In our previous study we learned about the powerful word of God that is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). From there, the writer of the Hebrew letter then penned these words: “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). Think about this in context. There is still a future rest for the people of God. Faithful work needs to be done to enter into that rest. The word of God can be used to reveal what’s going on inside the heart of the believer. What if someone wants to run from what the word of God reveals about him or her? What if someone wants to ignore what the word of God reveals about him or her? What if someone wants to twist the word of God to justify himself or herself? If any of those choices are made, that person is not fooling the Lord. So, whether we come before the Lord now or on the Day of Judgment, we need to consider that He knows us.
There is nothing in creation that is beyond the sight of God. No one is keeping secrets from Him (Psalms 44:21). Jesus knew what was in man (John 2:24-25). David, as he was moved by the Holy Spirit (II Samuel 23:2), said this to Solomon: “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever” (I Chronicles 28:9). Solomon later wrote these words: “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings… The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good… Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men” (Proverbs 5:21; 15:3; 15:11)?
We could fill pages with Scriptures that prove the point that God sees and knows all that is said and done by His creation. As the Psalmist said regarding these truths, such knowledge is too wonderful for me (Psalms 139:1-18). Rather than assembling a list of passages that prove what we already know, let’s take some time to consider the point behind this. The obvious points could be made that God knows everything and that information will be used on the Day of Judgment (John 5:28-29 and II Corinthians 5:10) as was the case in times past (Jeremiah 17:9-10). In the context though, there is more to this than God’s judgment.
Think about what it means to be naked and open unto someone’s eyes. We understand that nudity is revealing. Within the definition of the term translated “naked”, consider some of the meaning in the original Greek term [γυμνός]: “…of the soul, whose garment is the body, stripped of the body, without a body; metaph. naked, i.e. open, lay bare…” (Strong’s # 1131). John wrote: “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God” (I John 3:20-21). If you honestly (because we know self-deception does occur in some people - I Corinthians 3:18, Galatians 6:3, and James 1:22) look at yourself internally, you know what’s going on. Well, so does the Lord. How does that apply beyond the Judgment Day?
As we progress in the context, which we will do in our next article, we are going to see that Jesus is a sympathetic high priest to the saints. We will also see that the faithful can come boldly before the throne of grace in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16). If you take that into consideration when looking at the fact that we are naked before the Lord, you can see that this is not just about judgment. Yes, we must give an account to the Lord (Romans 14:11-12). This is represented in Hebrews 4:13 with the language of “the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” Yet, the context isn’t just about that. Have you ever felt the need to talk to someone that knows you better than anyone else?
In context, you have God telling us that He knows what’s inside of us. Therefore, when you come before Him in prayer don’t do so as though you’re talking to a stranger. Come before Him with the understanding that He knows you even possibly better than you know yourself. When Jesus was teaching against vain, repetitious prayers He said this: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:5-8). When coming before God, we’re not talking to a stranger.
The Psalmist said: “Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee” (Psalms 38:9). Hebrews 4:13 is more about not being pretentious than anything else. You’re open and spiritually naked before the Lord. With our Lord, we have no secrets (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Be genuine with our Lord. Don’t put on some front that is not true to who you really are. Yet, some may be ashamed to come before the Lord like that. You should be unashamed before our Lord (Romans 10:11 and II Timothy 2:15). If you cannot be yourself when you approach Him, it’s time to take advantage of the long-suffering of our Lord and repent (II Peter 3:9-14). With all we just discussed, we also need to consider how we can be ourselves in prayer because our mediator Jesus Christ understands what it means to live in this world. That point was already covered in this epistle (Hebrews 2:9-18). There is no need to put on an act. Think on that in preparation for our next study.
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