Be Sure Your Sin Will Find You Out – 1

Keith Sharp | via

“But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23)

Israel had completed the forty years in the wilderness and had conquered all those who opposed them on the East side of the Jordan—the king of Arad, the Canaanite (Numbers 21:1-3), Sihon king of the Amorites (Numbers 21:21-27), Og king of Bashan (Numbers 21:33-35), and the five kings of Midian (Numbers 31:7-8).

Moses would soon be called to the top of Mount Nebo, to Pisgah, the height, there die, and be buried in the unknown wilderness grave. The men of the tribes of Reuben and Gad came to the aged man of God and requested, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as a possession. Do not take us over the Jordan” (Numbers 32:5). Moses was very angry with them, and accused them of discouraging their brethren from taking the land, just as their fathers had done and had perished in the wilderness (Numbers 32:5-15). So the men of Reuben and Gad promised they would go with their brethren across the Jordan and take the land, but they would leave their wives and children in Bashan and return there after the land was subdued (Numbers 32:16-19). Moses agreed they could settle on the Eastern side of Jordan, but first they had to help the other tribes take the land. Then Moses solemnly warned, “But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out.” How do our sins find us out?

Moses is here personifying sin, even as the Lord did when He warned Cain about his attitude after the Lord has rejected his sacrifice. “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Genesis 4:7). Sin was like a wild beast waiting at the door to pounce on Cain, unless Cain did well. But Cain should rule over sin. Cain didn’t, and sin devoured him.

Likewise, the sin we commit is like a ravenous beast stalking us. We can run, but we
can’t hide. “Be sure your sin will find you out.”

God sees and knows every wicked deed we commit, every evil word we say, and every sinful purpose we conceive in our hearts. “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

There are many ways men imagine their sins to be hidden from God. But none of them
are successful.

Careful Concealment

Careful concealment of our sins cannot hide them from the Lord. When the brothers of
Joseph sold him into slavery in Egypt, they concocted a clever ruse to cover their sins (Genesis chapter 37). They coldly dipped Joseph’s coat of many colors into the blood of a kid of the goats, “brought it to their father and said, ‘We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son’s tunic or not?’” Jacob fell for the deception.

And he recognized it and said, ‘It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces.’ Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, ‘For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning.’ Thus his father wept for him (Genesis 37:33-35).

Undoubtedly they had not reckoned on the grief they would cause their father, but they had successfully hidden their crime from Israel – but not from the Lord God.

Unknown to them the Lord was preparing Joseph through his ordeals in Egypt to be a great deliverer. When the sons of Israel went to Egypt to buy grain, Joseph, who had been elevated to second place in all the kingdom, recognized them, but they didn’t recognize him. He tested them and arranged to rescue his full brother Benjamin from their jealousy.

When Joseph’s silver cup was found in the mouth pf Benjamin’s grain sack, and the brothers in despair returned to Joseph’s house, Judah, the very brother who had proposed selling Joseph into slavery, freely admitted the lesson he had learned.

Then Judah said, ‘What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; here we are, my lord’s slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup was found’ (Genesis 44:16).

Indeed, God had found out their iniquity. Regardless of how clever we may be, we cannot hide our sins from God. “Be sure your sin will find you out.”

Refusal to Admit

We cannot hide our sins by refusing to admit them. The Lord through Samuel sent King Saul to destroy all the Amalekites. Samuel commanded Saul, “Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey’” (1 Samuel 15:3). Saul took an army of 210,000 and killed the Amalekites.

But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed (1 Samuel 15:9).

When Samuel met Saul, Saul claimed, “I have performed the commandment of the LORD” (1 Samuel 15:13). Samuel replied, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” (1 Samuel 15:14) Saul blamed it on the people, but Samuel wasn’t buying it.

Even after Samuel rebuked him, Saul still refused to admit he had sinned and persisted in blaming the people for saving the good animals to sacrifice to the Lord. Samuel scathingly replied:

Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king (1 Samuel 15:22-23).

Saul’s stubborn, rebellious refusal to admit his sin cost him the kingdom and his soul. “And be sure your sin will find you out.”

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