Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 23, 2014

“O Lord God of hosts, restore us; Cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.”

Today’s devotion comes from Deuteronomy 31:14-18.

“14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, the time for you to die is near;  call Joshua, and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, that I may commission him.”  So Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the tent of meeting.  15 The Lord appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood at the doorway of the tent.  16 The Lord said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers;  and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them.  17 Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will come upon them;  so that they will say in that day, ‘Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?’  18 But I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods.”    Deuteronomy 31:14-18.

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Today. we read about the LORD’s prophecy that He will hide His face from them “and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will come upon them”.  Verse 17.  “But I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods.”  Verse 18.

We remember other Scripture about God hiding His face.  In the very next chapter, Deuteronomy Chapter 32, we will read a lengthy history of how God cared for Israel but how Israel neglected God and even more how Israel provoked God with other gods.

“Then He said, ‘I will hide My face from them,
I will see what their end shall be;
For they are a perverse generation,
Sons in whom is no faithfulness.”  Deuteronomy 32:20.

“You hide Your face, they are dismayed;  You take away their spirit, they expire And return to their dust.”  Psalm 104:29.

“Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails;  Do not hide Your face from me, Or I will become like those who go down to the pit.”  Psalm 143:7.

“Then they will cry out to the Lord, But He will not answer them.  Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time Because they have practiced evil deeds.”  Micah 3:4.

As we meditate on all the dismay and distress that comes to those whom God will hide His face from them, we can take warning from today’s Scripture and be careful that we do not likewise neglect God nor provoke God to anger.   

“6 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.”  Isaiah 55:6-7.

As we seek the LORD as He is, not as we want Him to be, we come closer to Reformed Doctrine.  The LORD is the One and Only Sovereign Almighty God Who justly punishes His enemies and Who shows lovingkindness to His elect.  The LORD is not our fat and jolly Santa Claus at our beck and call.  

But, for the LORD’s elect who through His grace truly seek Him as He is, the LORD provides all that they need for salvation and the LORD preserves them to the end.

These elect do more than casually seek the LORD, they figuratively fly to Christ for refuge in the language of the following Article in Canons of Dordt.

Article 2.   Hence spring daily sins of infirmity, and hence spots adhere to the best works of the saints; which furnish them with constant matter for humiliation before God, and flying for refuge to Christ crucified;  for mortifying the flesh more and more by the spirit of prayer, and by holy exercises of piety;  and for pressing forward to the goal of perfection, till being at length delivered from this body of death, they are brought to reign with the Lamb of God in heaven.  FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Perseverance of the Saints of Canons of Dordt.

And, there is this hope in the following Article.

Article 3.   By reason of these remains of indwelling sin, and the temptations of sin and of the world, those who are converted could not persevere in a state of grace, if left to their own strength.   But God is faithful, who having conferred grace, mercifully confirms, and powerfully preserves them herein, even to the end.

“O Lord God of hosts, restore us;
Cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.”  Psalm 80:19.

“The Lord bless you, and keep you;  The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;  The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’”  Numbers 6:24-26.


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