Hide and Seek
Job 23:3 (NIV)
3 If only I knew where to find him;
if only I could go to his dwelling!
Introduction: My sister Toni, would play hide and seek and sit in the middle of the floor with her eyes closed and say, "you can't find me." If she couldn't see or hear us, she reasoned that we could not see or hear her. Some of us are just like my sister. We think that because we can not see or hear God, he is hidden from us and perhaps he can not find us. We play hide and seek with God, trying to search Him out. In playing the game, some believe:
I. Feeling that God is not Here.
Psalm 22:1 through Psalm 22:2 (NIV)
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, and am not silent.
A. God is Elusive
- Like finding the African swallowtail butterfly
B. I am Alone
- Alone in the midst of a crowd.
*Wayne Newton and Elvis Presley: What a duo.
The Letter, a music video due in stores this month and now playing on TNN, ought to send tingles down the spines of both Newton aficionados and Elvis fans. The "letter" was written by Elvis, and Newton wrote a song about it, after he bought it from Sotheby's.
"The story goes that in his last engagement at the (Las Vegas) Hilton in December 1976, he kept a pad by his bed, and wrote down his thoughts," Newton says. "This one night, he wrote especially personal thoughts, then crumpled it up and threw it away."
I feel so alone sometimes. The night is quiet for me. I'd love
to be able to sleep. I am glad that everyone is gone now. I'll
probably not rest. I have no need for all this.
Help me, Lord.
Newton says an aide retrieved the note after he saw Elvis throw it away. "When I asked the contents of it" Newton says, "I was so moved that I purchased it."
Newton sings his own lines--As I awake again today, the pain won't go away--but speaks the entire contents of Elvis' letter.
"It reflects a man reaching to the ultimate for help. Once I digested it and got over the shock, I realized that it was feelings that I, too, had had at times," he says. "I realized--that kind of loneliness creeps into everybody's life." --USA Today
II. Feeling that God is not There.
Jeremiah 23:23 through Jeremiah 23:24 (NIV)
23 “Am I only a God nearby,”
declares the LORD,
“and not a God far away?
24 Can anyone hide in secret places
so that I cannot see him?”
declares the LORD.
“Do not I fill heaven and earth?”
declares the LORD.
A. God is Exclusive
- A tame God - My God, but not their God. Powerless to work over there, but a friend in deed over here.
- A little God does little things.
B. I am not Safe
* "I fear God, and next to God I chiefly fear him who fears Him
- _Instant Quotation Dictionary_, p. 145.
- Those afraid to fly, or that fear for their loved ones who are overseas.
III. Feeling that God is not Anywhere
2 Peter 3:3 through 2 Peter 3:4 (NIV)
3First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”
*The boys when told to find something: "I looked everywhere and I can't find it." I tell them, it did not disappear, it is somewhere you did not look.
A. God is Extinct
- The great dinosaur, God. Evidence of dinosaurs, as the bones are discovered. Evidence of God, as creation reveals.
B. I have no Hope
* Jean-Paul Sarte wrote: "Man can count on no one but himself; he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite
responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he
sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for
himself on this earth."
Those apart from God have a feeling of meaningless and
abandonment that they cannot explain.
- H. Lindsell
- Humanism and the Goth culture of death. There is no hope in death or life, so live or die to your own pleasure. (drugs/suicide).
Conclusion: Divine revelation/Faith appropriation -
Acts 17:24 through Acts 17:28 (NIV)
24“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)
6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Romans 10:6 through Romans 10:21 (NIV)
6But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7“or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
16But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. 18But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.”
19Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says,
“I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”
20And Isaiah boldly says,
“I was found by those who did not seek me;
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”
21But concerning Israel he says,
“All day long I have held out my hands
to a disobedient and obstinate people.”
Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV)
29But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Here are 4 good reasons why to have faith in God ...
1. Look up -- Creation declares that there is a God. Ro 1:20, Ps 97:6
2. Look down -- The Canon of Scripture declares God through history, in
miracles, prophecy and wisdom.
3. Look around -- The Church demonstrates the power of God in miraculous conversions, healings and wonders.
4. Look within -- Your conscience speaks to you that there is a God and
that He is speaking to mankind. Romans 2:15
- Wayne Steury 6-92