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  • Rick LoPresti

Hidden in the house

There are two responses to danger. We can hide or fight. We can hide in place or hide somewhere safer if we can move there. What determines which choice is best depends upon the dynamics of the situation. It depends upon what the danger is and where it is coming from. It depends upon how we are prepared, equipped, and able to respond. When we think of hiding, we think of danger, for that is the reason for hiding. When a person responds to danger by hiding, where he chooses to hide can make all the difference. He must try to hide somewhere the danger is least likely to find him. If the danger is a tornado, a basement, doorway, or interior room are good choices. If the danger is an active shooter, getting out of sight behind something that can stop bullets such as a concrete wall would be ideal. Rahab hid the spies among the stalks of flax (Josh 2:6). David hid from Saul in a cave in the wilderness (1Sam 22:1, 1Sam 24). Elijah hid from Ahab by a brook (1Ki 17:3), and from his wife Jezebel in a cave at Mt. Sinai (1Ki 19:8-9). Job wanted to hide in the grave (Job 14:13).

People who have sought to live a Christian life for very long soon learn that they can hide in the presence of God (Ps 17:8, Ps 31:20, Ps 32:7, Ps 119:114, Ps 143:9). We can hide in the house of God (Ps 27:5). God can hide us while He judges the world (Is 26:20-21). After the fourth plague in Egypt, the Israelites were exempted from the rest of them (Ex 7-12). This does not mean Christians never go through adversity. To the contrary, Christians can expect difficulty and opposition (Jn 15:20, 1Pet 4). However, we can find spiritual comfort, peace and strength to endure in His presence (Jn 14:27, Jn 16:33). Just as the saint should know he can hide in God, the wicked should know they cannot hide from God (Job 34:22, Jer 16:17, Jer 23:24, Amos 9:3, Mt 10:26, 1Cor 4:5, Rev 6:15-16). Adam tried this to no avail (Gen 3:8-10, Job 31:33). However,

God can hide himself from the wicked (Gen 4:14, Deut 31:17-18, Deut 32:20, Is 1:15, Is 59:2, Mic 3:4, Jn 8:59, Jn 12:36). Jesus hid Himself in the house of God (Jn 8:59), and from the unbelievers (Lk 4:28-30, Jn 12:36). God can hide His face from the wicked (Gen 4:14, Deut 31:17-18, Deut 32:20, Is 54:8, Is 59:2, Is 64:7, Jer 33:5, Eze 39:23-24, Mic 3:4). The psalmist asked God not to do this to him (Ps 27:9, Ps 69:17, Ps 102:2, Ps 143:7), but rather to hide His face from his sins (Ps 51:9). God can hide His word in His people and from the wicked (Ps 119, Lk 10:21, 2Cor 4:3).

King Jehoshaphat was a good king of Judah and provided not only political but spiritual leadership to the people he ruled (2Chr 17-20). However, his poor choice to ally himself with the wicked kings in the northern kingdom of Israel cost him, and especially cost his descendants who were under their influence. His son Jehoram and his grandson Ahaziah were wicked kings because of their relationships with the leaders of the wicked northern kingdom (2Chr 21-22). Jehoram died of a horrible disease and Ahaziah was caught up in the judgment of the house of Ahab and was killed. Ahaziah’s mother then killed all of Ahaziah’s brothers who were potentially the next king and reigned herself. However, Joash, one of Ahaziah’s sons, was hidden by his aunt from her. The place she chose to hide him says a lot about the spiritual condition of Judah at that time. She hid him in the temple. Apparently, she knew the one place they would never find him was in the house of God because they would never look there. He was hidden there for six years, and no one ever found him. Then the high priest Jehoiada arranged for Joash to take the throne, and for Athaliah to be eliminated (2Chr 23). Joash did well all the years of Jehoiada (2Chr 24).

King Hezekiah was a great king of Judah, but he was followed by 2 generations of wicked kings (2Chr 33). Then Josiah became king. He was a great revivalist like Hezekiah and led Judah out of sin back to God. He led the restoration of the neglected temple in Jerusalem (2Ki 22). During the process of reviving the temple, the high priest Hilkiah found the scroll of the word of God there. He gave it to the scribe Shaphan. The scribes were the caretakers and copy-makers of the scrolls of the word of God. Shaphan brought the scroll the king Josiah and read it before him. When Josiah realized how badly the people had violated God’s word and that great judgment had been written about it, he ripped his clothes as a sign of great spiritual distress and repentance and sent his servants to inquire of God through the prophetess Huldah. Josiah responded to the prophecy of Huldah by leading another great round of restoration of the worship of God and gathered the people to make a covenant to keep the commandments of God (2Ki 23). He even went up to the northern kingdom of Samaria which was technically out of his jurisdiction and tore down the idolatry that was there. How backslidden was Judah before Josiah that the Bible in the house of God had to be found as though it was hidden for two generations?

In the days of Athaliah godly leadership was hidden in the house of God, and in the days of Jehoram and Ahaziah the scriptures were lost in the house of God. Moses had commanded that the king was to write his own personal copy of the scriptures, and he was to read it all his days so he would keep God’s commandments (Deut 17:17-20). Just calling ourselves believers does not mean we are where we need to be spiritually, neither does attending church. We need to know God through His word and through a Biblical relationship with spiritual leadership. Both can be hidden right in the house of God. We can either be hidden from God, or in God.

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