Some scattered thoughts from today...
Someone once asked Bertrand Russell (an atheist) if he were to die and come face to face with G-d, what would he say? And apparently Bertrand replied, "Sir, why did you take such pains to hide yourself?"
An interesting question...
This evening marks the beginning of the story of Purim, a story in which G-d famously hides Himself. So now is as good as any to contemplate Bertrand's question.
This is similar to the question of transcendence and immanence. Does G-d conceal Himself such that we may never have a relationship with Him? Or does He reveal Himself on our level so that a relationship is possible?
I have to believe that, on some level, Bertrand's question was wrong. G-d HAS revealed Himself--just not in a way that meets with our expectations. He reveals Himself in the "coincidences" of the Purim story, He reveals Himself by preserving the Jewish People, He reveals Himself by drawing Jews and Gentiles into this global Messianic movement, He reveals Himself in creation itself.
He offers us glimpses through the lattices of reality:
"My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice," Song of Solomon 2:9He even has revealed His face to certain righteous men. Moses spoke with G-d face to face. David also spoke with G-d face to face and was dismayed whenever G-d hid Himself:
"O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong; You hid Your face, I was dismayed," Psalm 30:7Apparently He will one day heal our hearts so that we will turn to Him and see His face:
"Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed," Isaiah 6:10And:
"Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God," Ezekiel 39:29Still, on some level, Bertrand's question is right. While G-d has revealed Himself in various ways, it is also true that G-d has hidden Himself from everyone to some degree. And He hides Himself from prideful men to an even greater degree.
Yet G-d does not have to answer to Bertrand Russell. He will "heal" whom He will heal. He will reveal Himself to whom He will reveal Himself.
May G-d heal His People and forgive us for our disobedience. May He reveal Yeshua to all of Israel. May He make those who already believe worthy to be called a follower of Yeshua.