I was reading in the Old Testament, in Numbers, when I came across this verse. Numbers 32:23, But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.
In the context of this verse is a caution for the tribes of Reuben and Gad to beware if they are not faithful to their promise to God, consequences will follow. Eventually, half the tribe of Manasseh joined them. They wanted to stay in the fertile land and not cross over the Jordan river with the others. But the area was exposed to enemy attack and they did not have the protection of the Jordan River.
Eventually, Moses gave in and agreed to their promise to send warriors to fight with the rest of the tribes. Here’s where Moses issues the warning…
But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.
What doesn’t this say?
This is so often interpreted as “Your sin will be found out.” Your sin might be found out, and most often is. But the text doesn’t say that. It says “be sure your sin will find you out.“
How does your sin find you out?
Your sin will come back to you eventually. You might be able to get away with your sin, but you can not escape the consequences of sin.
We see this played out in politics now, as many politicians learn this truth when they run for office. Sin brings its own punishment along with it. In the New Testament, we know this as sowing and reaping.
Look what Paul says in Galatians 6…
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 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.Galatians 6:7–8 [Emphasis Mine]
I want to make two points.
If you are an unbeliever and you think you can keep sinning without Christ to forgive your sins, this will only reap corruption and destruction on your soul. Only Jesus can free you from your sin and give you eternal life. Revelation 1:5, Acts 4:12, John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ and there is a pattern of sin in your life.
Yes, stop sinning!
Paul says… Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. 1 Corinthians 15:33-34 [Emphasis Mine] What Paul is saying is you are acting like an unbeliever.
Paul says shame on you for hanging out with the wrong crowd who have no knowledge of Jesus Christ’s saving power, His death, and resurrection. Shame on you for allowing them to influence your life and actions.
Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4
Not you beloved!
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Paul lists a bunch of our previous sins before we turned to Christ and He saved us. Look at the very next verse, 1 Corinthians 6:11. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. [Emphasis Mine]
Listen beloved your sin has been forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ, so confess your sin, and He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.
It doesn’t negate the consequences of our sin even as believers. David’s sin with Bathsheba was forgiven by God, but unfortunately, the consequence of that sin affected his family forever.
Let’s remember we were washed, we were sanctified, we were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us walk a Christian life worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It goes on to say in James 4…
But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:6-10 [Emphasis Mine]
Draw near to God and
He will draw near to you.