Quote of the Day: God’s Glory in Hiding Things

Proverbs 25:2a GW
It is the glory of God to hide things

We want to figure everything out. We want to know everything. Transparency is a big buzzword regarding business, government and even the military.

Some people think that God is being sneaky by hiding certain things from us or trying to fool us, so we fill in some areas with human logic.

This verse has always been a little bit puzzling. I looked at the old commentary by Bridges, which I mentioned in a previous post, in addition to Waltke on this one. I love this quote and wanted to post it. I’m thinking about getting this commentary in book form. See the end of the quote for a link to a PDF file. I will be writing a post on the various editions soon.

[I]s not this shade of mystery our highest joy, as the dwelling-place of our adorable God and Saviour? Are not the clouds of his concealment the effulgence of his glory (Habakkuk 3:4), as the most simple, yet the most incomprehensible Being, whom the mightiest intellect can never “by searching find out to perfection?” (Job 11:7) ‘As there is’–says Bishop Hall–‘a foolish wisdom, so there is a wise ignorance. I would fain know all that I need, and all that I may. I leave God’s secrets to himself. It is happy for me, that God makes me of his court, though not of his council. O Lord! let me be blessed with the knowledge of what thou hast revealed. Let me content myself to adore thy divine wisdom in what thou hast not revealed.’*

Thus it is the glory of God to conceal a thing–to do many things, of which the full development of their great end is far beyond our sight.The highest glory of earth is at an infinite remove–God conceals. For who could bear his full irradiation?1

–Charles Bridges, A COMMENTARY ON PROVERBS (PDF File)

1. Exodus 33:20; Daniel 10:5-8, 17; Revelation 1:12-17

* Bp. Hall, viii. 5; xi. 8-1. This glorious concealment is however no precedent for the Tractarian principle of Reserve, which at once eclipses the freeness and fulness of Gospel, and paralyzes the energy of Christian life and hope. Blessed be God! “The that belong to our peace are brought to light by the Gospel.” The doctrine of the atoning cross is “delivered first of all” (en prwtoi; 1 Cor. xv. 3)–the primary truth in the fore-front of the Gospel. With self-abasing humility we acknowledge, that “secret things belong to the Lord our God.” But guilty indeed is the presumption of casting a cloud of concealment on “the things that are revealed, and which belong to us and to our children for ever”–not only as the foundation of our hope, but as the principle of our obedience. Deut. xxix. 20. Yet do not some of us need to be drawn further from the “secret things”and nearer to the things that are revealed?

6 Responses to “Quote of the Day: God’s Glory in Hiding Things”


  1. 1 Stan McCullars

    But guilty indeed is the presumption of casting a cloud of concealment on “the things that are revealed, and which belong to us and to our children for ever”–not only as the foundation of our hope, but as the principle of our obedience.

    That reminds me of a verse I read earlier today:

    And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. (1 John 5:20 ESV)

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    That’s a great balance. It’s much worse to obfuscate the things that have been revealed than to try to fill in the things that God hasn’t revealed.
    Jeff

  3. 3 Mitchell Powell

    If God hadn’t hid anything, there’d be nothing to find out, and one of the greatest pleasures of human existence would be missing. What a dull world it would be! I and you certainly wouldn’t be biblioblogging, because there’d be absolutely no point in just repeated plain truths that everyone agrees upon.

  4. 4 Mitchell Powell

    Ktiv: “just repeated”
    Qere: “just repeating”

  5. 5 Scripture Zealot

    What a great point.
    Jeff

  6. 6 Sid Williams

    “Glory of God the concealing a speaking (RBD), and glory of kings searching out speaking (RBD)” – Prov 25.2.

    This is a prophecy about me personnally, and many conservative men, like Matthew Henry, B.W. Johnson, Robert Milligan, Henry H, Halley — who unlocked the meaning of symbols in the Bibles. For instance, God’s A, B, Cs are:
    Sun = king, Moon = Priesthood, Stars = Prophets.
    “The sun darkened and moon to blood” = death of Antipas (AD 66) and priests at the altar (AD 69) from Josephus.

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