HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
“Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.” Psalm 77:19
God’s Secrecy Drives Us On
So far, then, upon the spheres of evidence, and now a word or two upon the other aspect. Can we discern the spiritual uses of this great element in God’s procedure? I shall tell you how it seems to me to bear upon our triumph or our failure.
In the first place, the secrecy of God is meant to be a spur to drive us on. There are things that are better for us not to hear, and God has the gracious strength to keep a secret. How often have we said to someone, “Ah, how I wish you had never told me that!” We can never have the same thoughts again since that one word was whispered in our ear. And we put it away from us and it comes again, and it rises from the dead when we least wish it, and we are brought lower and we are ashamed, just because someone could not keep a secret. There are times when there is strength in speech. There are times when there is strength in silence. There are things that it was very sweet to tell, but life has been far harder since we told them. And that is why God is silent in His love and will not speak although our hearts are craving, and tomorrow we shall thank Him for the silence that seems to be almost cruel tonight.
“My father,” said Isaac, as they went up the hill, “Here is the wood, but where then is the lamb?” Poor child, so wistful and so happy, it would have been cruelty to have told him that. And so with us who are but wistful children, speech may be cruel and secrecy may be kind. When we reach the hilltop we shall see; and seeing we shall understand.
The Secrecy of God Should Give Us Hope
There is hope for the world and there is hope for men when we can say, “God’s footsteps are not known.” The footsteps of sin and vice are always known. There is nothing unobtrusive about them. They leave their print of filthiness and blood on every pavement and on every newspaper. And that is why a thousand men are pessimists, for these reeking footsteps are before them and they forget that God is also there—only His footsteps are not known.
Let some drunken husband kill his wife tonight, and you shall hear all about it in tomorrow’s newspaper. And any scoundrel may have his doings published there so that any child can read about them. But thousands of homes were very happy yesterday and wives were singing and children were playing, but you shall read nothing in the papers about that. All that is of God, for love is of God; but then, you see, God’s footsteps are not known. And no one buys the paper to read that, and it is not at all notorious or flaunting. And what I say is that you must remember that sin is riotous and God’s way is in the still, small voice—or hope will go and hearts will be embittered and faith will die into the cold of death.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW …