Why is it that God conceals Himself and the things He says so often? Think about this for a moment in regard to Scripture. The later half of Old Testament Scripture is prophecy, in which much of what God said was hidden for their time - and some remains to be fulfilled in ours. Think about Jesus Christ and His statement that much of what He said would be in parables, so that seeing they would not see and hearing they would not hear. Then there's the common practice of Jesus to answer a question with another question. What's that all about? That is what this proverb helps us to understand. Let's take a look at it today.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. So we learn that it is actually to God's glory that He reveals Himself by parables, prophecies, allegories, metaphors, and similitudes. God reveals His will and His ways in the Word of God. He Himself tells us in Isaiah 55 that "My ways are above your ways, and My thoughts your thoughts." In fact God describes His own ways as being so much higher, that the only example that is fitting is of how much higher the heavens are than the earth. Contrary to popular opinion today, God is not just "the man upstairs" or "our divine buddy." It is entirely fitting to honor God and properly think of His majesty and glory. If we see the pomp and glory afforded an earthly king or president, which is fitting for their position and station in life - how much more honor, majesty, and glory should be given to the King of the universe - the very God of creation itself?
In keeping with the majesty of God - the Lord makes known His ways and wisdom by putting it in a way that must be seriously studied to be understood. This is so that we will prize the wisdom and will of God when we discover it. God Himself is unsearchable and unfathomable, thus aspects of His being and ways would never be understandable to us if we spent a myriad of lifetimes studying Him. Thus we are to be filled with awe and wonder as we consider how He has revealed Himself - how He reveals His will - and how He reveals His ultimate purposes. Paul, when receiving a little light on God's ultimate purposes with the salvation of Israel and the Gentiles, found himself in such awe that at the close of Romans 11 he wrote the following:
"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD , OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen."
Thus we see one of the greatest minds in all of history bursting with spontaneous praise at the consideration of the mind of the Lord. It is a sad thing to see many in our culture wanting to drag God down to our level - or having no sense of awe or honor of Him at all. We need to see God as He is - Someone higher and more glorious than ourselves and our own limited finite minds. We need to consider the vast limitedness of our own comprehension of things. Think about this a second - can you fathom the glories of the universe God has given us? Do you fully grasp how very little we know of it. Yet manking has an unbounded pride in his pitiful little accomplishments. Pardon my Shakespearian moment but, Methinks we glory in the pittance of our knowledge too much. God knows all that there is to know in every corner of the universe. Our tiny halls of learning are but a single utterance, a mere passing thought, compared to the eternally infinite lecture that God could give based upon His perfect knowledge of all things everywhere. He conceals matters because we would understand them about as well as an infant would understand a lecture on Newtonian physics. He calls us to learn - to study - to mine His Word to gather the vast array of priceless jewels of wisdom available to us. It is to His glory and everlasting praise that He does so.
But Kings . . . there is a different thought presented here referring to them. "But the glory of kings is to search out a matter." The purpose of a king is to be wise in matters of state so as to create a stable soceity in which his subjects can prosper in relative safety. Being finite in nature, a king needs to search out matters. He should confer with wise counsellors when making decisions in the best interests of the kingdom. Presidents and potentates should be learned men who possess both knowledge from men and the knowledge of God. It is a blessed country who has such - and who has a king who applies such wisdom (especially the wisdom of God) to the matters pertaining to the state.
When kings and presidents do not properly search out matters great harm comes to their kingdoms and countries. One of the great plagues of state is a king or president who is filled with pride and an agenda not based upon God's wisdom or truth. Pride causes kings to be more concerned about maintaining power than manifesting prudence. They make decisions that concentrate their power and absolute rule over the populace, which unfortunately leads to abuse. They mistake domination for dominion, and surround themselves with sycophants rather than sages. In a representative republic like our own, you have a recipe for disaster when rulers decide it is more in their interest to maintain power than make prudent decisions in the public welfare.
Consider, for a moment, the recent incidents of climate fraud that permeate the psuedo-science of the global warming hoax. Rulers who desired power more than truth surrounded themselves with supposed men of science to justify their radical plans. We learn later that these scientists did not submit themselves to peer review, they falsified findings, and destroyed data that did not fit their pre-determined conclusions. Presidents and kings should "search out" a matter - not pre-determine it and make their plans regardless of the facts. Here is why having a leader committed to truth regardless of the consequences, political or otherwise, is important.
The glory of God and kings is important both to understand and honor. It may seem difficult to the king to study out matters diligently before making decisions - but truth is always an ally to the wise man. It also may seem troublesome at times to faithfully search out the mysteries of God - but as we have learned from Proverbs itself - the knowledge of the Lord is wisdom!