My last passage addressed in some detail how a society’s attempt to remove the one true God, Jesus Christ, along with any discussion of his truth and message of grace and salvation. The enemy has always worked at this, and continues in these last days at a feverish pace. As my last passage described, a society that does not choose to serve the one true God of Israel, Jesus Christ, is always found serving various other gods and idols, and is full of sin, lawlessness and corruption as a result.
What does God say when a society, especially his people, ‘Israel,’ walk away to other gods and their own sinful ways? In scripture, he says many times, “I will hide my face.” This is a clear pattern, and is also foretelling of a soon coming time in our last days when God, again, will hide his face for the very same reasons. When he does so, he will turn people over to their own desires and sinful behaviors. Then, he will allow the enemy to bring on destruction and judgment, especially against his own people, ‘Israel.’ The cycle continues until his people then call out to him, repent, and then he forgives, again. In the last days, after yet another repeating cycle, combined with God’s judgments in the Tribulation period, scripture says that a remnant of God’s people will be delivered, regathered and reestablished once and for all in the holy land to live in the heavenly Kingdom.
In the meantime, the following are some examples from scripture about what happens when God hides his face in the last days.
Song of Moses – God hides from his people – A prophecy
In one of the first instances of hiding his face, God tells Moses right before his death that his people would:
- “…prostitute themselves to foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them.” (Deut. 31:16).
As a result, God promised that “many disasters and difficulties” would come upon his people and that he would hide his face at that time.
God instructed Moses at that time to write the “Song of Moses” as a testimony against the people and their transgressions in his sight. This song (found in the book of Deuteronomy) recounts God’s sovereignty and his blessings for his people, ‘Israel,’ but then reminds how they angered him by following “foreign gods” and “detestable idols.” This caused God to say, “I will hide my face from them” (Deut. 32:20). The song then mentions the calamities that would come upon this “perverse generation,” which included both God’s people and their adversaries.
The Song of Moses represents a continuing picture to this day of the worldwide house of Israel- Judah and Israel. Scripture is clear that God still has his eyes on his people throughout these last days who are part of yet another “perverse generation.” Some parts of the Song of Moses certainly appear to indicate that there is a last days fulfillment of this prophecy, especially including God’s judgment:
- “For a fire has been kindled by my wrath…it will devour the earth and its harvests and set afire the foundations of the mountains.” (Deut. 32:22)
- “(My adversaries’) wine is the venom of serpents, the deadly poison of cobras. Have I not kept this in reserve and sealed it in my vaults. It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.” (Deut. 32:35)
- “Rejoice, O nations with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people.” (Deut. 32:43)
The verses above sound much more like other scripture in God’s Word about his coming wrath and vengeance in the last days, and do not appear to have been completely fulfilled during his people’s initial entry into the land.
Jesus and his Spirit removed
Another time God hid his face was when Jesus Christ himself departed this earth. While Jesus sent his Holy Spirit after he departed, he warned his disciples prior to his absence a couple of times. Look closely at a few things Jesus said, and how they might apply again to him removing his spirit in our current, last days:
- “But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast.” (Luke 5:34)
- “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed! Then they will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!'” (Luke 23:30)
- “(Martha)…only one thing is needed…you will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me…Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (John 12:8)
Jesus is intimating a time when he will go away, with a likely application for the last days. In a prior passage on this site, I discussed the Comforter and Restrainer, perhaps both being one-and-the-same Holy Spirit. The Restrainer will be removed prior to the revealing of the lawless one, which is another example of the Spirit of the Lord being absent or of God hiding his face. An absence of God will mean trouble for the world.
God hides from end times Judah and Israel
Prophets Ezekiel, Isaiah, Micah and Hosea all specifically discuss God hiding his face in the last days due to his people’s (both houses- Judah and Israel) sinful and corrupt ways. Not only is this a time such as that God spoke of through the prophet Amos when he says, “I will send a famine through the land…a famine of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11), but it will be a time of judgment. Nearly all other prophets describe the very same last days of judgment when God says he will hide. The following selected scripture is from the books of Isaiah, Micah, and Hosea, respectively.
- “…for both houses of Israel (the Lord) will be a stone that causes them to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare.” (Is 8:14); “I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in him.” (Is 8:17)
- “Listen, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of the “house of Israel”…you who hate good and love evil…” (Mic 3:1-2); “At that time he will hide his face (from them) because of the evil they have done.” (Mic 3:4); “(The Lord says) night will come over you, without visions, and darkness without divination. The sun will set for the prophets and the day will go dark for them. The seers will be ashamed and the diviners disgraced. They will all cover their faces because there is no answer from God” (Mic 3:6-7). “Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble.” (Mic 3:12)
- “When (Israelites, Ephraim, and Judah) will go with their flocks and herds to seek the Lord, they will not find him; he has withdrawn himself from them.” (Hos 5:6); “I am like a moth to Ephraim, like rot to the people of Judah.” (Hos 5:12); For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him. I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.” (Hos 5:14-15)
Note that these are events still to come, likely all during one period of time. While the nation of Israel will obviously be in the crosshairs, the United States will be too. There is a large amount of overlap with the lost tribes of Israel- the former northern kingdom sometimes referred to as “Ephraim” and the U.S.
The good news is is that God mentions repeatedly that he will redeem and save a remnant of Israel for himself. As mentioned above, he will ultimately redeem and deliver his people, and regather them in their land. In the book of Jeremiah, after destruction at the hands of the Babylonians when the Lord has hidden his face, and as a picture of the end times destruction of Jerusalem, the Lord still says:
- “Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.” (Jer 33:6)
(I will discuss more about this topic of an Israeli remnant regathering in a future passage).
Grace and Peace,
Lion’s Lair (LL)