Jeremiah 17:9 –“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
I love to play hide and seek with my kids. It is especially fun right now with my middle son who is just beginning to get the concept. He loves the seeking part because its adventurous. He loves to look and to search. He’s not a big fan of the hiding part yet because when you hide you have to be still until you are found, and he doesn’t like to be still.
So most of the time when we play I am the one who hides and he is the one who seeks. I love to hear him sneaking around trying to be quiet so I won’t know he’s coming. Most of the time I will make it easy on him and I will make a noise or leave a toe sticking out from under a curtain so that he will be able to find out where I am because when he finds me, his muffled laughs turn to squeals, as he cries out, “lets do it again Daddy.”
I love to be found. But there are some things that we don’t want found do we? There are some things in our lives that we don’t want anyone to know about. Some things that we wish weren’t there, but they are. Some things that we don’t like to talk about or think about, but still they are there. We are sinners and most of the time we don’t want our sins to be found out.
In reality our nature is so sinful that there are probably sins in our lives that we know nothing about. Some of our sins are even hidden from us. Our sins are like an iceberg, there is 10% that people see and then there’s 90% lurking just below the surface. Some of it lurking so deep that we don’t even know its there. The Bible says, “the heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it (or understand it).” In other words our hearts are desperately sick, so sick in fact that there are things we don’t even know about them. Our sin has permeated our nature to that degree. We are utterly depraved.
Pastor Robert Murray M’Cheyne who lived in the 1800s put it this way:
“The most awakened sinner does not see the ten thousandth part of the wickedness of his own heart. You are like a person looking down into a dark pit – you can only see a few yards down the sides of the pit; so you can only see a little way into your heart. It is a pit of corruption which is bottomless: Who can know it?
…You are like a traveler looking down into the crater of a volcano; but the smoke will not suffer (allow) you to look far.”
Sobering words aren’t they? Sobering because they are true, our hearts are so deceitful that we don’t even know the extent of our sin. Our hearts are so sin sick that we only see the tip of the iceberg. Our hearts are so sick that the prophet Jeremiah asks a question about them, “who can know our hearts?” He implies that not even we ourselves know the extent of our sin, but the question does have an answer. We don’t know the extent of our own sin and wickedness but God does. And even in that wickedness, even in that blackness, even in the horror of the pit of our hearts, we are still loved by Almighty God. In fact He loved us enough to take on Himself our sin, and in fact to become our sin, so that we might in Him have forgiveness and become not a wretched sinner, but the righteousness of God. That is the depth of the love of God. There are some things in our lives that we want to stay hidden, but here is the good news, we can’t hide those things from God. In fact He knows all about us, He knows even the depth of the evil and sinfulness of our own hearts and He loves us anyway. That is truly humbling to think about.
We have done nothing worthy of the love of God, but He loves us any way. Our hearts are unspeakably evil but in His mercy God gives us the ability to be forgiven and He gives us the ability to begin to be changed. In fact Paul says, “the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is alive and working within us.” For us to be saved it would have to be wouldn’t it? After all dealing with the depth of our wickedness is a severe problem and a severe problem needs an amazing solution. Jesus is the only solution to the problem of sin.
I love it when I’m playing hide and seek and Isaac finds me. It is a great moment but it is infinitely greater to know that I have been found by Jesus Christ, and that even though I am a terrible sinner Jesus loves me anyway. We really are terribly great sinners in need of an even greater Savior. Thankfully we have that in, Jesus Christ, the only Savior. The one who is the “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” I’m thankful He has taken mine away and given me the opportunity to be changed and that He can change even those things that we don’t want anyone to know about.