So, how much do you think God knows about you? How much do you think He knows about every person there is and ever has been? How we answer this question often will betray how we live as well. For the person who thinks of God in very low ways, God does not have a knowledge of everything going on in our world. This is especially true when it comes to themselves. God doesn't know everything about me - every thought and every motive. The result of such thinking is that such a person will sin more frequently and reason within themselves that God doesn't know what is going on in their lives.
There is a problem with this thinking though - it is inaccurate. This proverb may seem strange to us at first - but it's purpose is very clear once we grasp what it is saying. Remember the fear of the Lrod is the beginning of wisdom. Thus we need to have adequate reasons to respect, honor, and fear Him. One of those reasons is the fact that everything lies open before Him. Nothing - including the thoughts and intents of our hearts is hidden from His sight. This One Who is Judge - knows every conceivable fact about our lives that can be gathered.
Sheol is the place of the dead. That place lies open before the Lord. He knows everyone there - and everything about them. The place of the dead is not a mystery to God. He konws every intimate detail about those there - and about everything they did before they arrived. Even in death His knowledge is absolute. What seems to be the idea here is that no matter who you are - God knows all there is to know about you - even when you are dead. But what about those who reject Him - those who say either He does not exist, or if He does - that they offer Him no information about themselves? Well, that is an interesting question - and one which this passage answers.
Abaddon lies open before the Lord. What is Abaddon? This is the place of the wicked dead. It means "destruction" and is the Old Testament equivalent to hell. This lies wide open to God. He knows everyone there - and knows all there is to know about them. Even those who reject Him - are known intimately by Him. There is an interesting statement made by some - that God is not present in hell. That is not Scriptural. He is there - but only in absolute judgment and wrath. Those in hell know God - but they only know Him in His wrath and judgment - and will only experience this for all eternity. He knows all about their rebellion and arrogance - and every last bit of it is reaping eternal destruction and devastation.
Now, if Sheol and Abaddon lie open before God - where do you think this places the hearts of men still living today? Since God knows everything there is to know about everyone who has ever died - godly or ungodly - it is not a stretch to realize that every man's heart lies open before Him. What a comfort this is to those who seek Him - yet what a terror to those who think they can reject and shut him out of their lives. Yet that is the very purpose of this passage - this proverb. It is given to bring men to the terrifying realization that the One Who stands as their Judge - is One Who has absolute knowledge about them down the tiniest detail of their lives. To rebel against Him is the height of insanity. All their hearts are open before Him - and they will have to answer for every deed and word - every action and attitude - every mood and mood - every sin - all this will be at His instant disposal. This is meant to humble us - possibly even horrify us if we are living definantly toward Him. May He do His work through it to bring men to the end of themselves and to a point of repentance and faith in His only answer, Jesus Christ.