Deuteronomy 29:29 says:
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
This verse is set in the context of a review of the covenant blessings and curses. God is reminding the people of the Law and the consequences of their obedience and disobedience. This verse may seem out of place at first, but perhaps it’s put there for a specific reason.
God had given to the people of Israel, and has given to us, specific revelation in the form of words, laws, precepts and statutes. He has made all of it clear so we may understand how to obey him and enjoy fellowship with him. God desires what is best for his people and so he didn’t leave us without the direction we needed for ourselves and for our children.
So why this mention of ‘the secret things’? What are those secret things? That’s the trouble. We want to know the secret things. We’ve always wanted to know the secret things, ever since the Deceiver told Eve that God was holding out on her and His command wasn’t enough. Still now, with us, it’s like there’s two books – one called “The Things Revealed”, which is the Word of God, and another called “The Secret Things”, which is all the stuff we wish God would tell us. What do we wish God would tell us? Some want to know exactly how the universe was created down to subatomic detail. Some want to have access to future knowledge about themselves or other people. Others want their theological questions answered. Still others want to know the reasons behind their suffering. They won’t believe until they have these mysteries solved.
I don’t know what the book called “The Secret Things” looked like in the time of Israel. But what we see is that over time they stopped reading the revelation God had given them. They stopped paying attention to the warnings he had given them. They stopped passing it on to their children. And we all know the rest of the story.
A lot of us spend our time trying to read that book called “The Secret Things” while all the time the book called “The Things Revealed” is sitting right in front of us. God has given it to us and it belongs to us and to our children so we won’t just read it but also obey it.
It’s human nature to be discontent, to not be satisfied with what God has given us. It’s been that way since the first temptation in the garden to distrust God and want more. And now we’re still yearning for that secret knowledge. But God has given us all we need in His Word. He has given us a testimony written in both ink and blood for all to read. And we must base our faith and assurance on that. Not looking for the hidden secrets of the universe or for the resolution of all our theological conundrums. He has given us what we need and that should be enough.
The most important thing for us now is to lay hold of it, read it, believe it, and obey it. Then pass it on to our children so they may do the same. It’s nothing fancy and there’s nothing mysterious about it. But it is enough.