Does God Hide His Face from Us?

In Psalm 27, David begs the Lord to not hide His face from him. In the context of the psalm, it appears that David is being attacked by his enemies, he has been praying to God to deliver him from these enemies, but God has not yet answered his prayers. Thus, to David, God is hiding His face. What are we to make of this? Goes God really hide from us?

Christian blogger Josh Fults has written an insightful article on this topic. First, Fults reminds us what God’s relationship was with mankind at the beginning:

We must remember, when God created mankind he walked among them. Instead of a game of hide and seek, we find in Genesis that God ‘walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day.’ So apparently, at the onset of creation, man and God enjoyed fellowship in a direct sense. Then sin entered the world, and who is it that we find hiding? God doesn’t hide. God doesn’t remove Himself. Instead we see Adam and Eve have made the decision to hide. It was man that hid initially and broke this extremely intimate connection between God and humanity.

Sin, then, has a direct bearing on God’s relationship with us. We cannot possibly answer the question of whether God is hiding without remembering this crucial point. In a fallen world, evil, pain, and suffering are regular occurrences. We certainly see David suffering many times in his life.

However, just because God is not saving us from all this pain and suffering as soon as we pray about it does not mean that He is hiding from us. This simply does not follow. In fact, David comes to realize this as well. At the end of Psalm 27, he states, “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”

But if God is not always answering our prayers in the ways we want our prayers answered, then how is He communicating with us? Fults answers this question:

God reveals Himself expressively in His written word. ‘Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself’ (Luke 24:27). God also revealed Himself explicitly to mankind through Jesus Christ. ‘And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth’ (John 1:14). We also see God make Himself known through nature.  ‘For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse’ (Romans 1:20). We also see that God communicates through His Spirit to us if we are willing to hear. ‘He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth’ (John 14:16-17).The Spirit of God draws us to Himself. We also find that believers in Christ also reveal God to those around them, as we see in Acts 1:8 that Christians ‘will be My witnesses.’

So God does indeed reveal Himself in many different ways to us. Although we may feel like He is hiding from us, we must realize that it is sin, ultimately, that causes this feeling. Once we are in Heaven with God, we will never have this feeling again.