Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?
You cannot hide. Almighty God knows your every feeling and thought. He clearly sees the unseen world of the dead, corrupting bodies in graves and tormented spirits in prison, so it is much easier for Him to see everything in your heart. You cannot hide. Repent!
You cannot disguise yourself or deceive Him. He knows your every desire, fantasy, and lust. He knows the secrets of your soul in perfect detail with their selfish motives. If death and hell are not hid from Him, He has you totally figured out more easily and completely.
All your ambitions and desires are fully exposed in every aspect to God (Ps 44:21). Your heart and mind are open books to Him. No hypocrisy or pretensions can cover them. The eyes of the Lord behold everything in every place (Pr 15:3). He will expose and judge each of your sins in a day not far away (Eccl 12:14; Rom 2:16; I Cor 4:5; Rev 2:23).
The dreadful God of heaven sees your heart. Why fear men, who can do very little to you, but not fear God, Who can cast you into hell (Luke 12:4-5)? The fear of others modifies your conduct, but God knowing your thoughts does not affect you. An angry look on His face will infinitely exceed any look or reaction or persecution by men (Rev 20:11).
The omniscient Creator God has infinite knowledge of all things. He knows the small details of hell and destruction perfectly (Job 26:6), but He knows your inner secrets much better. He needs no approval to explore the private parts of your soul. He knows you like no other. Read the proverb again emphasizing “then,” recognizing it is not “than.”
There is no aspect of destruction in the earth, corruption of the dead in graves, or torment of souls in hell that the Lord of creation does not know and understand fully. Therefore, He knows you perfectly. Do not deceive yourself by thinking that God does not hear or see (Ps 97:7-9). He sees you naked and bare. Every evil tendency is fully exposed.
How vast is the region of the dead? How many billions are tormented there? How many bodies are corrupting in the earth, yet God has not lost a single cell of any of them, for He will raise them all to stand trial before Him (John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15)? Are you impressed by such knowledge? He knows your heart much better. You will answer to the Lord Jesus Christ for every thought, Who has the keys of hell and of death (Rev 1:18).
David wrote of hiding in heaven or hell, but he knew that God would be in both places knowing every thought of his heart, every word in his tongue, and every movement of his body (Ps 139:1-13; Jer 23:24; Amos 9:2). All things, every thought and intent of your heart, are naked and opened to the eyes of Jesus Christ (Heb 4:12-14). Though you cannot fully know the wickedness of your own heart, He knows it perfectly (Jer 17:9-10).
Adam and Eve hid among the trees of Eden, but the LORD God found them and judged them severely (Gen 3:7-12). Cain tried to hide the murder of Abel, but the LORD God heard Abel’s blood begging for vengeance (Gen 4:8-12). The Lord Jesus Christ knew every detail of Judas’s plotting to betray Him for a few pieces of silver (John 6:64). And the fair words of Ananias and Sapphira could not save them from the Lord (Acts 5:1-11).
Though the Pharisees, proud religious hypocrites who measured themselves by outward appearance, kept most of their hatred inside, Jesus knew all their thoughts throughout His dealings with them (Matt 9:4; 12:25; Luke 7:39-40). And you, reader, may have secret thoughts unknown to all others, but He knows each one of them perfectly (Ps 44:21). He does not consider them trifles, for even the thought of foolishness is sin (Pr 24:9).
Who always wins a debate of one? You do! When you allow a secret thought into your mind, you can convince yourself it is allowable or you can get away with it, because you are exposing it to no one but yourself. However, God has already seen your imagination and condemned it, no matter how highly you think of its ideas (Pr 16:2; 21:2). This especially applies to sexual fantasies that you desperately want to hide (Pr 5:19-23).
If you are ever convinced that someone needs help, or if you are ever convicted to do something good, and you excuse yourself from doing it, the Judge of all the earth saw the wicked discussion in your heart that led to your dereliction of duty. He will repay with divine vengeance (Pr 24:11-12; Jas 4:17). You have been warned. Do not discuss within yourself any approval of sin either by commission or omission. Do not lie to yourself!
Reader, the lesson is not difficult, but the application is hard. Your heart, the world, and the devil want you to forget the holy God’s omniscience. Humble yourself this moment and repent of every thought you have entertained in your heart that is contrary to God and His word. If you do not, the Judge of heaven and earth, Who knows your heart better than His perfect knowledge of hell and death, will hold you accountable for each one.
Reader, do you tremble before the God of heaven and His word (Is 66:2; Heb 12:28-29)? Take precious comfort in Peter’s desperate appeal to Jesus Christ after His resurrection: “Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee” (John 21:17). It is just as true that the omniscient God of heaven knows your good thoughts and intentions as well as your bad. And He has graciously blotted out the latter and sanctified the former!
Believer, do you doubt your salvation and gift of eternal life? Does reading about the terror of hell cause you to fear that your name might be left out (Rev 20:11-15)? Take comfort in John’s inspired promise that God is greater than the doubts of your heart (I John 3:14-21). He knows and remembers the certain basis of your salvation, even if you forget it at times (II Tim 2:19). Love God and the brethren, and this evidence of God’s nature can give you boldness, even in the Day of Judgment (I Jn 4:16-21; I Tim 6:17-19).