israel’s history, God has given His laws, revealing what He requires of His people. He spells out obedience, disobedience, and their consequences. The Israelites know what is expected. The responsibility is now theirs to live it out!
(3) …that we may do all the words of this law. This phrase wraps up the verse with a call to action. The Israelites know God’s laws. They know their responsibility. It is now time to act. No more excuses. Blessings for obedience are waiting!
Connection, reminder, warning. Deuteronomy 29:29 connects the revealing of God’s law with the people’s responsibility to obey, reminds us that God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9), and warns that we are accountable to act on what we do understand. We are responsible to do as God has revealed.
Do not allow the unknown to distract the known. Do not get so caught up in what God has not yet revealed, that you miss what He has for you right now. Look ahead. Look forward. Focus on what you know, and do it. Keep busy doing God’s work!