“Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).
Have you ever felt God was hiding from you? There are times we may feel God is hiding from us when in fact He is not. For example, we may be going through a great trial in our lives and do not see how God is helping us through that trial. During such times, we may feel God is hiding from us. As one reads the book of Job, we see Job felt God was hiding from him as he was afflicted with great pain and suffering. Job cried out to God, “Why do You hide Your face, and regard me as Your enemy?” (Job 13:24). However, God was not hiding from Job. God knew exactly what was happening to Job and he loved and esteemed Job as His faithful servant. God had allowed Satan to afflict Job to show Satan that Job was a great servant of the Lord who would remain faithful in spite of the pain Satan afflicted upon Job (Job 2:3-6).
On the other hand, as the opening verses above show, God may actually be hiding His face from us because of our sin and rebellion (Isaiah 59:1-2). God’s people of Isaiah’s day were refusing to repent of the sins which they had committed. In fact, they had become so ensnared by sin that they simply accepted it as a part of their lives. Notice how far God says they had become enslaved in sin: “For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perversity. No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; they conceive evil and bring forth iniquity” (Isaiah 59:3-4).
Hypocrisy had become a routine part of their lives. They would sin as they wished and then come to worship God as if everything was alright. God refused to be manipulated by people with hardened hearts towards sin. He told Isaiah, "Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and did not forsake the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching God. 'Why have we fasted,' they say, 'and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?' In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exploit all your laborers” (Isaiah 58:1-3).
There may be times when we are going through terrible trials and feel God is hiding from us when, in fact, He is not. He is simply allowing us to go through this trial so that our faith in Him may grow (James 1:2-4). During such times, God keeps His loving eye upon us (Matthew 10:28-31). On the other hand, I need to be mindful that if I allow sin to take root in my life to the point that I simply accept it and embrace it as part of who I am, God will hide His face from me. God will not be mocked by those who choose to persist in sin. Today, I acknowledge that I struggle with sin. However, I will not choose to accept and embrace it as part of who I am. I am not powerless to resist sin. God has equipped me to fight sin (Ephesians 6:13-19). I will look to God for strength to battle against Satan as I seek to resist the temptations he constantly places before me. I praise God because I know when I do occasionally loose a battle to Satan and succumb to temptation and sin, the Lord will always be there to pick me up when I turn back to Him in repentance!
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).