Monday, August 03, 2015

Owen: hiding His face

Monday, August 3, 2015
“But if I go to the east, he is not there;
    if I go to the west, I do not find him.
When he is at work in the north, I do not see him;
    when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.
But he knows the way that I take;
    when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
    —Job 23:8-10 (NIV)
    Why doth the Lord Christ, at any time, thus hide himself in his glory from the faith of believers, that they cannot behold him? ... Though what he doth is supposed an act of sovereign, unaccountable wisdom, yet there are many holy ends of it, and consequently reasons for it. I shall mention one only. He doth it to stir us up in an eminent manner unto a diligent search and inquiry after him. Woful sloth and negligence are apt to prevail in us in our meditations on heavenly things. Though our hearts wake, in a valuation of Christ, his love, and his grace, yet we sleep as unto the due exercise of faith and love towards him... He knows that those with whom he hath been graciously present,—who have had views of his glory, although they have not valued the mercy and privilege of it as they ought, yet can they not bear a sense of his absence and his hiding himself from them.
    ... John Owen (1616-1683), The Glory of Christ [1684, 1691], in Works of John Owen, v. I, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1850, p. 391 (see the book)
    See also Job 23:8-9; Ps. 89:46; Song of Solomon 5:2; Isa. 45:15; 55:6-7; Matt. 6:33; John 14:22
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, though You are hidden, yet will I see You.
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