A “cover-up” is an attempt to prevent people from discovering the truth about a serious crime, mistake, or sin. But the truth has a way of eventually coming to light. Like a robbery suspect who couldn’t help himself in a line-up. When detectives asked each man lined up to repeat the words, “Give me all your money or I’ll shoot,” the guilty man shouted, “That’s not what I said!” While it’s sometimes difficult to always know the truth about others, Rita Rudner reminds us it’s pretty hard to hide the truth about ourselves from ourselves. She said, “I work for myself, which is fun. Except for when I call in sick – I know I’m lying.” Is there something you know about yourself that you don’t like? Are you attempting to keep something secret about your life that makes you miserable? Have you lied to a friend, held out on the IRS, stolen from a neighbor, cheated an employer or employee, been sexually unfaithful to a wife or husband, mate, etc.? History books are peppered with examples of people ranging from average, everyday citizens to presidents, preachers, policemen, teachers, and CEO’s of huge corporations who did something slimy and sinful and depraved and then sought to hide their actions. Of course, there are criminals who lie and cheat and rape and rob and even murder who think they “got away” with it. And sometimes they succeed in covering it up, at least for awhile. But cover-ups are hard to keep covered up forever. To borrow a 3,400 year old phrase in the Bible from Numbers 32:23, “be sure your sin will find you out.” Note now, not that your sin will always be found out, but be sure it will eventually find you out, even if that moment doesn’t come until “the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ” (Romans 2:16).
Cover-ups are not new. Adam and Eve attempted one in the Garden of Eden, but it didn’t work(see Genesis 3). After they did what God said don’t do, they were ashamed and afraid and did what a lot of us do when we do wrong and are afraid and ashamed – they covered their heretofore naked bodies with fig leaves and hopelessly sought to hide from God. When God called them to account, they tried to play the “blame game.” But God didn’t buy that either. Other memorable attempts to hide something in the Bible are the accounts of Achan (Joshua 6-7), David (2 Samuel 11-12), Jonah (Jonah 1), and Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). The narratives all send the same message – God sees through our flimsy and futile attempts to hide from Him! In our modern age of medical marvels, doctors and medical professionals can send a scope through our mouths, up our noses, down our throats (and through a couple of other places) to see deep into our bodies. These scopes and imaging devices bare the inside of our throats, brains, bladders, stomachs, and intestines to health experts. But long before these devices bared human bodies to doctors, human souls have been bare before God. He “sees through us.” Hebrews 4:12-13 declares that God’s word bares our souls – “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 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.” That thought either thrills or chills, depending on the nature of our thoughts, motives, deeds, and whether or not we are in Christ. The naked truth is cover-ups never fool God. He sees past all our attempts to hide who and what we really are. The Bible is truly the book that lays our souls bare.