Friday, October 31, 2014

My Hiding Place ...................... Parables 190

November 8, 1989

“Ready or not, here I come!” And she found me hiding beside the woodshed. Now it was my turn. I had to count to 40, “Slowly, Grandma.” Face pressed against a tree trunk, I heard her scurry for a good hiding place. Then, among the golden leaves and nooks and crannies of our yard, I went hunting for my little hidden jewel.

Who hasn’t played hide and seek in one form or another? Everything from “peek-a-boo” to scavenger hunts captivates child and adult alike. But sometimes we hide things and can’t find them again. When I was much younger, I used a seldom-read book as a place to stash spare one and five dollar bills. Years later, and often when I really needed some money, I’d find the long forgotten treasure.

My husband puts his extra cash in the bank; however, he does have some special hiding places somewhere in the house. In early December of each year, he uses one of them to tuck away a Christmas card for me. This has created a funny family tradition because he always forgets which hiding place he used. The closest to December 25th I’ve ever received my card is about the middle of February.

Just after my game of hide-and-seek with my granddaughter, I read this verse in Psalm 83: “They (God’s enemies) have taken crafty counsel against Thy people, and consulted against Thy hidden ones.”

The phrase, “Thy hidden ones” captivated me, so out came the Hebrew dictionary. “Hidden” meant the same then as now: to conceal something with a definite purpose, for protection or because of its value.

Psalm 27:5 explains that God hides His people when trouble comes: “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me...” and Psalm 31:20 describes the hiding place: “Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy presence from the pride of man: Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.”

God puts His children where they are safe because He considers us His precious jewels (Malachi 3:27), and calls us His peculiar treasure (Psalm 135). We are valuable to Him and our worth is determined by the price He was willing to pay for us. That price was the life of God’s only begotten Son, spent on a cross to buy us out of the clutches of sin and death and hide us in the safety of His presence. In God’s eyes, His “hidden” ones are treasures indeed.

So how does one go about being safely “hidden” by God? First of all, we need to recognize our lost condition, our separation from a holy God by our sin. God says He cannot put us in a place of spiritual safety until that sin is dealt with.

Secondly, we need to believe that Jesus, the Son of God, came to “seek and to save those who are lost” and that He did it by taking on Himself the punishment we deserved. His death was the result of God’s wrath on our sin, not just sin in general but our own personal sin.

We also need to know that since He was without sin Himself, death could not hold Him. Jesus rose from the dead, conquering sin and death for us, securing for us an eternal “home-free”.

Lastly, we need to personally commit ourselves to Him, submitting to His Lordship asking for and freely receiving His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life.

When we accept Christ into our lives, we put ourselves under His sovereign authority -- and into His sovereign protection, safe inside His hiding place, safe from God’s enemies, safe from sin, and safe from eternal condemnation.

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