Another homily on the First Commandment: You shall have no other gods before Me…
Let’s continue with the biblical exposition of this commandment, found in the Westminster Larger Catechism (A. 108). “The sins forbidden in the first commandment are… bold and curious searching into His secrets…” Well, that one phrase would condemn us all! It’s derived from Deuteronomy 29, verse 29: The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children, that we may do all the words of this law. The one true God has decreed all things according to the counsel of His own will. But what He has decreed are the secret things which belong to Him alone. The one true God has also revealed everything we need to know concerning His will for our salvation. He’s revealed His moral will in His holy Law, and He’s revealed His saving will in the Gospel. And that should be more than sufficient for us – because HE said so.
How often have you thought, said, or heard something like this: “I want to know what God’s will is concerning this specific decision or situation.” Now, if you mean, “How does His revealed WORD speak to this decision or situation?” that’s great. But if you mean, “What is God’s secret will concerning this decision or situation?” you have sinned. That is a “bold and curious searching into His secrets.”
As fallen sinners, we want to know that we have God’s favor – and we don’t want to lose His favor. As finite creatures, we are often fearful of what the future holds. The Word of God made flesh reveals that, by faith in His Gospel, we have God’s favor forever – because Jesus won it for us, by His life, death, and resurrection. Jesus died for our sins, and rose from the dead. And so the most dreadful unknown of the future has been answered. When I die, when the end comes, I will be received into God’s blessed presence forever – only because of Christ.
So let us repent of our mistrust, of our sinful desire to know God’s secret things. And let us instead revel in what He has revealed – that God’s favor and our future are safe and secure in the hands of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. And no one and nothing will snatch us out of His hand.