Hebrews 4:13

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13

The previous verse explained that the word of God possesses the ability to completely open up the very essence of a person. That is now complemented with the notion that no person can hide from that scrutiny. The logic is that if this verse was not added, someone might say, “Well, the word of God may be able to get to the very heart of the matter in man, but I will simply hide myself from that word.” However, the author now shows the impossibility of that by saying, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight.”

Nowhere someone travels, no abyss that they climb down into, and no place of the deepest darkness can keep a person hidden from the eyes of God. This is seen, for example, in Psalm 139 –

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.” Psalm 139:11, 12

Job 34:22 speaks of this as well. Man, wherever he is, and no matter how secretly he thinks he is conducting his affairs, is completely surrounded by the all-seeing presence of God. Understanding this, it is still the word of God of the previous verse which is the subject, but it is God’s presence, which is everywhere, which then touches all men through His word. This is then again evidenced by the words, “but all things.” He is referring to man and the deeds of man. Everything that makes up the individual, and which cannot be hidden from His sight, is “naked and open to the eyes of Him.”

The word “naked” is exactly translated. The idea takes the reader back to Genesis 2 & 3 where Adam and Eve were naked before the Lord. First, they were naked and unashamed, but then after their disobedience, they were naked and ashamed. Their state of exposure didn’t change in a physical sense, but it did change in a moral sense. Nothing has changed since then. We can cover ourselves with layer upon layer of garments, but we are just as naked before the Lord as Adam and Eve were before they sewed together fig leaves in an attempt to hide their shame.

The word “open” is trachélizó. It is found only here in the Bible. It signifies “to seize by the throat or neck, i.e. To expose the gullet of a victim for killing (generally, to lay bare) – opened” (Strong’s Concordance). One can see where the word trachea comes from in our modern languages. The idea is that one is most vulnerable when the neck is exposed. When a sacrificial animal is slain, its neck is exposed and the animal is slain. Likewise, a person may survive a wound in many parts of the body, but when the neck is cut, the lights go out. All men are as sheep going to the slaughter because of their always evident sin before the Lord.

As noted, the symbolism is directly tied to that of verse 12 which speaks of the word of God as a two-edged sword. It will devour all with the exception of those who are in Christ. As He is the Lamb slain for those He died for, then the penalty is paid. The devouring instrument will return to its sheath, and the soul and spirit shall be spared the work of the sword. For all others, what has been found wanting shall be exposed and it shall receive its fair and just due.

The author is using the most graphic example of the Hebrew society, and that which all would have been painfully aware of as they traveled to Jerusalem to offer their sacrifices at the altar. What was given in type and shadow in those innocent sacrificial animals will either be accepted as having been accomplished in Christ, or it will be realized in them as God wields His sword of judgment.

Life application: The wages of sin is death. If sin is found in man as his judgment that death, which already really and truly exists, shall be rewarded with eternity in the Lake of Fire. For those who are in Christ, the penalty is paid, the covering has been provided, and the sword shall not find a victim any longer.

Lord God, the sacrifices of Israel are a strong reminder to us of what we deserve. The animal was presented on fallen man’s behalf, the innocent neck was laid bare, and the knife received its victim. That is what all men deserve because of sin – both inherited and committed. But Christ has taken our place. Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! Thank You that we have this option. Thank You for the covering which has been provided. Thank You for Jesus Christ our Lord. Thank You, O God. Amen.

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