The secret things belong to the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children for ever…
Revealed knowledge may be said to "belong to us" —
I. BECAUSE IT IS LEVEL TO OUR UNDERSTANDINGS. All that is needful for us to know of "the common salvation" is so plain in itself, and so plainly declared, that he who runs may read. On this point we may safely appeal to general experience. If the Bible be, generally speaking, a hard book, how is it that it has made its way into every house where a reader is to be found? How does it happen that the most fond and delighted readers of it are those whose understandings have had the least assistance from education? Such persons prefer the Bible even to other devotional books in which the same things are professed to be set forth; partly, perhaps, from habit, but in a great measure because, with. respect to the most interesting religious truths, they cannot be more plainly set forth than is there done already; they are rather obscured than otherwise by a multitude of words and subtle reasonings and human illustrations. And what is the nature of those truths? For, if they were not in themselves easy to be understood, no plainness of speech could make them so. But now, what are they? "God is, and is a rewarder," etc. "All flesh have corrupted their way." "Jesus Christ came," etc. "Repent, and believe the Gospel."
II. BECAUSE IT CONCERNS US. The Bible is about us, and our affairs. Open it where you will, you are the person spoken to; and you, or some other of like passions with you, are the person spoken of. Of God Himself, only so much is revealed as relates to His dealings with man; and how small a part is that of what might be known of the Author of the universe! Of the angels, their natures, orders, powers, and past history, we know next to nothing; only a few individuals of them are introduced to us, as ascending and descending between God and man; and we are told of them in general, that they are "all ministering spirits," etc. Nay, even of Jesus Christ Himself, whatever is revealed strictly concerns us and the scheme of our redemption. Of man, his origin, nature, history, condition, duties, destiny, every page of the Bible tells us something; and the whole together gives us such a full and luminous account as leaves nothing to be desired. With reference to its author, we call the Bible God's Book, but in respect to use and advantage it is our book, and none but ours. Suppose it to be put into the hands of a quite different order of creatures, inhabiting some other world: of what service would it be to them? Would they, who perhaps had never sinned, feel any interest beyond that of mere curiosity in the fall of man, or in the succession of the Divine dispensations for his recovery? To them it would be as a letter missent. But when we open this letter we see at once that it "belongs to us"; and we put it by, only to refer to it again and again, and prepare ourselves, "that we may do," etc.
III. BECAUSE WE DO, IN FACT, POSSESS IT. Was it not "written for our learning"? delivered to us at the first, and handed down by a providential arrangement, for our benefit? Let this suffice. Where there is no other claimant, possession alone is a valid title. This is an acknowledged maxim in regard to other kinds of property; and so it would be in regard to this, were it not for one consideration, namely, that we do not see men using and enjoying this part of their possessions as they do the rest. What should we think if we saw the supposed owner of a large landed property carefully abstaining from the usufruct of it? either letting it remain unproductive, or storing up the produce of it from year to year, or by any other means taking good care that he himself shall derive no benefit from its. Should we not say at once, "The estate is not legally vested in that person. There is some flaw in his title, and he fears to apply the proceeds to his own use, lest the real owner should presently appear and call him to account"? Now, apply this to the case before us. "Those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." That is the use of this property — to "do all the words," etc. It is the absence of that, and nothing else, that casts a suspicion upon our real title to the property. If men were always seen doing those things which are contained in the Bible — obeying its precepts, copying its examples, believing its truths, appropriating its promises; in short, living and feeding upon the oracles of God, instead of remaining all their lives "hearers only, deceiving their own selves," — there would, there could be, no question as to their right of possession.
(Frederick Field, LL. D.).
Parallel VersesKJV: The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.