“And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord God.” Ezekiel 39:29
Why would God hide his face from his people?
The background for the book of Ezekiel is this. God had to punish his people because they had turned from him. They had worshipped other gods and they had done many other things that are hateful to God. In many cases, the children of Israel, in their running from God had adopted some of the most disgusting and horrible practices of the idolatrous nations that surrounded them. It was like they were trying to prove, to them selves and the world, just how rebellious they were.
And for generations God had sent prophets to call the people he loved back to him. He also would allow disasters to come upon them to show them how much they depended on him. And sometimes, briefly they would call out to God to return and protect them. But Israel was, in the end, unrepentant. So finally, God allowed them to be conquered and carried away by an enemy nation. And when they called out to him he refused to listen because he knew that they didn’t really want him. They only wanted his blessings so they they could continue being as bad as they wanted to be.
But even here God promises that his punishing won’t be forever. There comes a time when discipline has fulfilled its purpose and people are ready to choose a different course. At that time God promises that he will return Andre promises, “I shall have poured out My Spirit,” once again.
God’s distance is never because he has chosen to reject us. It comes because we have rejected him and pushed him away. In his effort to win back the children he has lost he allows them to have what they have chosen. A life without him and the blessings only he can provide.
But he’s always willing to return to us when we in true repentance return to him. Or to say it another way. If we want Jesus we will find that Jesus has always wanted us.