This morning I read an interesting and thought-provoking verse of Scripture from Psalm 94. The Psalmist is asking the Lord to judge the wicked and arrogant men who boast in their depravity and take advantage of the less-fortunate among God’s people. He then turns his attention to those very men whose behavior has made them subject to God’s wrath and offers a word of warning:
“Understand, you senseless among the people;
And you fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, shall He not hear?
He who formed the eye, shall He not see?
He who instructs the nations, shall He not correct?
He who teaches man knowledge?” (v.8-10)
As I read these verses it struck me just how foolish it is for men to think that the very One who made their ears would not Himself be able to hear, or that the One who made their eyes would not Himself be able to see. But even as I thought this I realized that it is not only those who arrogantly and violently oppose God’s people who assume that God does not hear or see anything, I am guilty of this same kind of delusion every time I try to hide my sin.
Yes, I am a sinner. In fact, I’m really pretty good at it, and I’ve had quite a bit of practice. Most of my life I have learned how to keep other people from finding out just how good (or bad, depending on how you look at it) a sinner I am. But all of this practice ignores the fundamental truth that the Psalmist declares – God not only created me, he knows exactly who and what I am. When I try to cover my sin so that no one else will find out the truth, I am acting as if God is either ignorant or impotent, but the Psalmist shows that to be false in v.11, “The Lord knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile.”
True repentance does not hide sin but confesses it for what it is, and I appreciate the example of David from Psalm 51 where he confesses “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight” (v.4). Instead of hiding his sin, he acknowledged that he had performed his wicked acts in God’s sight. When was the last time that you considered the fact that every word, thought, or deed is done in the full view of God? No matter how effectively you or I cover our tracks and hide our sins from others, we cannot keep them from God. Of course, nearly every Christian already knows that God is everywhere present and all-knowing, yet we still find ourselves trying to cover up our sin so that no one will find out. Is it because we believe that the threat of public shame is more to be feared than the Father’s discipline? “Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law…For the Lord will not cast off His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance. But judgment will return to righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it.” (94:12-15) Let us follow righteousness rather than try to hide our sin.