Whoever lives with integrity fears Yahweh,
but the one who is devious in his ways despises Him. Proverbs 14:2 HCSB
One of the ways we play with my daughter is to “hide! hide! hide!” with her under a blanket, while the other one of us “sneaks up” on who is “hiding.” The absurdity of hiding under a blanket is the precise grounds of its cuteness (especially since the blanket can’t suppress the giggles underneath).
We see in Genesis 3 both sides of Proverbs 14:2. We see Yahweh walking in the garden, where normally Adam and Eve would join Him. They feared Yahweh and lived by walking with and before Him. Then a devious snake speaks up, they stop fearing Yahweh, and despise Him. Instead of walking before Him, they now hide from Him, or at least tell themselves they’re hiding.
The famous question, “Where are you?” follows the scrambling of now-guilty, now-caught sinners in the bushes. The foolishness of sin is shown as well; having walked with Yahweh, they both knew no bush or fig leaf could actually cover them. Surely they knew as well as anyone,
No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account. Hebrews 4:13 HCSB
It’s a sobering thought to examine how in so many ways we are similar in our stupid deviousness. How many times do we yet try to cover ourselves with fig-leaf aprons? How many times do we desperately try to ignore or forget or erase the evidence of our sins, as though our covering would truly hide them (and us) from God?
The marvelous reality of atonement is that our sins can be covered, and covered to the extent that even God Himself can’t see them. No fig leaf couture can do this, nor can cleared browser histories, drunken stupors, ice cream or TV binges, penance, or anything else. Only God can hide our sins from God.
In the cosmic game of hide-and-seek, Yahweh is the Master hider and Master seeker. No one escapes from His seeking, and nothing that He hides can be found. No fig leaf could cover Adam and Eve’s sin; an animal died to give them fur coats, and their Descendant died to give them the white robes of His righteousness. This is the promise given to all who believe Him and trust Him to be forgetful:
Set your minds on what is above [live with integrity, fear Yahweh], not what is on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Colossians 3:2-4 HCSB
Here there is both hiding and seeking. For those who have died to sin and are born again by faith in Jesus the Son of God set their minds on heavenly things, because they and their sins are hidden from God by God. Then, at the end when all seeking is done, Jesus the Messiah will be revealed in glory, and so will they. Their sins are so hidden from everyone–including God Himself–that all that can be seen is glory.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 HCSB