"Be Sure Your Sin Will Find You Out"

As Israel prepared to enter Canaan, some of the tribes decided they wanted to settle in the territory east of the Jordan. God permitted this only if they helped the other tribes in the conquest of the entire land. If they did not keep that commitment, Moses warned them, “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

“Be sure your sin will find you out.” That’s a warning we should all take seriously.

Your sin will find you out…in spite of time. “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ec­clesiastes 8:11). The longer our sin goes unpunished, the more easily we think we’ve escaped the conse­quences. But God does not forget. The passing of time does not dim His memory or weaken His resolve (cf. 2 Peter 3:8-9). Only one thing causes God to forget our sin: justification by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:17).

Your sin will find you out…in spite of concealment. David tried every­thing he could to hide his adultery, including deception and murder (2 Samuel 11). But God was not deceived. David had sinned secretly, but he would be punished openly (2 Samuel 12:12). If I am able to hide my sins from others, I may start thinking that I’ve hidden them from God, too. But that is not possible (Hebrews 4:13). Only one thing can cover our sins: God’s forgiveness (Psalm 32:1-2; 85:2).

Your sin will find you out…in spite of death. A criminal may go to his grave without having been caught or convicted of his crimes. When he dies, the possibility of exacting justice dies with him. But God is not so limited. “It is appoint­ed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrew 9:27). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be re­compensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). We do not escape God’s judgment by dying. Only one thing will enable us to be justified in that day: if we die to sin by being united with Christ (Romans 6:1-11).