From Liz Groman
Hebrews 4:12-13 NIV 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.
Hebrews 4:12-13 PHILLIPS For the Word that God speaks is alive and active; it cuts more keenly than any two-edged sword: it strikes through to the place where soul and spirit meet, to the innermost intimacies of a man’s being: it exposes the very thoughts and motives of a man’s heart. No creature has any cover from the sight of God; everything lies naked and exposed before the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Hebrews 4:12-13 NLT For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
Apparently, there is nowhere one can hide and nothing one can keep secret from God; He sees and judges it all - “the innermost intimacies of a man’s being.”. For some, this would be terrifying because they don’t know and understand the nature of this God of ours. They expect Him to be like us, having a human nature, and find this level of transparency and judgment unnerving and even threatening. What human can be trusted with complete knowledge of another - every thought and intent of the heart, every act done in secret, every shameful regret? This kind of complete knowledge would give too much power away over one’s life by revealing the ugliest and most fearful/shameful/embarrassing secrets we attempt to hold safeLynn secret within the dark, locked closets of our own soul. Our safety, our future, our success, even our very life, would depend upon the nature/character of the good or bad person who had such power over us. For someone who sees/understands our God as angry, stern or demanding perfection, this verse cuts in a way that further wounds and oppresses. For those who see/understand our God as just, merciful and loving, this verse cuts in a way to free them from their burden of sin as they come again and again to expose themselves and be judged by Him, knowing that they have an Advocate Who does understand and guarantees the result will be mercy and grace. The verses immediately following give us hope. “So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:14-16 NLT).
This is one of those passages of Scripture that always arrest me. I must stop and consider the sacrifice made to make this possible - not only the Cross but also asking His Son to become a vulnerable infant and grow up/experience life as a human so He could understand us, emotionally, physically, actually, and be our passionate advocate before Father God. Is it so much of a sacrifice for me to trust a God like this - One Who fully knows my deepest secret regrets, failings, betrayals and yet still loves me past reason? I must ask myself if I trust Him enough to relinquish to the Holy Spirit the keys to every dark, locked closet in my soul so He can clean all of the ugliness and shame out. I must ask myself if I truly trust that Jesus will still advocate for me regardless of what He finds hidden in those closets - no matter how shameful, ugly, horrible or disgusting. Do I truly believe He already knew my deepest, darkest secrets, my imperfections, my failings, my shame and, yet, still loved me enough to die for me before I knew Him as Savior? What about when I fail Him now, slapping Him in the face by choosing my own way? Will He turn the other cheek and advocate for me before the Father when I recognize my foolishness and come again to ask for mercy and forgiveness? This passage of Scripture says, “YES!!” Being transparent, exposed, judged by such a God as ours is not a risk, but, rather, a benefit; He is always just, merciful, faithful and full of grace for His children.
Lord, You are gracious, merciful and just - King of all kings, Lord of all, the everlasting all-powerful God. You are the One Who knows me inside and out and yet still loves me. I marvel that You would have Your eyes on me, care about my moments, hear me when I call. Who am I? Yet, when I come repentant, seeking forgiveness, grace and mercy, You always have time for me. Help me to trust You, invite You in, open my deepest, darkness, most sensitive places to You that, in my transparent exposure, complete trust, before You, I can truly be set free. Fill me with the boldness and courage to do just this. I ask it all in the name of Jesus. Make it so.