“You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.” – Psalm 90:8
You can’t wake up at three in the morning, or hide in your basement and think your safe from prying eyes. And yes, people can see you in your car, and the parks are not as empty as you think.
Despite what we think, there are no hiding places. There are only quieter places, or places of least resistance when you’re running towards sin. We find these “out-of-the-way” places, or places where we think we can’t be seen, or at least, won’t be found out. But we know why we are hiding. We understand why we try to keep whatever it is from prying eyes.
Because it’s wrong.
It’s bad behavior, or it encourages behavior that leads to worse behavior. We hide it away in these “secret” places, and think we can control it. We pretend that we are its master.
“It only comes out, when I make the conscious choice to let it out.”
We’re fooling ourselves, of course. We hide it away because truthfully, there is only one degree of separation between us and our original parents, Adam and Eve. Anything we are doing to hide sin away or control it, is our fig leaf. We think we can fix our own problems, after we screwed up.
We hear the words of the serpent speaking his specific language to us, convincing us the hidden thing is not that bad, and that we are like God in this, that we are it’s master!
But, we know it is that bad.
And if I can be honest?
Sometimes, I really hate relying on God. I love God, but I hate the idea that I have to rely on something outside of myself to get better or at least to be somehow absolved. Can I just fix this one thing God? Can you let me handle it this time? “I-I-I’ll give myself an ultimatum. I’ll demand of myself, one last fix and then…Straight and narrow! I promise!”
It always seems to work for my diet… At least, next time it will.
But, none of it works, does it?
We can’t really rely on ourselves. All we can do is pluck another fig leaf off the tree, when the old one becomes torn.
There are no hiding places. The light of God’s presence shines just as bright in the middle of the night. It floods a basement from those little rectangular windows. We feel the heat of it through the car windshields, and it is like a laser pointer when we are alone in the middle of a park.
“You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.” Psalm 90:8
As much as we like to hide the worst of us away, not just the forgiven parts, but the current us, the truth is that God takes that hidden, worst, part of us and places it front and center. Imagine taking that just-committed sin, and bringing it immediately before God?
Could you imagine the judgement you’d feel from an all-good and awesome God in light of all that sin?
I guess… You probably can.
You would think that would be the motivation we need to behave better. But has it ever?
The understanding that it doesn’t, is probably the reason we are so invested in trying to hide all our sins away.
But it’s good that we feel the weight of our sin enough to want to hide it away. It means we know it’s wrong. It means we know we shouldn’t be doing it, and that it comes with consequences.
We just need to flip our behavior AFTER the fact, AFTER we sin…
We need to move from “hide” to “here”. As in:
“Lord, you know all things,
Not only is nothing hidden from You,
But you even set it before You,
So here is my sin Lord.
In all its terrible ugliness.
I am sorry for what I’ve done.
Just a simple and honest prayer.
When I think of our sins put in front of God, I see a conveyor belt. One thing after another, moving along past Him. I mean, that’s a lot of people, past, present and future, and that means a lot of sin, all before God. God sees that sin, and judges it.
But for us:
He judges it in light of mercy and grace.
He judges it in light of the work of Christ.
He judges your sins paid in full.
He judges you forgiven.
Listen to how Psalm 90 ends:
Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands! – Psalm 90:16-17
God’s work, His power and favor, is shown to his servants fulfilled and complete in the work of Christ. And it is by His power, the power that comes from outside of us, that He establishes the work of our hands and hopefully within that work, covered by grace, we are better than we were the day before, or even the hour prior.
For all those reasons, I am grateful for the grace given me everyday, especially knowing that all the hiding places mean nothing.
God finds all the hiding places, and forgives all the sins hidden there.