I took this picture of two young calves resting or “hiding” in the buttercup laden pasture the other evening. I don’t know what or how a mama cow tells her newborn baby “to stay put” but she will often stash or “hide” her baby in the grass, weeds or woods while she goes off to graze and the babes will usually wait patiently for her to come back. These calves were a little older but even when we drove near them they stayed hunkered down in their hiding spot.
It reminded me of one of my favorite sets of grandkid pictures (2008). The grandkids were playing a game of hide and seek. Lauren and Ryan hid their faces and counted while Emily and Karla found a place to hide and wait to be found.
Hiding can be a game of great fun. I remember playing hide and seek and the “counter” would have to count to 100 and then holler, “A bushel of wheat, a bushel of rye. Whose not ready, holler I”. You also hide when you are scared or seriously running from someone one or something because of fear of being caught or found out. I remember one time, way back in the 70’s, I was sitting at a stoplight in Richmond and got rear-ended from a distracted driver who then fled the scene. I was able to get his license plate number and the police found him several hours later hiding in the attic of his home.
There are some fascinating stories in the Bible of people who thought they could hide. Hide and seek is as old as Adam and Eve who thought they could hide from God! God went along with their little game and as He walked in the garden looking for them He calls out, “Where are you”? They were hiding because they had disobeyed God and because of their sin they became aware that they were naked. They didn’t want God to see them so they hid behind a tree! (Genesis 3:8-9)
- Moses was hid in a woven basket on the river as a baby by his mother. He was found by Pharoah’s daughter who adopted him as her own and he grew up in the palace of the very king who had issued the order to kill all the newborn Hebrew males. (Exodus 2:1-10).
- Later, Moses fled to the desert of Midian because he had killed a man and he feared for his life. He lived as a shepherd for 40 years. This experience prepared him for the huge task of leading the children of Israel through the desert. (Exodus 3)
- Joshua sent men to spy out Jericho. They were in the home of Rahab when the king received word that they were in the city. The officers went looking for them but Rahab hid them under stalks of flax piled on the roof top. This heathen prostitute was saved from destruction because of her faith and her name is found in the genealogy of King David and Jesus Christ. (Joshua 2, Matthew 1)
- Saul, at his coronation, hid in the baggage. (I Samuel 10:21)
- David, fearful for his life, for years hid in caves, forests and deserts from the wrath of King Saul who relentlessly tried to trap and kill him. (Most of I Samuel is the story of David’s hiding from Saul. Several examples are I Samuel 23, 24, and 26)
- Jonah tried to flee from God. He hid in the bottom of a ship and ended up in the belly of a whale in the bottom of the ocean because he didn’t want to go preach to the wicked city of Ninevah. (Jonah)
- Elijah traveled 40 days and 40 nights to Mount Horeb because of the threat on his life by Queen Jezebel. He hid in a cave but God found him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (I Kings 19)
- About two years after the birth of Jesus, his parents fled to Egypt in the middle of the night to protect and hide Jesus from King Herod who after a visit from the wise men sought to kill the young child. (Matthew 2:13-15).
- A woman who had been bleeding for 12 years thought she could hide in a crowd of people and just touch the hem of Jesus garment without him knowing. Jesus said, “Who touched me?” The woman when she realized that she was exposed, came with fear and trembling and fell down before Jesus. And Jesus said, “Because of your faith, you are healed. Go in peace.” (Luke 8: 43-48).
David penned a beautiful, heart-felt, poignant psalm about the presence of God and his inability to hide from Him. David knew, he had first hand experience. David had a sordid affair after spying a beautiful woman taking a bath while on a stroll one evening on the roof top of his palace. He tried to hide his sin and in the process multiplied his evil deed by ordering the death of the Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, who was one of David’s thirty closest advisors. God spoke to the prophet Nathan who confronted David and his sin was exposed. (II Samuel 11-12). In deep anguish David repented and these words poured from his sorrowful heart.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
Whether for fun or for real, we can hide, but almost always we are found. And guess what….we are quite often as obvious as Adam and Eve with our shiny backsides sticking out from behind a tree!