That is a terrifying reality. Everything – every harbored thought, every nursed sense of entitlement, every quiet resentment or lust or whatever – will not be private forever. They will all eventually be laid bare before the One who already knows them. And as if that thought isn’t frightening enough, we are reminded that these are not innocuous secrets – we are accountable for them, too. So what do we do with that reality?
“Where are you?”
The question rang out across the garden. The first humans, who had enjoyed perfect fellowship with their Creator and lived in perfect harmony with the rest of His creation, had walked and talked in naked transparency with God and with each other. But not any more.
Now they were hiding.
Now they were self-conscious.
Now they were filled with the guilt and shame that came from their lack of faith and rebellion.
And God asked them a question. But He wasn’t asking because He didn’t know the answer; He knew very well where they were, just as He knew very well what they had done. The purpose of the question was not informational; it was confessional. The man and woman needed to own what they had done; they needed to acknowledge it to God. They weren’t telling Him anything He didn’t already know – they were owning up to what He already did.
There are no secrets with God. Confession, for us now as it was then, is not informational in nature. That is, for most of us, a terrifying reality because all of us like to think we have secrets. Secret thoughts. Secret desires. Secret hatred. Secret selfish ambition. And yet all of that secrecy is really a matter of self-delusion – God already knows. In fact, He already knows more about the inmost recesses of our hearts than we do.
And yet we talk ourselves into the notion that we actually do have secrets. Or at least we do temporarily, because in time, even the idea of secrets will be obliterated:
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Heb. 4:12-13).