A Short Study of Numbers 32:23

“Be sure your sin will find you out.”
(Numbers 32:23)

Is there an honest believer anywhere that does not worry about this verse? Is there an honest child of God, who knows their own sinfulness, who does not worry that they are going to be exposed by God someday . . . punished . . . cast out? But listen to this Word from the same LORD: “In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and THERE SHALL BE NONE; and the sins of Judah, and THEY SHALL NOT BE FOUND: for I will pardon them whom I reserve” (Jeremiah 50:20). Which is it? Will our sin “find us out,” or will our sins not be found? The LORD does not contradict Himself. The LORD does not give us hope mingled with despair . . . peace mingled with worry. The context and meaning is this. Some of the children of Israel made promises to go out to battle with the others; they boasted that they would not quit fighting until the battle was won. All such boasting is vain. We ought to say: “the Lord willing, we will go, we will fight, we won’t quit.” Moses answered these boasters by saying, “If ye will not do so (what ye say), ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure YOUR SIN WILL FIND YOU OUT.” Notice He says “sin” not sins. This “sin” is the sin of apostasy. It is the sin that will make someone forsake God, leave the gospel and the church, give up the fight and make friends with the world. It is the sin which John called unpardonable. It is the sin that will surely find a person out; will expose them in that great day; will manifest itself that “they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they no doubt would have continued with us.”

However, there is a very real sense in which sins, if not forsaken, will find out the sinner sooner or later. Our sins are against God and bring reproach upon Him Whom we claim to love and honor. Not only this, but there are very real and terrible consequences for our sins. Our sins dishonor our God, hurt us and others; so it should be our concern to find out our sins, repent of them, root out, and forsake them, lest our sins find us out to our ruin and the hurt of others. This is why David cried, “Keep back thy servant from presumptions sins . . . from secret sins”.

But thanks be unto God, every believer is “kept by the power of God”. . . KEPT by Him that is “able to keep us from falling.” The sins of the saints are found out to them, but will never be found before God, for they are covered. Anyone who uses these promises as an excuse to continue in sin, is not a child of God, but an imposter, and to be sure, their sin will find them out. The sin(s) of God’s children will be exposed to them by the Holy Spirit of God, Who will convince them of sin, grant them repentance, cleanse and turn them from it. You see, salvation really is of the LORD in every respect. If not, no one has any hope of being saved and kept from falling. This is why we shall forever sing, “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, unto the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 24-25)

P. Mahan

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