2004-06-07 - All Things Naked
Hebrews 4:13, "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do."
All things are open and laid bare before God. All things are open to His view and understanding. No thought or action escapes the God who created the heavens and the earth. All things are naked before him. Knowing this, do we dare omit any duty, or commit any sin, while under the ever-seeing eye of the God who sees all things and hates sin? It is wise for us, when we are tempted, to remember that God misses nothing. We know that Christ has delivered His people from Hell, but do we remember that He has also delivered us from this evil world? Those temptations which assail us are known to God, and our response to them, either to yield to or resist sin, is laid open and bare before Him.
We ought to remember that sin grieves God. He created us, has watched over us, preserved us, endured our foolishness, given us food, drink, sunshine, rain and all that we need to sustain our lives. Yet we all too often repay His kindness by transgressing His will and going our own way. It is as if we thought our understanding surpassed His. Yet when we go our own way and cross His way, He is ever-loving when we return to Him. God does not say, "You made the choice to sin, and now all I have to do with you is give you the punishment you deserve." No, He is joyful when we return to Him and forsake our sin. This thought should encourage us. The One to whom all things are naked and open sorrows when we transgress His way, and rejoices to receive us back, when we sorrow before Him in repentance.
While on this earth we are not freed from the presence of sin in our lives, through Christ, we are freed from the power of sin to condemn us to hell for eternity. "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus," Romans 8:1. Sin may vex us, but it does not hold final authority over us. Christ has paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. Thus, while temptations may confront us on all sides, we know that in a final sense, we have already obtained final victory over temptation through the atoning work of Christ. "And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me, and by which they have transgressed against Me," Jeremiah 33:8.
It is both knowing that all is laid naked before God, and that Christ has freed us from the ultimate power of temptation, that should encourage us to stand firm when we are tempted to yield to it. The following is the story of Mr. Story, who had a great reputation for honesty. He was brought before King James II to be tried for rebellion, and not many who were brought before James II walked away. It was thought that Mr. Story had no chance of survival, because he would not embellish the truth in any manner, but would simply tell the whole truth so as not to offend God. His friends knew he would do this, even if it cost him his life.
The king said to him, "Well, Mr. Story, you were in Monmouth's army (an army set against the king), were you not?" "Yes, please your majesty." "And you were a commissary there, were you not?" "Yes, please your majesty." "Did you not preach and make speeches to the crowd?" "Yes, please your majesty." "Pray," said the king, "if you have not forgot what you said, let us have a taste of your florid speech: Give us some flowers of your rhetoric, and a few main points on which you insisted." "I told them, your majesty, that it was you that set fire to the City of London." (He referred to the great fire which destroyed much of London) "What else did you tell them?" "I said you poisoned your brother, and that you were determined to make us all papists and slaves." The king granted him a full pardon.
Here is the example of one who would not lie, even when the temptation to do so meant the preservation of his life. Yet God, to whom all things are open and laid bare, saw, and Mr. Story was preserved. What a great encouragement to faithfulness the story of Mr. Story should be to us.
Soli Deo Gloria,