The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Friday, December 4, 2009
Central Market in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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"Be Sure Your Sin Will Find You Out!"
"But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23). "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account" (Hebrews 4:13).
From time to time I refer to my struggle with weight. A number of factors contribute to this battle. I am genetically disposed, have an abundance of great food and bluntly speaking, I lack self control in this regard. It seems that Brooksyne and I get on track with regular walking and careful eating, then our schedule is interrupted and we fall back into old patterns.
Last Saturday Brooksyne won a large 21 ounce bag of Lindt Truffles with Smooth Fillings at a surprise birthday party. The assorted chocolates are wrapped in decorative Christmas-like cellophane, making the chocolate surprise inside all the more appealing. On the way home from the party I suggested to her that we open the bag and enjoy a few. "No!!!" she immediately responded. "We certainly don't need them and I'll put them in the Christmas baskets I prepare for gifts this year." I was disappointed but, knowing she was right, thought nothing more of it since they were no longer in sight after we got home.
But last night I went upstairs to the kitchen for an item, and lo and behold, there was the open Truffle bag sitting on the counter. "What happened?" I called out to Brooksyne who was out of the room. "I thought you were saving these chocolates for gifts." She admitted that she got caught since she had opened them earlier that evening and forgot to put them back into hiding. Her duplicitous deed was exposed and you can be sure that her sin found her out! Brooksyne failed to keep her word, though she told me afterward that she's still keeping most of them for her Christmas baskets. Maybe I need to do the hiding this time! And the answer is "Yes" if you're wondering whether or not I partook of a few truffles.
I believe many of you can relate to our very honest opening illustration whether it concerns eating or another area in your life. We often have good intentions but can give into temptation and fail to keep our word. Moses warned the young Israelites about this very dilemma, though their failure to obey God's commands would bring about much greater consequence since it would affect an entire nation.
In Numbers 32 the new generation is camped east of the Jordan preparing to enter the Promised Land. Leaders from the tribes of Reuben and Gad made a proposal to Moses that they would settle and consider as their inheritance the lands east of the Jordan, which they found suitable for their livestock. Moses initially misunderstood their request, assuming they were attempting to dodge their responsibilities in the conquest of Canaan.
However, they further clarified their proposal, indicating that they would indeed be sending their fighting men to assist the other tribes and pledging that they would not return until the conquest was complete. Moses' tone changed with the clarification and he accepted their proposal, but in the first daily text he reminded them of the consequences of failing to keep their word. Tracking through the history of the conquest we see they did indeed fulfill their commitment and were commended by Joshua for their faithfulness in Joshua 22.
There's a lot of good teaching in this chapter but let me just focus on today's first text which has a timeless spiritual principle. Moses cautioned the tribal leaders about the consequences of failure to keep their word: "But if you fail to do this (what they had promised), you will be sinning against the LORD." Ultimately Moses solemnly reminded them that the failure to honor their word in regard to their responsibilities to others is a sin against the Lord. The principle is the same for us and we do well to always keep that before us, especially when circumstances make it attractive to opt out.
Then Moses states "and you may be sure that your sin will find you out." It's interesting the precise way this is worded, "your sin will find you out" and it is consistent in standard translations. We might expect it to read to the effect "others will find out about your sin" which is certainly also the case. However the wording is significant due to self deception. Sir Walter Scott stated, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”
I consider a parallel of how it is in our dealings. We may very well think we are getting away with something but we can be sure our sin will find us out, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. Since the consequences of sin are not always immediate we may be under the illusion that all is well. But eventually our sin will find us out.
Today let us live with the solemn realization that our sin will not go undetected by an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-present, holy God. Indeed, "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight." But we also live with the solemn blessing of His forgiveness when we go to Him with a humble and contrite heart.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You reward the obedient but the disobedient will always deal with resulting consequences, now or later. Obedience brings about blessing and disobedience brings about dishonor. I want to honor You with my life, for there is nothing hidden from Your eyes. Help me to set the standards of truth and honesty by Your Holy Word, not the standards of this world that are customizing "truth" to suit their ever-changing whims. When I'm confronted with my sin help me to have the fortitude and courage to deal with it. May I not cover it up, change its true meaning, blame others, procrastinate or deceive myself. Thank You for granting complete forgiveness. Amen.
Numbers 32 Full context for today's message.
Joshua 22 The eastern tribes keep their promise and are commended by Joshua
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)
"O Come, O Come Emmanuel" Video
I took today's photo in the brick-paved alley outside the Central Market in Lancaster, Pennsylvania which is the oldest publicly-owned, continuously-operating farmer's market in the country.
It is our desire to share online resources that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season. We will continue to post these resources through Christmas Day. As we find additional material that we believe will be a blessing we will add it to this list as well.
Christmas Memories Here's a collection of Christmas memories sent in by daily encouragement readers several years ago, along with an opportunity to share your own story.
"In Remembrance of Me" pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services many years. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling.
"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with the tune.
Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18 pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" pdf
My First Christmas In Heaven This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year. This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.
Christmas Knowledge Test
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).
Are you Christmas shopping online?
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Looking for a very special Christmas gift for your parents?
Here's an idea! "The Best Gift You Can Ever Give Your Parents"
Looking for a very special Christmas gift for your children?
Here's an idea! "The Blessing"
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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