Vol. 5, No. 4
~ Page 14 ~
The attributes of God are tremendous to the thoughts of mortal man. They are spectacular in nature partly because no person on earth possesses all these qualities. The God of heaven is loving, patient, merciful, vengeful and all knowing. The one attribute that is often overlooked is the all-knowing side of the Mighty God. Do we really believe that God can see and know everything that happens at every moment on earth? As children, we do things that we think our parents never know about simply because we do not see them. A young child that is told to stop screaming goes into another room, where he cannot see his parents, and then proceeds to scream. This is how we look at God. We do not sin in the worship service but will engage in any sin that we please when we leave the church grounds. We may be able to hide our actions from man, but not from God. Notice two examples, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, which demonstrate the power of God to know all things, even though man may not.
This is a story of deception, adultery and sin. This is one instance that makes the Bible so unique in its nature. Even though David is the chosen king of Israel and described as a man after God's own heart, his sin is not omitted from the pages of inspiration. The Bible tells us that David was walking on the rooftop of his palace when he notices a beautiful woman bathing. He desired to have her and sent his servants to bring her back to him. They then commit their adulterous affair. Bathsheba then informs David that she is with child and David must hurry to cover up this news. He calls Bathsheba's husband, Uriah the Hittite, to come home from the battle. David tells him to go to his wife, be with her and hopefully all will believe the child to be Uriah's. Uriah is a loyal servant to David and refuses to enjoy time with his wife while the rest of Israel's army fights on. Uriah sleeps outside on the doorstep and then returns to the battle. David must now contemplate another plan. He sends word to Joab, commander of the army, to put Uriah at the front of the battle. When the fighting is intense, draw back and allow Uriah to be killed. David receives word that his plan has succeeded and promptly marries Bathsheba. Has all been concealed? Perhaps David's servants knew what had happened, even Joab might have known, but the rest of Israel must never know and how could they? They did not see David commit adultery! David could convince them that Bathsheba became pregnant after their marriage! All was well!
God, however, knew the sin of David and Bathsheba and in 2 Samuel 12 sent Nathan, his prophet, to reveal this to David through a parable,
"And Jehovah sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own morsel, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him, but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As Jehovah liveth, the man that hath done this is worthy to die: and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity" (2 Samuel 12:1-6).
David's sin was revealed to him by God. Even though he fooled the people, he could not and would not hide from God!
This story is the first sin we read about after the establishment of the Lord's church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). After the baptism of those 3000 initial responses on that day, the Lord's church began to multiply at a rapid rate. Some had come to Jerusalem for the Passover and Pentecost celebration and remained in the city after their conversion to be close to the larger body of believers. With their decision, they soon realized the need for material items that they needed to survive. The Lord's church then began to help each other by selling what they had to distribute the goods to those in need.
"And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and soul: and not one of them said that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles their witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. For neither was there among them any that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto each, according as any one had need. And Joseph, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, Son of exhortation), a Levite, a man of Cyprus by race, having a field, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet" (Acts 4:32-37).
Upon hearing the kindness of Barnabas, Ananias and Sapphira wished to do the same, but they kept part of the price and claimed they gave it all.
"But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thy heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, did it not remain thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thy power? How is it that thou hast conceived this thing in thy heart? thou has not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down and gave up the ghost: and great fear came upon all that heard it. And the young men arose and wrapped him round, and they carried him out and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much. And she said, Yea, for so much. But Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to try the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them that have buried thy husband are at the door, and they shall carry thee out. And she fell down immediately at his feet, and gave up the ghost: and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all that heard these things" (Acts 5:1-11).
How did Peter know the husband and wife lied about what they had done? The key to it is in the statement, "thou has not lied to men, but unto God." The God of heaven saw their dealing, even if no one else did!
We cannot hide from God! Wherever we go, God is there (Psalm 139). God not only knows our actions but he also knows our thoughts (Ezekiel 11:5). We are the temple of God, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man destroyeth the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, and such are ye" (1 Corinthians 4:16-17). Let us be mindful that the all-knowing God will see and know all that we do for out of these things will we be judged (Romans 2:12-16).