I Will Hide My Face

Posted by on Apr 15, 2012

I Will Hide My Face

“I Will Hide My Face”

MP3 Version: “I Will Hide My Face

Scripture Text: Deut. 31:16-18

By Pastor Mike Withem
First Baptist Church
Ranson, West Virginia

Introduction:

A. (Illus.- Most of us, when we were children, used to play a game called, “Hide And Seek.” The way the game was played was like this. Someone would be chosen to be “it.” That person would then put their hands over their eyes and count to a hundred, and while he was counting to a hundred, everyone else would run and hide. Of course, the object of the game was for the person who was “it” to then go looking for those who were hiding, hence the name, “hide and seek.”)

B. Now the reason that I bring this up is so that I could say this.
1. Did you realize that there are times when GOD hides His face from us?
2. It’s true!
3. Just like we kids used to hide our face when playing “Hide And Seek,” there are times when God hides His face from His children.
4. Notice again Vrs. 17-18 of our text, “Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.”
5. While we are in Deuteronomy, look at Deu. 32:20, “And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.”
6. That’s THREE times that God said, “I will hide my face from them.”

C. This morning, I want us to answer three very important questions.
1. Why does God hide His face from us?
2. What is the result of God hiding His face from us?
3. How can we persuade God to turn His face toward us again?

I. Why Does God Hide His Face From Us?

A. In order to answer this question, look again at Vrs. 16 of our text, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.”
1. According to this verse, there are at least THREE things that will cause God to hide His face from us.
2. First of all, God will hide His face from us when we fail to put Him first in our lives.
3. In other words, when we PUT OTHER “GODS” BEFORE HIM.
4. What did God tell Israel?
5. He said, “Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land,”
6. But you say, “I don’t go a whoring after other gods! How can I put other gods before the Lord when I worship only one God?”
7. Well, whether we realize it or not, whenever we put anything before the Lord in our lives, it becomes a “god” to us.
8. It may be our job.
9. It may be some hobby or recreation which we enjoy.
10. It may be some possession which we value over and above everything else.
11. It may be something else, but whatever it is, if it comes BEFORE the Lord in our lives, it has become a “god” to us.
12. And so, God will hide His face from us when we fail to put Him first in our lives. (In other words, when we put other “gods” before Him.)

B. May I also say that God will hide His face from us when we FORSAKE HIS WILL for our lives.
1. In other words, when we forsake the path which we know in our hearts that God would have us to follow.
2. Look again at Vrs. 16, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me,”
3. Whether we realize it or not, God has a will for each of our lives.
4. For example, it is God’s will that we pray and read His Word every day.
5. It is also His will that we be faithful in our church attendance.
6. It is also His will that we give of our means to Him.
7. It is also His will that we share our faith with others.
8. And on and on I could go, this morning.
9. But God has a will for each of our lives.
10. And forsaking God’s will will result in Him hiding His face from us.

C. There is at least one more thing that will cause God to hide His face from us, and that is VIOLATING HIS PRINCIPLES IN OUR LIVES.
1. Look again at Vrs. 16 of our text, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.”
2. This is why it is so important that we spend as much time as possible in God’s Word.
3. God’s Word tells us how to live.
4. It tells us how to please God with our lives.
5. It tells us how to be a success at whatever we do.
6. It tells us how to have joy and peace and contentment.
7. You might say that this Book is the “HOW TO BOOK” for the Christian life.
8. If we live our lives according to it’s principles, we will be truly blessed.
9. But if we violate it’s principles, God will hide His face from us.

D. And so, there are at least three things that will cause God to hide His face from us.
1. Failing to put God first in our lives.
2. Forsaking God’s will for our lives.
3. Violating God’s principles for our lives.
4. Any one of these things can result in God hiding His face from us.

II. What Is The Result Of God Hiding His Face From Us?

A. Maybe you are thinking that it is not such a bad thing to have God hide His face from you.
1. Well, before you settle on that thought, you should listen very carefully to what I am about to say.
2. There are at least three results of God hiding His face.

B. First of all, when God hides His face, He DOES NOT HEAR OUR PRAYERS.
1. Turn with me to Mic. 3:1-4, “And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment? Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.”
2. Notice again Vrs. 4, “Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time,”
3. Now listen to Isa. 59:1-2, “Behold, 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.”
4. Let me tell you something, when God hides His face from us, it is a waste of time to pray.
5. We might as well save our breath, because He is not going to hear us.
6. We can pray until we are blue in the face, but it won’t do any good whatsoever. Why????
7. Because when God hides His face, He also stops His ears.

C. May I also say that when God hides His face, He WITHHOLDS HIS BLESSINGS FROM OUR LIVES.
1. Notice Jer. 5:23-25, “But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone…Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest…Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.”
2. Did you hear what the Lord said to Israel?
3. He said, “Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.”
4. I don’t know about you, but I want the blessings of God in my life.
5. I don’t want to live even one day without His blessings.
6. But when God hides His face from us, he also withholds His blessings.

D. There is a third consequence of God hiding His face from us.
1. And that is, when God hides His face from us, He WITHDRAWS HIS HAND OF PROTECTION FROM US.
2. Normally, God protects His children.
3. The Bible says in Psa. 91:10-11, “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”
4. And so, normally, God protects His children.
5. But something happens when our sin causes God to hide His face from us, His hand of protection is removed.
6. Notice again what He told Israel in Vrs. 17 of our text, “Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?”
7. (Illus.- When Ben was a little boy, I remember tucking him in bed at night and telling him about God’s angels who would watch over him during the night.)
8. But that’s not true of those Christians who’s sin has caused God to hide His face from them.
9. Why?
10. Because when God hides His face, He also removes His hand of protection from us.
11. That’s scary, isn’t it?

E. Do you still think that having God hide His face from us is not such a bad thing?
1. It IS a bad thing (a very bad thing).
2. Why?
3. Because of what it means.
4. It means that God will not hear our prayers.
5. It means that God will withhold His blessings.
6. It means that God will remove His hand of protection.

III. How Can We Persuade God To Turn His Face Toward Us Again?

A. Suppose that it has become apparent to you that God has, in fact, turned His face from you, what can you do about it?

B. The answer can be found in Psa. 30:7-8, “LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled… I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.”
1. David knew what it was like to have God hide His face.
2. He had experienced it in his own life, probably more than once.
3. What did David do once he realized the problem?
4. He “cried” unto the “Lord.”
5. David put it like this in Psa. 34:6, “This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.”
6. I said earlier that when God hides His face, He also closes His ears.
7. There is one exception to that, however.
8. God will always hear the cry of a repentant sinner as he confesses his sin to God.
9. That’s what you need to do if, in fact, God has turned His face from you.

C. There is a very special promise in 1 John 1:9 which says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1. Do you know what this means?
2. It means that if you will truly repent of your sin and sincerely confess it to God, He will forgive you.
3. And when He forgives you, He will turn His face toward you again.

Conclusion:

A. Let me ask you a question.
1. Has God hidden His face from you?
2. Perhaps because of your unwillingness to…
-put Him first in your life,
-fulfill His will for your life,
-obey His principles as you live your life,
has God hid His face from you?

B. Here’s how you can tell.
1. Are your prayers going unanswered?
2. Are God’s blessings absent from your life?
3. Are bad things happening to you frequently?
4. If so, chances are good that God has hidden His face from you.
5. You need to do what David did.
6. You need to make use of this alter this morning and cry out to God (pour your heart out to Him as you confess your sin to Him).
7. If you will do that, God will turn His face toward you once again and smile upon you.
8. Don’t you think it is about time???

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