Bible teaching ministry of Stephen
& Brooksyne Weber
daily, Bible-based perspective of hope,
encouragement and exhortation.
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Friday, May 18, 2018
Tulips on the grounds of the majestic Hershey Hotel
(Photo by Ester)
"A Lesson From A Stiff Cat"
Message summary: Since the consequence of sin is not always immediate we may be under the illusion that all is well. But eventually our sin will find us out.
message on your
"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).
On the other
have been getting a lot of rain in our area. Although the dreary
weather can be a bit wearying it sure does make everything green. The
other day we mentioned how our border collie Mollie is terrified during
thunderstorms. During a storm she looks for a "safe" hiding place, her
favorite being the bathtub (though she hates taking a bath). But she
also tries to get in the refrigerator or oven when she sees a family
member open the door(s)! Anywhere to hide from the booming thunder!
hand our 17 year old cat Dottie,
shows no fear during storms but she does demonstrate characteristic cat
curiosity, especially having a compulsion to check out any new place to
lie down. However thus far she has had her nine lives and then some.(Note: this story may be distressing to some).
Yesterday we spoke at "Golden Nuggets" a senior citizen luncheon and
shared the story about Mollie trying to find a safe hiding place during
a storm. Jesse, an elderly friend, related a story that took place some
40 years ago.
had a cat, like ours, which demonstrated characteristic cat curiousity.
He told about how one day their cat, unbeknownst to them, had managed
to get into their upright freezer when they had opened the door.
Sometime later he opened the door and found the cat curled up and
frozen stiff, a literal expression of how "curiousity killed the cat".In considering our
friend's cat story we think of an Old Testament verse that applies to
all of us, "Be sure that your sin will find you out." In this case that
is just what happened for their cat when they opened the freezer door!
Now, any illustration from the animal kingdom is bound to have some
deficiencies. After all, animals are not moral beings and although we
may say "bad doggie or bad kitty" they really aren't sinning in the
sense we sin when we disobey God.
But there is an aspect of sin related to curiosity expressed in these
lines from a hymn, "prone to wander". In our fallen human nature we may
wonder just how far down the road of sin we'll travel before facing the
consequences. That's been a part of human nature since the Fall.
Let us examine the background to this verse. 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 approached Moses
and made a proposal to Moses that they would settle and consider as
their inheritance the lands east of the Jordan, which they had already
settled and 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
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 also
the case. However the wording is significant due to self-deception. Sir
Walter Scott stated it this way, “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, other times 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.
The apostle Paul's word to the Galatians is so powerful in this regard, "Do
not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he
also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh
reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the
Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for
in due season we will reap, if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:7-9).
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: Faithful Father, Your Word shows
us that obedience brings about blessing but disobedience brings about
dishonor. I want to honor You with my life, for there is nothing hidden
from Your eyes. Help me to uphold the standards of truth and honesty as
revealed through Your unchanging Holy Word; not by the standards of
this world that customize "truth" to suit people's ever-changing whims,
nor by my brothers and sisters of the faith who often come up short.
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, seek to justify it,
blame others, procrastinate or deceive myself. Thank You for granting
complete forgiveness to those who come to You with a contrite heart willing to
lay down sin and take up righteousness. Amen.
Today's text is an example of what many have called the "sin of omission"
expressed in James 4:17: "So whoever knows the right thing to do and
fails to do it, for him it is sin."
"Golden Nuggets" is a monthly gathering of seniors that has been going
for some 15 years. My Mom enjoyed going for several years before she
died in late 2005. It was established by Oren and Naomi Hofstetter who
are still part of a team of dedicated volunteers who prepare a tasty
meal and provide a wholesome program to honor seniors from the church
and community. Oren and Naomi demonstrate great servant's hearts and
representative of the millions of Christ-followers who serve faithfully
in their local churches and communities with little to no fanfare.
Suggested Music and
"Search Me O God" Video The Cathedrals, traditional version
"Search Me O God" Video Maranatha Singers, country style!
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International
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STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation,
New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson,
Inc. and the King James Version.
Mission Statement: "I am created by God
to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus
Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the
Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and
obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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