Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord;
how much more the hearts of the children of man!
For the writer, Sheol and Abaddon represent the places of the dead, that which is beyond human sight and knowledge. They are the uttermost places, far from human existence. If Sheol and Abaddon, then, are open before the Lord as though meadows under broad daylight, how much more then are our hearts open before the Lord.
God is not watching us from a distance. He sees our actions; he hears our words; he knows our very thoughts, even the motives from which all these things spring. Such knowledge should sober us and encourage us. We “get away” with nothing; we may fool even ourselves at times, but never God. Therefore it is useless to wear masks before him; useless to pretend what we do not feel. Our hearts lie open before him. All the more reason, then, to confess our sins and to express to him what we feel. Confession is good for the soul because God already knows our guilt; what he waits for is our coming to him honestly.
But be also encouraged. God knows every burden we bear; he knows whatever we suffer; and he knows whatever good we have done, even when we do not know. And he commends us for every time we honor him, however quietly and secretly. He knows and he blesses.
And because we are in Christ, know that God watches our hearts with love and compassion. He is not angry with you today. He is not looking for that sin in you for which to punish you. He looks upon you with love, knowing you fully as you are, fully as you are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ and adopted as his child.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org