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Hiding in plain sight

God often runs the main story line of history’s narrative pretty much where nobody is looking.  Christmas is the best example of this.  But the Lord has been hiding things in plain sight for a long time, and that should fortify Christians against being despondent about current events or even their own personal situations.  Because of what it prizes, the world system usually looking in the wrong spot.  Don’t follow the Secular Man’s gaze or you’ll be as stressed out as he is.

When Christ was born, the Romans ruled everything.  The Israelite temple system was corrupt, the priesthood predominantly apostate, and the nation was being bled white with catastrophic taxation.  The main factions in Israel were the Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots, and Herodians, all tugging at four corners of the wrong blanket.  The situation looked bad to people anxious about Israel’s future, but the bad appearance was irrelevant.  God’s real story line was taking place with an elderly man whose elderly wife got pregnant and delivered a prophet, and with the old woman’s young cousin who delivered the Deliverer.

There have been many other times when the main event in world history would have been unknown to whoever was monitoring The Important Stuff.  The diplomatic pouch of God’s eternal plan was carried at various times with a man emigrating from the land of the Chaldeans, another man wrongly accused of rape doing time in an Egyptian prison, midwives who evaded an infanticide order from the government, a prostitute who took sides with invaders against her nation,  a poor widow gleaning in a corn field, a boy keeping his father’s sheep, a guy herding goats and gathering fruit, rich kids who got captured in a war their fathers had lost, a young couple summoned to Bethlehem by a tax raiser, fishermen just doing their jobs, an old man in a shipwreck, a mother and grandmother teaching a boy to believe, and so on.

In all these not-newsworthy situations, the secret operation of God’s providence was bringing to pass his plan to bestow grace on his people.

The Bible says God has “chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.”  (1 Cor 1:27-29 NKJV)  That’s a description of who gets saved, but it’s also a description of the kind of people and situations God uses to bring about his master plan.  He’s not seeking headlines.

This means the Secular Man, whose thinking is purely natural, passes by the doings of God and sees nothing.

All this is to say that we likely have no idea what the Lord is preparing to do next.  When I hear some self-proclaimed prophet announcing that his TeeVee show is “what God is doing” these days, I mostly do the oh-please eye roll.  If the Bible is any guide to such matters, and it is, then these guys have no clue what God is doing.  He is the ultimate Agent of covert operations, working out the things of eternity right under our noses where nobody is looking.

And this is why we have to walk by faith rather than by sight.  Faith, being the evidence of things not seen, understands that he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep and will not rest until he has completed his work for his people.  So we go about the business of godly living, a thing to which the world assigns a value of zero, but which God accounts better than gold, while we wait on his Son to return from heaven.  You won’t have to wonder what God is doing then.

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