From the last post you know about my New Year’s goal of looking up Bible verses — ones that I cannot immediately recall or recite — that I encounter while reading Christian books. That new exercise leads into this post. Last Saturday night I ran across a verse that I couldn’t pull out of my mental file cabinet. So, I looked it up, and then soaked in it for about a hour. So it began…
We live in a society that is nosy, and exhibitionistic, which are a solid tandem for no-good. We often want to know what we can’t know, or shouldn’t know. Hence, the Facebook creeper, or other social media lurkers. This tendency can spill over into our spiritual lives. To be specific, we start trying to figure out what we cannot know rather than focusing on what we can understand and live out. Enter Deuteronomy 29:29. Ahem…look it up before you go any further. It’s a good habit.
The points –and they are pointed ones– in this verse are clear. First, there are things that we do not know, cannot know, and will not know…”the secret things of the LORD.” These secret things belong to the LORD. He is the owner of them. Or, put another way, these secret things are books that cannot perused, or checked out of God’s library. As David said, “such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.” (Psalm 139:6) Ahem…you know what to do here.
So, the application here is to avoid spending time or energy chasing that which we cannot and will not know. While it is tempting, thrilling, and a natural part of our curiosity, and self-rigtheousness, let the things of God stay where they belong. Instead, let’s settle into humility and the contentment that comes with knowing His revealed Word, which we can know. Let’s use our time to pursue the thing that God intends us to pursue, namely, seeking Him in His written Word.
From the second part of Deuteronomy 29:29 it is worthy to note several simplistic, yet stout truths:
1. God reveals Himself in and through His Word. (Don’t take that for granted).
2. He did this intentionally. In this He makes Himself known, and brings glory to Himself, and edifies us.
3. He has revealed His Word to us, and enables and empowers us by the Holy Spirit to know, understand, and follow His Word (John 14:17 and 16:13). Look ’em up, it’s worth it.
4. We can have, understand, apply, and obey His Word. That’s the tune humming in Deuteronomy 29:29.
In a culture that loves recipes or steps to success, here is one: God has given His Word (and Spirit) to us to know, apply, and follow. He is glorified and pleased in this; we enjoy abudant life in Christ in this.
5. The result of Him doing this is so that we may do the “words of this law.” Deut. 29:29b
God has the secret things, and will keep them. He has freely given us more than enough in His Word to know and follow. Let’s not bark at and chase after the exciting unknowns, but rather settle into and study His revealed Word. Here’s a practical hint for doing just that: designate a quiet place, grab a pen and a note pad, and just do it each day. A hot cup of tea might help too.
Begin in Deuteronomy 29:29. You will get confirmation of these things there, and other things too.