How often has man committed some great sin and attempted to hide it? Why is it that men often do more evil in the darkness than in the light? Jesus said, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:19-21).
However, it is folly to suppose that we can, under cover of darkness, keep our sins from God. David, in the long ago, asked this pertinent question, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” (Psalm 139:7). He goes on to point out, “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy right hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139:8-10). Then he makes this observation about the ability of one to hide in the darkness: “If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee” (Psalm 139:11-12). We may hide our sins from man, but there is no hiding from God.
Solomon also spoke on this subject. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good” (Prov. 15:3). Adam and Eve could not hide from God in the Garden (Gen. 3:8-10). Cain could not hide the murder of his brother from God (Gen. 4:8-15). David could not hide his sins from the Lord. He sent Nathan the prophet to rebuke him and spell out the consequences of his sins (II Sam. 11). In the New Testament, Saul’s sin was pointed out to him on the road to Damascus by Jesus (Acts 9:5). And when Judas made a deal with the chief priests to betray Jesus into their hands, Jesus let him know that his sin was not hidden when He said, “But behold the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!” (Matt. 26:14-16; Luke 22:21-22).
We often sing, “All along on the road to the soul’s true abode, there’s an eye watching you!” How true that is, and these passages we have looked at, as well as many others, teach this vital point.
But now let’s make some applications of this wonderful truth and see how it applies to us. We have a tendency of cataloging sins into “great” sins and “lesser” sins. I am aware that even though sin—all sin—will cause one to be lost, some sins are worse than others. It is some of these sins that we usually do not place as much emphasis on that I want to challenge you to examine. There are some sins that we can commit and they are almost “respectable sins” because we don’t lose very much respect from those who know us. For instance, there is the sin of not giving as prospered of our means. Many people do not give regularly or cheerfully (I Cor. 16:1-2; II Cor. 9:7); many do not give bountifully, (II Cor. 9:6); and some may even not give at all. Most of the time this is a sin that few people know about. One can hold his head up high and go right on about his business and not lose much—if any—respect. That is why we call it a “respectable sin.” However, God knows even about our giving. In Mark 12:41 we read, “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury.” If Jesus was interested in how people cast money into the treasury then, would we not expect Him to be interested today? One might not lose any respect from men, but God knows all. There’s an all-seeing eye watching you! He sees! He knows!
Reportedly the actor Robert Redford was asked one day by a surprised admirer as he was getting on an elevator in a hotel lobby, “Are you the real Robert Redford?” As he stepped into an elevator and as the door was closing, he replied, “Only when I’m alone.” There are too many of us who put on a front when in the public’s view, but think that we can live as we please when no one is observing us. However, there’s an all-seeing eye watching you at all times. In view of this important fact, Paul told the Philippians how they should behave themselves. He wrote, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27).
So the next time you are tempted to do something in darkness, or when you are alone that you know that God would not approve, just remember that there’s an all-seeing eye watching you! And God will one day “bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil” (Ecc. 12:14).
Paul M. Wilmoth January 18, 1944 – April 5, 2021