“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
THERE ARE SOME THINGS WHICH GOD HAS NOT REVEALED TO THE HUMAN RACE. In fact, it seems likely that only a small portion of what God knows has been revealed to us. We can think of many reasons why God has not spoken of some things. Some would be beyond our ability to understand even if He should tell us. Others are none of our business, which is to say, we have no need to know them. Other things are more than we could bear — it is in mercy that He has not spoken to us of these. But whatever the case may be, “the secret things belong to the Lord our God.”
Yet the main point of Moses’ statement in Deuteronomy 29:29 is about the things that have been revealed. These, he said, “belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” God would surely be pleased if we paid more attention to the “do-able” and “obey-able” aspect of His revelation. He has not revealed Himself merely to inform us or to satisfy our curiosity. It is, instead, for the purpose of our obedience. If the problem of sin boils down to our refusal to obey God, that problem can’t be corrected until we’re brought back to a wholesome sense of the goodness of God’s law. Even in the revelation of His character, God is wanting not just to correct our intellectual misunderstandings of His nature or improve our emotional responses to Him. He is wanting to bring us back to the blessings of a creaturely will that is conformed obediently to its Creator (as reflected in Psalm 19:7–14).
Blaise Pascal made a good point when he said, “Instead of complaining that God has hidden himself, you should give him thanks for having revealed so much of himself.” Given our rebellion against Him, the wonder is that God has spoken to us at all. And if we are thinking rightly, we will drink in every bit of truth about Himself that God has shared with us, eagerly wanting not only to know it but to act on it, hoping always to respond to God with a more perfect blend of reverence and gratitude.
“Faith instructs us in the depths of God. Faith stands above any human system, no matter how valid; it is concerned with the revealed data, with that glory which cannot be named by any human name, yet has desired to make itself known to us in words which all may understand” (Jacques Maritain).