In 1949, British author George Orwell published his famous dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. One of the characters in this book is “Big Brother,” the leader of Ingsoc (English Socialists), which rules the totalitarian global community of Oceania. Big Brother is constantly watching every citizen, employing various means of surveillance. Three score and two years later, Orwell’s “Big Brother” has taken on an identity not too dissimilar from the book. In Orwell’s London, the Metropolitan Police can track a person from one end of the Thames to the other, simply by using the city’s interconnected CCTVs. In this era “fake news,” one cannot escape Facebook’s “fact checkers” always looking over our virtual shoulders. For many people, this is disconcerting and sign of troublesome times. The Christian, however, should be unphased.
People, especially we Americans, love our independence. In particular, we love that we can be intendent of government oversight. Don’t want “Big Brother” watching you? No problem! Move off the grid. Some have done this, but for many, such level of disconnect is both challenging and impossible. For the majority of Americans, we simply try to preserve our privacy as best we can. Strong passwords, multiple emails, no-call lists, etc., are ways people try to remain anonymous. These are, however, nullified when one buys groceries with a credit card, when one sets up a bank account, when one fills out a form online. The closer one looks at the world today, the clearer it becomes that anonymity and independence are nearly impossible or are very expensive to achieve.
That many Americans feel this way doesn’t seem to bother those who are Christians. Yet, I believe it should. Americans who are Christians get riled up when they receive a mass text from the government or a reminder that Big Brother is always watching. The thing is, Christians should not be surprised or scandalized by this. We believe in a God who knows all things – everything we say, do, and think.
Some might be quick to retort, “Well, that God is a good God and He loves me and just wants the best for me, so I don’t mind if He knows my heart.” Can we honestly believe that? What does the Psalmist say? “The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:2-3) If we honestly approached the holy omniscience of God, we should rightly tremble in fear, for there is nothing hidden from God! He knows your deepest, darkest sin. He knows your oldest, dankest secret. He knows your heart’s desire. There is no anonymity before God! There is no independence from God! The next time we get upset with more government interference and less privacy remember the God who is there, the God who knows all things.
It is for this reason, dear Reader, that we must repent and turn from our wicked desires. God knows all and God knows who are His. If God cares for the sparrow and clothes the lily, He will and He does provide and preserve His children. Likewise, God knows who are not His, and just as the hairs on their heads are counted, so too are their transgressions. Repent and believe in the gospel!