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Why was God so evident in the Bible, and seems so hidden today?

God hidden

Question: "Why was God so evident in the Bible, and seems so hidden today?"

Answer:
The Bible records God appearing to people, performing amazing and undeniable miracles, speaking audibly, and many other things that we do not seem to witness today. Why is this? Why was God so willing to reveal and prove Himself in Bible times, but almost seems "hidden" and silent today? God used miracles and direct communication with people in order to reveal to them His character and nature, as well as His plans and commands. His first miracle – creation – was the primary evidence of God’s existence and exhibited many of His attributes. From what was made, man could conclude that God is powerful, sovereign, and good. The creation was His first declaration to mankind. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the expanse proclaims His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). Following creation, God spoke to people to further declare Himself and to inform man of His law and His ways. He first spoke to Adam and Eve, giving them commandments to follow and, when they disobeyed, pronouncing a curse upon them and their descendants. He also assured them, and all mankind, that He would send a Savior to redeem us from sin. Thereafter, God spoke to Moses, giving him the law for His people to follow. He performed miracle after miracle to verify His existence to His people and to build their faith in Him. In addition, He spoke to His prophets so they would write down His words, words which were preserved for us in the Bible.

When Jesus came to earth, He also performed miracles to prove that He was indeed the Son of God and to foster belief in Him (Matthew 9:6; John 10:38). After His miraculous resurrection, He enabled His disciples to continue performing miracles in order to prove they were truly His, again so that people would believe on Him who sent them. So why does God no longer speak audibly to us?

There are several reasons for this. As noted above, God has already spoken, and His words have been miraculously kept for us down through the ages. Now we have the completed canon of scripture, and we need no further miracles to “validate” the Bible. In His perfect Word is everything we need “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible is complete and is perfectly able to make us “wise to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15), a “more sure Word of prophecy to which we would do well to take heed” (2 Peter 1:19). We need nothing more, and we are not to seek extra-biblical revelations. To do so calls into question the efficacy of Scripture which God has declared to be sufficient.

Second, we have within us the Holy Spirit whom God has given to us to “lead us into all truth” (John 16:13). He speaks to us continually, teaching us, and reminding us of all things that Jesus taught (John 14:26), guiding, correcting, and convicting us of sin (John 16:8). God is indeed “speaking” to us today through the Holy Spirit, who is certainly not hidden. Another reason for God’s seeming concealment is alluded to by the prophet Habakkuk: “The just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). God does not give His people a continual chain of miraculous signs; He expects them to trust what He has already done, search the Scriptures daily, respond to the Holy Spirit within, and live by faith, not by sight (Matthew 16:4; John 20:29).

Finally, let us remember that even in those times when it seems that God is doing nothing, He is still the sovereign Lord of all creation, and He is constantly at work, bringing about the fruition of His perfect plan. One of the best examples of God’s “hidden” working is the book of Esther, in which God is never mentioned, but which plainly shows His sovereign hand at work from beginning to end.

Recommended Resources: Knowing God by J.I. Packer and Logos Bible Software.

While he is not the author of every article on GotQuestions.org, for citation purposes, you may reference our CEO, S. Michael Houdmann.


Related Topics:

What is the immutability of God?

Why is God so different in the Old Testament than He is in the New Testament?

What does it mean to find God?

What does it mean to be in the presence of God?

What are the attributes of God?



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Why was God so evident in the Bible, and seems so hidden today?