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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.



There are no hidden thoughts.

The morning sun is not kind to Las Vegas. It is a different city at 6:00 AM. The glitter is gone. The joggers are out. Workers head home. Others head to their shifts. It is the no-nonsense time of an all-nonsense place.

This is also the perfect spot and hour to think about God’s omniscience.

Never was a casino more aptly named. It is a mirage is to think that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” For God knows and sees everything. As easy as it is to point fingers in this town, I realize that I live in the fantasy that I can have private thoughts. This is probably due to the overwhelming realization that nothing is hidden from God.

Alfred Barnes, the great Bible commentator, writes, “Who would wish the world to read all his thoughts and feelings for a single day? Who would wish his best friends to look in upon his naked soul as we can look into a room through a window?”

Jesus warns that “what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” (Luke 12:5) What a sobering thought. There is coming a day, I remind myself, when my naked soul will be laid bare.

That ought to be like the morning sun on my inner life.

Imagine this from God’s view. This chaotic stop sign in a back alley strikes me as a picture of what such a transparent view of humanity must be to him: a constant, enormous, jumbled mess of intentions and behaviors.

It’s a wonder he puts up with it.

Hebrews 4:13 teaches:

“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.”

The phrase “uncovered and laid bare” is a troubling image. It apparently pictures one’s head being pulled back by the hair to expose the throat. Exposed for killing? Commentators are divided. Regardless, it’s a position of utter helplessness before God.

Franz Delitzsch writes, "that whatever shamefaced creature bows its head, and would fain withdraw and cloak itself from the eyes of God, has indeed the throat, as it were, bent back before those eyes, with no possibility of escape, exposed and naked to their view."

Then I see this statue. It’s true to the faux nature of this place to reproduce a famous, if incomplete, sculpture. But it reminds me that God, knowing my brokenness, my wrong thoughts, my sin – when I was still his enemy (Rom. 5:10) – sent his Son to die for me. To welcome me into his cleansing waters.

For with God, his attributes are always interconnected. His omniscience lives in perfect harmony with both his justice and his mercy.

That brilliant sun can also warm the soul.

All-knowing God, how we thank you that your grace and mercy cover our “hidden” ugliness. Teach us to take captive our own thoughts and intentions. Bring them into your light.

Reader: How do you process the thought that God sees all?

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Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

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