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Friday, July 22, 2022
Willow Valley Chapel
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"Sin Will Find You Out!"
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.
Listen to this message on your audio player. (Note: Yesterday I had failed to update the link to the podcast. Here's the corrected link.)
"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).
This week making news here in our area was the arrest of a man for a vicious murder committed in 1975 (almost 50 years ago). Persistent detective work and newer forensic technologies brought a man to justice who probably felt he would go to his grave successfully hiding his crime. But his sin found him out. A neighbor knew him for many years and had no idea of this man's background and heinous deed.
I was talking about this news story with a friend who told me about three young men who had gone out west to hunt many years ago. Over time two of them committed suicide and on his deathbed the third, who had reached old age, confessed to slaying a game warden during his hunting trip years earlier. Apparently the warden had confronted the group of hunters about an illegal game kill and they shot him dead in a remote location and the crime was never solved, till the deathbed confession.
In our fallen human nature we may wonder just how far down the road of sin we'll travel before facing the inevitable consequences. That's been a part of human nature since the Fall. An Old Testament verse that applies to these situations and to all of us states, "Be sure that your sin will find you out".
Let us examine the background to this verse. In Numbers 32 the new generation of the children of Israel is camped east of the Jordan preparing to enter the Promised Land west of the Jordan River. Leaders from the tribes of Reuben and Gad approached Moses and made a proposal to him that they wanted to settle down and consider as their inheritance the lands east of the Jordan, which they had already 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 that if they failed to keep their word, "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. For some this will be at judgment after death, which is the most fearsome and eternal consequence.
The apostle Paul's words to the Galatians are 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" (Hebrews 4:13). But we can also live with the solemn blessing of His forgiveness when we go to Him with a humble and contrite heart, prayerfully confess our sin, and if we have wronged another person(s) in the situation, ask for their forgiveness.
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
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 even by the standards of 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".
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Redeemed" Video Big Daddy Weave
"Hope Has A Name" Video River Valley Worship
"There Is Freedom" Video Josh Baldwin
This morning following a chaplain visit I stopped by the Central Market in downtown Lancaster. Brooksyne had other chaplain duties so that we split up our routing today.
The Central Market, established in 1730, is the oldest continuously market operating in America.
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This man has been coming to the market since the mid-fifties! He began coming as a child with his dad and his grandson is in the foreground. Hopefully it will continue in the family!
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Multi-color and varieties of Fresh cut flowers
The front cover of the current Discover Lancaster visitor's guide magazine features the Old Windmill Farm in the background! Here's the digital copy.
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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 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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