Posted in secret sin, theology

‘Looking this way and that’: About that secret sin…

By Elizabeth Prata

Now it came about in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his brethren and looked on their hard labors; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12So he looked this way and that, and when he saw there was no one around, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. (Exodus 2:11-12)

I think the American law enforcement system would charge Moses with premeditated murder, right? Have you seen enough Law & Order episodes to click onto this? 🙂

I love the Bible. Its honesty, its knowledge of human behavior. That little nugget in the middle of the verse, “looked this way and that…” just makes my heart sing. Not happy that Moses killed someone, we all agree that murder is wrong and a gross violation of God’s commandment. (Exodus 20:13).

Think of how transcendent God is. He is above us, unknowable, not understandable, holy to a degree that would instantly kill us if we got near Him. (Isaiah 55:8-9, Psalm 145:3, Exodus 3:5) .

But also He is immanent. As Emmanuel, He is with us and knowable (1 Corinthians 2:2).

Our God who is both transcendent and immanent is a mighty and majestic God. Moses knew this, and yet as he purposed to kill the Egyptian, he looked this way and that and saw no one was around.

God was around.

How often do we do that though? We purpose to sin. We are deliberate about it. Sin is not ever truly accidental. We look around to see if anyone will see…because we know what we are about to do is wrong. Sin is easier to do when no one’s looking. Why? Because of the Law written on the unsaved’s hearts, they know sin is shameful. If we are saved and we have the Law and the Gospel, we know sin is shameful. It’s better to do it in private, in secret.

Sin is never secret.

For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

In any case, Moses was not alone as he thought. There are often people who see what we do even if we don’t see them. The minute Moses tried to mediate between two fighting men, one of them said to Moses in Exodus 2:14,

But he said, “Who made you a prince or a judge over us? Are you intending to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and said, “Surely the matter has become known.”

Moses had destroyed his witness.

Unknowingly as Moses did, when he thought he was alone he might get away with murder but actually the Egyptian had seen Moses. This is why people call us hypocrites. If I gossip, I can’t turn around and chide another woman for gossiping. If I become angry, I have nothing to say to a lady who is angry.

We hear that on the playground, ‘Who made you the boss?’ If we destroy our witness because of our purposeful sin, we have nothing to say about Jesus when the time comes. We will rightly be called a hypocrite. We might be speaking to a person who has witnessed our secret sin and calls US out on it! How embarrassing that is!

Paul told Timothy to watch his life and his doctrine closely, “persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.” (1 Timothy 4:16).

Paul was telling Timothy to watch his personal holiness and his teaching as a leader, but of course we lay people should watch our personal holiness too, as Paul says in verse 15, Be diligent in these matters and absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.

No one will listen to a stalled-out Christian whose secret sins are known to all. But they may listen to a diligent, growing Christian who has a good word from God.

In that moment you’re considering a sin, and you ‘look this way and that’, stop. If you have sense enough to look this way and that, you have sense enough to consider the Savior who died on the tree for that sin you’re about to do.

I’ll take my own advice too.

secret sins

Posted in north korea, secret sin

Of North Korea, secrets, and Jesus

It seems that our attention lately has consistently veered between North Korea and the Middle East. Like a ball moving over the net at a tennis match, our heads are scanning left, then right, then left then right…If NK is quiet for a while, there is a coup in Mali. The African coup settles down, only to find NK suddenly preparing to launch a ballistic missile. Then Kim Jong Un goes quiet and there is a rocket attack on Israel. Back and forth, wars, and rumors of wars. Just as Jesus said it would be.

It was unusual that NK’s new leader, Kim Jong Un, spoke for half an hour in public. It was unusual because in the entire time his father Kim Jong Il ruled North Korea from 1994 to 2012, he never spoke in public. That NK is secretive to the outside world is a given, that they are this reclusive and secretive with their own people is another thing entirely.


Fox News reports, “North Koreans are told he graduated from Kim Il Sung Military University and speaks several foreign languages, including English. But his age, marital status and even the name of his late mother — said to be one of Kim Jong Il’s wives, Ko Yong Hui — have never been made public.”

Now that’s secretive. For the most part, Kim Jong Un has kept his personal history a secret, even from schoolmasters in Switzerland and from schoolmates.

However, Jesus knows all. He knows Kim Jong Un’s heart, his motivations, his intent. “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). In Psalm 90:8 we read, “You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.”

Of that last verse, I read a book last year that brought that situation to light. It was an edgy book, I read about a third of it and then stopped. It was kind of like an apocalyptic, dystopian Pilgrim’s Progress. The protagonist was wandering from place to place and at one point he wound up in a city. It was a dark city but he stayed for a bit because it was intriguing, the sins of the city, I mean. So all the people were streaming toward this large building and he went in. It was a show! In the center of a massive auditorium with seats all around it, like a boxing ring without the ropes, a raised stage was lit up. He settled in his seat and as the lights darkened, he saw that the wife and children he thought he had lost were sitting in the front row. He tried to get to them but couldn’t. And then the show started. Suddenly the stage was transformed into a hotel room, and inside the hotel room on the bed was the protagonist, or a replica of him! And the woman he had been in an adulterous affair came in and prepared to sit on the bed with him. Oh, no, the man realized, this was a show of the secret sin he had committed, and his wife and kids were watching!

He was in agonies of embarrassment and shame, and his wife began to cry as the scene shifted to its sordid conclusion.

I never forgot that part of the book, a book whose title I can’t even remember now. But I remember that scene. In His time, on His day, every secret shame, every hidden sin, every private motivation will be brought to light;

“Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.” (1 Corinthians 4:5).

All the kings of the earth will be laid low, those who do not know Jesus that is. Men like Kin Jong Un, who oppress an entire nation and live in utter luxury, choosing to reveal this or that about himself, deciding to keep this or that private…all his life and all his deeds and all his works will be revealed. Him and others like him, the great and the small will be judged. (Rev 20:12). Sin grows in the dark, but Jesus is the Light, shining it upon the hearts of all men to expose them.

Even those who do know Jesus, or who or did know Him while they were alive, will wait patiently in line for their turn before the throne at the Bema Seat where our works will be examined and rewarded. (1 Cor 3:13-15; Rom 14:10-12). Ours will be a reward ceremony. However, I work hard  every day to ensure, I hope, that my works bear fruit for His name and are not just hay and stubble to be burned. I hope that there will be things left in the pile that show I was motivated rightly and worked for His name and not my glory. I pray that’s your wish as well.

Remember, every secret thing will be brought out. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11). There are no secrets from Jesus. Wait patiently, brethren, and soon Jesus will rectify all private things, all back room deals will be exposed, all undercover deeds will be seen.

“For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.” (Mark 4:22).