Text: 2 Kings 17:1-12
Verse 9 of our text reads, “And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God.” Israel somehow thought that their secret sins were hidden from God, but, as Paul said, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13). Israel had deluded itself into thinking that God was not all-knowing and all-powerful. Simply put, they had lost sight of God.
God knows our secrets
Maybe others do not know what goes on in our private lives, but God does. He see everything we do, hears everything we say, and records everything we think. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Here are a few examples:
1. Eve must have thought that she had got away with her disobedience to God’s command, but soon she heard Him ask, “What is this that thou hast done?” (Genesis 3:13). No fig leaf apron was going to conceal the guilty soul from the eyes of God.
2. He saw Cain secretly bury his brother’s body. “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground” (Genesis 4:8-10).
3. He saw David’s secret sin, but was going to make his punishment known to everyone. “For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun” (2 Samuel 12:12).
4. He saw the secret idolatrous practices in the Temple. “Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth” (Ezekiel 8:12).
5. He knew what was in the hearts of Ananias and Sapphira, (see Acts 5:1-12).
Let us not fool ourselves
Only the wicked fool themselves into thinking that God does not take any notice of their sin. People think that God does not see and know all about their secret sins. “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God” (Deuteronomy 29:29). He see everything everyone does in every place on earth. He sees the conniving of the terrorist as he plans his suicide attack. He hears the precise details of thieves planning to rob a bank. “Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance” (Psalm 90:8). No evil deed, plan or purpose is unnoticed by Him. “Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:23-24). He needs no bugging device for this, for He is the all-knowing, all-seeing God, therefore nobody can get away with their sin. “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
God saw what we stole; He heard the lies we told; He knows about that grudge we hold; He can read every ungodly thought we have. He knows those things that would shock those around us if they ever got out. One day it will all be brought up at the judgement. “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10) … “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36) … “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). God keeps a record of everything we do in Heaven. “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).
We have no need to fear all of this if our hearts are right before the Lord. If we have the power to do evil things in secret, it must follow we can do good too. If we engage ourselves in doing good secretly, then can we assure our hearts that God takes note, even if others never do. “Thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6) … “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad” (Luke 8:16-17). Along with David we need to pray, “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression” (Psalm 19:12-13). Hagar knew Him as El Roi, The God who sees (Genesis 16:13). Psalm 139 is a perfect description of the all-seeing God we serve. “There are many things in my life that I do not want to put under the gaze of Christ. Yet I know there is nothing hidden from Him. He knows me better than my wife knows me. And yet He loves me. This is the most amazing thing of all about God’s grace. It would be one thing for Him to love us if we could fool Him into thinking that we were better than we actually are. But He knows better. He knows all there is to know about us, including those things that could destroy our reputation. He is minutely and acutely aware of every skeleton in every closet. And He loves us” (The Character of God by R.C. Sproul).