(Hebrews 4:13 – ESV)
Nothing is hidden, thoughts, emotions, desires, feelings, imaginations, actions, any secret thing is known by God fully, even the motivations that may not be clear to us are fully known and understood by God. The word for naked here means you are laid bare, that you are stripped. You are stripped of excuses, stripped of rationalization, stripped of supposed reasons, stripped of your own righteousness, stripped of anything that you think justifies you from being judged.
Those things you try to hide, and even those things that are hidden from you, none of this is hidden from God, it is right out in the open, and we are naked before Him. You can’t hide from God, you are an open book, and when you open the book, the Word of God, it shows you this fact. God knows better than you do how bad you need to be operated on, to enter in. Do you believe it, and will you enter in, or will you think you can do it whenever or wherever you want to, and rebel against God, against His word, against Christ, and fall back into sin?
Not only have we been stripped, we are also exposed, and this means something more. The word for exposed is trachelizo – like tracheotomy – to bend back the neck, as a victim exposed for sacrifice, the perfect tense implies that this is our continuous state in relation to God. Not only are we out in the open, uncovered, but also the executioner has our neck held back and the knife at our throat. That is you before a holy God. His word will judge you perfectly, precisely, completely, revealing every flaw, every thought, every word, and every deed.
Of him to whom we must give account – we are exposed and we will have to deal with the Living Word, the Logos. It is Jesus Christ who is holding the knife.
You either push forward in the war, or you fall back in retreat and run AWOL, you become a deserter. But the Word will find you out and try you and convict you of treason and lay the executioner’s sword against you, ready to strike the deathblow. You need to forget your supposed dignity today, you are naked and exposed, what you need to see is your desperation today. As Hebrews says, “today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your heart.”
The people this was being written to knew the truth, they had a decision to make, they couldn’t just know the truth of Jesus intellectually but then live like a Jew to avoid persecution, and we cannot know the truth about Jesus and live like the rest of the world to avoid confrontation, persecution and suffering. The knife is at your throat, what will it be?