A few years ago, I remember hearing about a man by the name of Harold Camping who was predicting that the Lord would return on May 21, 2011. Come to find out, this was not the first time that he had made a prediction about the Lord’s return. Earlier he had predicted the Lord’s return on May 21, 1988. He then moved it to September 1994. Camping will go down in history with the rest of the false prophets who have tried to speculate the timing of an event that God has left hidden. The Lord clearly stated that “…of that day and hour knoweth no man…” (Mt. 24:36). When men try to pry into the hidden things of God, it always results in spiritual disaster.
In Deut. 29, a new generation of Israelites stood on the brink of entering the Promised Land. Moses would pass away soon and Joshua would assume the leadership role. Moses reminded the people of some final instructions before they entered the land. Moses told them of the future judgment that would come for their disobedience, their future blessing for their obedience, and their present duty before God. God’s expectations and judgements were clearly revealed to the people. It was likely hard for the people to comprehend some of these sayings. Therefore, Deut. 29:29 says, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” God revealed certain truths to the people. Deut. 30:11 says, “For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.” God’s Word was not hidden from them. God had given them what he wanted them to know and they were responsible to live in light of God’s revealed truth. The secret things referred to the future details that God had not made clear. The Israelites were to walk in the revealed truth but not pry into the hidden things of God.
Many people struggle with the “secret things” of God. We think that we have a right to have every question answered and to know the ins-and-outs of God’s providential dealings with us. But the Bible makes it clear that it is the “things which are revealed” that belong to us. God has revealed Himself to mankind through His Word. There are things that God has not revealed to man. However, that which He has revealed in His Word sufficiently provides “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). An old Puritan proverb said, “Never let what you don’t know disturb your faith in what you do know.” Don’t get bogged down in speculating about things that are out of your control or things you cannot understand. Rather, focus on living in light of God’s revealed will and trusting in God’s revealed character.