The Hiddenness of God – Gospel in Life

The Hiddenness of God

Tim Keller |  June 1, 2003

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  • God the Father
Genesis 37:2b-13; 23-34
RS 160-1


In the story of Joseph, we learn how to get perspective on the bad things that have happened in our lives. In this first chapter of Joseph’s life, we see three things: 1) The hidden depths of sin; 2) The hidden purposes of God; and 3) The hidden patterns of grace.

Genesis 37:2b–13; 23–34

The story of Joseph in Genesis shows us that God is not inept, but rather actively involved in our lives. By looking into Joseph’s life, we see the depths of sin, God’s plans, and how grace works, which helps us understand our own struggles and disappointments better, leading us to appreciate God’s leadership in our lives.

1. The hidden depths of sin

Jacob’s family was full of secret sins and brokenness, with favoritism and lack of love creating a harmful atmosphere. The goal of the Bible isn’t just to give rules, but to show how God’s love can save us from our mistakes and issues. It makes clear how family influences our faults and how the power of relationships and God’s intervention can change us.

2. The hidden purposes of God

The story of Joseph shows how dreams and unexpected events can change a well-ordered society, suggesting that God was working behind the scenes to save Joseph’s family. Joseph’s severe suffering highlights how hardships are needed for redemption. The story tells us we should experience God’s love in a personal way and believe in His unseen work, emphasizing the power of understanding and facing life’s difficulties.

3. The hidden patterns of grace

A poem by George Herbert called “Joseph’s Coat” talks about how suffering can lead to personal growth and is based on God’s constant love. It compares the salvation Joseph experienced to Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, both involving suffering and betrayal. Christianity teaches that God, who also suffered, is with us in our struggles, giving comfort and love. Even if we can’t always understand His plans, we should seek a relationship with Him, trusting in His promise of salvation.



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