1. When God’s Face Seems Hidden Psalm 55:1
Text: “Give ear to my prayer, O God’ and hide not Thyself from my supplication.”
Good morning, desperate Christian! You are the believer who truly believes what God says in His written Word. You are the believer that is truly born again, Spiritually regenerated by God the Holy Ghost; and fully trusting in God’s grace, through Jesus Christ’s Sacrifice at the Cross, for your soul’s Eternal Salvation. You are, therefore, the target of our sworn enemy, Satan – and all his legions of vile and fallen spirits – and are always found right there in the thick of the daily Spiritual Battle between good and evil. Thus, often being surrounded by powerful, Satanically inspired enemies – at times you and I find ourselves in utter desperation of the soul. We feel we need immediate help and relief from the Lord God! Yet, sometimes, it seems that the Lord has hidden His Holy face from us, and we become so utterly desperate for the help of His powerful countenance and His loving care.
“These wait all upon thee; that Thou mayest give them their meat in due season. That Thou givest them they gather: Thou openest Thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou hidest Thy face, they are troubled: Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.” (Psalm 104:27-29)
Our Sin Hides God’s Face:
There are times in any sincere Christian’s life that, God has to hide His Holy face from us. These are times when we have sinned against Him, have not repented from such sin; and think we can just go on in our unconfessed sin; and God, therefore, MUST hide His Holy face from us.
A Holy Lord God Almighty cannot, will not, permit us into His Presence with unconfessed sin! To remain an infinitely Holy Lord God – God must punish all sin, and banish sin from His Holy Presence. Sin is opposition to all that the Lord God Jehovah is in essence! God must hide His face from us, if we seek to enter His presence with unconfessed sin. Fact.
“Behold (look, and fully understand), the Lord’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He WILL NOT HEAR.” (Isaiah 59:1-3)
Every Christian sins daily. There are no sinless Christians. Every Christian, therefore, must keep short accounts of our daily sins by confession of sin to God alone – for it is God alone Whom we have sinned against. God alone is Holy.
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8-10)
The Baptist ‘prince of preachers’, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (9 Jun 1834 - 31 Jan 1892, age 57), in his wonderfully informative work on the Book of Psalms -The Treasury of David, – makes the following comment reference Psalm 55: “It would be idle to fix a time and find an occasion for this Psalm with any dogmatism. It reads like a song of the time of Absalom and Ahithophel.” (Treasury of David, page 249)
Absalom, David’s son, rebelled against him and sought to take the kingdom of Israel from him. Ahithophel betrayed David, and caused him much trouble. King David was compelled to 'hide his face from them', could not look them in the eye.
God Hides His Face to Test His Servants:
An army can only be described as, say, ‘invincible’, after having fought and won all its battles. A serving Christian can only gain vital experience in Holy Spiritual warfare, if tried and tested with many Spiritual Battles, and persevering in the ‘...faith once delivered unto the saints.’ God can ‘hide his face’ during such times of vital testing, and it is in these times that I have personally experienced great dread, black depressions, and bitter Spiritual and human conflicts, within and without my Christian soul. At such times you and I must cry from the very depths of our hearts, for God’s face to shine upon us once more.
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put My Name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27)
When the Lord God makes ‘...His face to shine upon...’ us, Bible-believing Christians; and ‘...lifts up His countenance upon...’ us – then, and only then can we know the fullness of His peace while enduring sore trial and testing times. Lord, help us to cry out to Thee!
Verse 1. “Give ear to my prayer, O God. But note well that it is never the bare act of prayer which satisfies the godly; they crave an audience with Heaven and an answer from the throne, and nothing less will content them.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 249)
When our trials and testings become almost too much to humanly bear; our hearts ready to break in two; our minds totally perplexed, with confusion pounding on the door to get in – it is then that our very souls cry out to the Lord God for the light of His Holy countenance once more. Only the Lord Himself can lighten this depth of Spiritual darkness.
“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God: and He did hear my voice out of His temple, and my cry did enter into His ears.” (2 Samuel 22:7)
Verse 2. “Attend unto me and hear me. This is the third time he prays the same prayer. He is in earnest, in deep and bitter earnest. If his God does not hear, he feels that all is over with him. He begs for his God to be a Listener and an Answerer.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 249)
As I write these words, I write them at a time of profound and severe grief, utter perplexity, and sheer and sore frustration – over a family member whom I love most dearly, who has strayed from the path of true faith, and been caught up in God’s chastisement which always comes as a consequence of living in disobedience to Him and to His laws. My love for the erring one is currently causing my very soul to weep with frustration and anxieties, and therefore, I know – personally – what it means to feel that God has hidden His Face from me. Oh, that the Lord God Whom I love would lighten my darkness with His loving face!
Thought: “For Thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness.” (2 Samuel 22:29) When God hides His face – you and I must cry all the more to Him. Soon the darkness of trials and testing will be over, take heart, desperate Christian!