“But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.” – Numbers 32:23
What you do in the dark, stays in the dark! So you are led to believe by your own sense of things as you experience them. If no one else can see or witness or hear, then only you know. Right? And this concept of reality seems to work for you. The shoe doesn’t fall, the hammer doesn’t come down, bells do not go off. So all is well. But is it?
It is very difficult to consistently picture an all-seeing God whose “eyes” are never blinded or looking away. Your faith may be more or less vigilant, but even the faithful are wont to let their guard down. Appetites can become overwhelming; desires, all-consuming. And they are not always righteous. Far from it.
God has brought real life examples to bear on this truth from His Word. The graphic story of Achan from the Book of Joshua comes to mind. When the Israelite army was victorious over the city of Jericho, Achan under the cloak of believing no one was observing, covetously kept some of the spoils including a magnificently embroidered garment, a sack of 200 silver coins, and a gold bar. He buried them under his tent. The Israelite’s had been previously directed by God not to take for themselves any of the “devoted” things of silver, gold, jewelry, fine garments etc…, but these all were to go into the treasury of the Lord. Because of the sin of one man, Achan, and very possibly his family may have known, the Israelite army suffered a routing defeat when they attempted to take the next city, Ai. God pointed out that because there was sin in the camp, they had suffered a terrible defeat costing nearly forty lives. Through a means in which God must have directed Joshua, Achan was found to be the man, the articles were found, and he and his entire family were stoned as a result of this sin.
In the New Testament a couple, Ananias and Sapphira, among others who were giving to the work of the young church, sold some of their property, and secretly holding back some of the proceeds of the sale for themselves, gave the rest as though this were the entire amount. They declared such to God, the apostles, and the assembly. Being found to be deceitful, they died on the spot as their lie was exposed by the Spirit of God. Though such happens continuously in the dealings and affairs of men and women, there is often no immediate discovery with the same devastating results as seen in these instances in the Bible; but God’s Word is clear that there will be an accounting one day for all such “secret” sin.
David in writing Psalm 139, an insightful, brilliant Psalm discovering God’s full acquaintance with your inmost being, your beginning in the womb, and a complete awareness of your thoughts and actions, discloses: “You have searched me, O Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit, and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out, and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.” You cannot go anywhere to escape the presence of His Spirit. He is omnipresent and fully aware of you at all times. If this truth were practically believed and applied, with a reverent fear of God, what a different man or woman you would be in everything. But sin is powerful, Satan is cunning, and you are weak. Your ONLY hope is to cry out to Christ and call on His strength. Where you are weak, He is strong. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
Perhaps the truth of God’s all-knowing is discouraging to you; truly defeating! Or, simply ignored. Knowing you are a sinner by nature or not caring that you are, you may still intend to do and get away with “secret” sins. There is an antidote for those who really want help. Jesus has been tempted in all ways as you, yet did not sin. He is able to walk with you in the hard places of life, in the pits of temptation, in the hard pressures of the desires of the flesh, in the weakest times, when you cannot hold your tongue, control your thoughts, or bridle your actions. He tests your faith so you might call on Him continually; seventy times seven, never too many. If you fall, get up again in His strength and do it over the right way. Do not despair! He says instead, overcome! He who overcomes, He promises in Revelation 2 and 3, I will give a crown of life.
But remember, there are no such things as “secret sins”!
“From depths of woe I raise to thee the voice of lamentation; Lord turn a gracious ear to me and hear my supplication; if thou iniquities dost mark, our secret sins and misdeeds dark, O who shall stand before thee?”
“Therefore my trust is in the Lord, and not on my own merit; on him my soul shall rest, his Word upholds my fainting spirit: his promised mercy is my fort, my comfort and my sweet support; I wait for it with patience.”
(1st and 3rd verse of Martin Luther’s hymn from Psalm 130, 1523)
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