The Secret Things

Deuteronomy 29:29 

The secret things belong to the Lord our God…  

Have you ever read this verse or heard it quoted? Most of you have. It is familiar to most Christian and a phrase often quoted by Christians who are going through difficult times. It is often quoted to bring comfort to someone who is going through a difficult life event.  

The secret things belong to the Lord our God; it can bring comfort to those of faith who are having a hard time making sense of it all. 


Difficult life-event? Having a hard time figuring it out? We’ve all been there. 


It certainly makes sense to remind ourselves that God’s purposes for us are beyond our  immediate understanding. And it’s good to be reminded that by faith, we should trust that He has a plan. 

This is a handy verse for such a reminder.  

As is often the case, the context of familiar verses usually isn’t considered when quoted. Often, that’s OK. Sometimes, it is fairly straightforward. But there is always more to it than is generally understood by isolating and quoting familiar Bible verses.  


What’s the real story behind Deuteronomy 29:29? Here’s the rest of the story… 

Here’s the entire verse: 


The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. 


Yes, there are many deep and incomprehensive secrets about God that haven’t been revealed to us and that we are unable to grasp. By faith, we are called to trust God in the unknown mysteries that surround us in this world. Often, we feel like we are in a fog. 

Look at the verse again and divide it into two parts. The first part of the verse calls us to know and trust God. But the rest of the verse calls us to take some action.  

What we really know and comprehend about the vastness of God is fairly small. But what we do know is enough. And of the things revealed to us that we can know, we are called to action. 

We should focus on what has been revealed to us and what we do know about God. 


The Before 

The preceding context of this verse, Deuteronomy 29:29, reveals that this verse, was written to Israel when they were far from God, having broken their covenant with God and living in disobedience. This is helpful to realize. 


The After 

The following verses after 29:29, call the people back to obedience! 


Return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, to you and your sons, then the Lord will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you. Deuteronomy 30:2,3 


Israel was going through a period of time in which they were pushing God aside and living in sin and disobedience. Have you been there? Are you there now? 

When we wander and disobey, know that God is at work to restore you. It’s often a secret as to how He does it, (the secret things belong to the Lord your God), but if you are His, He is at work in You. 

  • He sometimes draws us back by wooing and whispering words of love and affection.  
  • He sometimes brings an ‘angel’ of a person into our lives to speak loving kindness AND truth into our souls. 
  • He sometimes takes us through difficulties and trials to draw us back to Him. 
  • He sometimes disciplines us. 


How God carries out His restorative work in our lives is up to Him. It is varied and it always accomplishes His purposes for His beloved. The secret things belong to the Lord our God… 


How should we respond? 

By faith, we’ll trust God with His secret ways. But there is also some action to be taken on our part. Let us do our best to respond to the second part of Deuteronomy 29:29 which says, 


but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. 


May we apply ourselves to KNOW thoroughly what has been revealed to us. He has spoken to us and revealed Himself through the Word of God, Genesis to Revelation. May we observe it with hungry and humble hearts. 

This is the joy of both KNOWING His Word and LIVING it out. This is a call to Live Scripture Daily!

Won’t you join me in this life-long venture of joy and blessing? To know Him, to know His Word and to allow God’s Word to change us, little-by-little, precept-by-precept, day-by-day. The natural outcome of this journey is that we’ll love Him more and obey Him more. 


Father, what joy and peace there is in knowing You; to know the real You as revealed in Your holy scriptures. There is much we don’t know and don’t understand, but what we have is enough to bring a flowing river of grace, mercy and blessings. As Paul wrote, For from You and through and to You are all things. To You be glory forever! (Romans 11:36). Amen!