Anchor Sunday School Class
by Bob Marsh
GO HIDE WITH GOD
In I Kings 17 there is an interesting and somewhat bizarre story about a prophet named Elijah. He was a man of talent, zeal, and determination, just what the work of God needed in crumbling Israel. Elijah was eager to serve the Lord, and having been through some exciting experiences it seemed that he was ready to “do great things.” However, one of the strangest statements Elijah ever heard was God’s saying to him: “Elijah, go hide yourself.” The clear implications are: (1) Elijah needed to develop a “quiet time” with the Lord. (2) Elijah needed to learn to “walk by faith, depending on the Lord.” For a prophet who was use to the “hurry and worry” of life, these were significant challenges. He wanted to shout, and God said “be quiet.” He wanted to take charge, and God said “learn to depend on Me.” Lessons of faith abound in the life of Elijah, and we would benefit greatly in learning some of these lessons.
In today’s pressurized society, when so many forces strive to pull us apart, when blood pressure raising responsibilities demand our time and sanity, it seems like an impossible suggestion to “be quiet before the Lord.” We are under pressure to “assert yourself,” and yet God said to Elijah “hide yourself.” You and I must not miss this lesson: God wanted to use Elijah to speak for Him, but before he should talk to others about God he must learn to talk to God in a time of quietness. Elijah had to learn what we must learn, and what is one of the most challenging spiritual lessons to learn: GETTING ALONE WITH GOD IN A QUIET TIME EACH DAY IS THE KEY TO CHRISTIAN GROWTH. “Go hide yourself” is the call of God to all of His people. The best preparation for Christian living is “be still and know that I am God.”
When we “hide ourselves” with God, we go to the written word, the Bible, and learn more of Jesus “the word made flesh.” In the Word of God we seek to know more about God and what He has done for us through Christ. We yield to His Spirit and ask Him to “teach us how to pray.” In quietness we listen to Him through His word. We speak to Him through the amazing gift of prayer. We are embraced by wonder as we contemplate the truth that the God of the universe wants to have a “quiet time” with us!!! We meditate on the astounding fact that we the creatures are called by the CREATOR to “come into His presence with thanksgiving.” We reflect on encouraging words “As for me, it is good to draw near to God .” In a quiet time we can echo the words of the Psalmist “Why are you downcast O my soul? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him.” Isaiah discovered that “in quietness and trust is your strength renewed.” The shepherd Psalmist could testify that “He leads me beside the quiet waters.” So, Elijah, the most effective preparation for life is to develop a QUIET TIME, hiding yourself with God, and learn “to wait patiently for the Lord, and let Him put a new song in my mouth.” The fact that He invites us to such a time should overwhelm us with joyful astonishment!
If we face discouragement, let us hide ourselves with God, open His word, and let Him speak words of encouragement to our hurting souls. If the pathway has been hard, hide yourself with God and hear His promise “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” If we are confused about the noise and confusion surrounding us, hide yourself and hear Him gently remind you that “He is the same yesterday, today and forever.” To the degree that we learn the discipline of “hiding ourselves with God,” to that degree we become more prepared to let “the life of Jesus be revealed in our mortal body.” Hide yourself alone with God so that “His light will shine in our hearts and give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”