“Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?’ declares the Lord. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:24)
The Hebrew reads, literally, “Can a man secrete himself in secrecies?”
It reminded me of a Polly Dunbar children’s story that I read to the kids about Tumpty the Elephant. Here’s the vital line: “So Tumpty tried hiding upside down, behind a pot plant, under a large cardboard box, with his eyes tightly closed.”
That is to say, it’s a rather foolish enterprise to secrete yourself in your secrecies. Nothing is hidden from God. The Psalmist declared it well: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139). He goes on,“ If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”
And yet somehow we live as if the darkness will indeed hide us.
But why? What’s the purpose of that all-seeing eye? It’s that he may at last call to judgment whatever is done by us. The word translated “secret places” means all the secret frauds and hypocrisies which we fondly imagine we can gloss over. To confirm this he adds, “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” God is not so taken up with things in heaven that he neglects the concerns of earth! He fills all places because he governs all things, because all things are noticed by him, because he is, in short, the judge of all.
My first response is nagging worry about being found out, of course.
The Bible takes that away completely. Everything is known. Of course, you will be found out. Completely exposed.
And all of a sudden, you have moved past the barrier of law and condemnation into the only place where you can live in the presence of a holy God who knows everything about you – the realm of grace.
Paul made that journey and found that place. In Romans 5 he described being made right with God through faith and gaining entrance to a place of grace.
One of my favorite passages:
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”