Summary: There are many sins that go unexposed here on earth...and they will be revealed only at the judgment. In Romans 2, Paul says that God will judge the secrets of man.
BE SURE YOUR SIN WILL FIND YOU OUT
BE SURE YOUR SIN WILL FIND YOU OUT! That particular passage is found in Numbers 32:23...and I believe this is one of the most misunderstood statements in all of God’s Word.
There are many sins that go unexposed here on earth...and they will be revealed only at the judgment. In Romans 2, Paul says that God will judge the secrets of man.
That word secret means "that which is concealed, hidden, covered up." The adulterer may hide his sin until the judgment day. The thief may cover up his crimes and not get caught in this life...
Wicked hearts and evil thoughts may go unnoticed and unexposed before men. Hypocrisy may be hidden for years under a pretense of religion. But there is a sin that will always find you out...here and now. And that is what I want to address this morning....So hold on!
Last night we had what was to be a short meeting and a wiener roast. But it turned out to be much more as we discussed the Pioneer Club project that we’ve been considering.
During the meeting the discussion got off the actual details of the program and focused on an issue that I feel needs to be dealt with in a more clear and concise way than may have been done in the past.
And I’m glad that the subject came up because it reveals the need for a clear word on this. I hope this will answer some of the questions that some are asking. At the very least, you’ll know where I stand as your pastor...and what the Bible has to say about the heart of this matter.
This familiar verse, as I said, is one that is grossly misunderstood. When Moses spoke those words, he was talking about one particular sin, and that is a stubborn refusal to follow the Lord with your whole heart. He was talking about what I call "middle ground Christians!"
When Moses led God’s people out of captivity in Egypt, they were to go to the Promised Land. In order to get there they were required to make 2 crossings...one over the Red Sea and one over the Jordan River. And each of these were symbolic.
Crossing the Red Sea was a type of leaving the world and all its idols and lusts...which is a clear representation of conversion. The crossing of the Jordan represented dying to self and going on to the fullness of Christ.
But between the 2 crossings was the territory of Gilead and Jazer... which bordered the Jordan and the Promised Land of Fullness. And this represents Middle Ground...a place of half-surrender which is totally indefensible.
This was a very dangerous place to live...it was surrounded by heathen enemies...and it speaks of falling short of God’s ultimate place and purpose for His children.
2 1/2 tribes felt most comfortable with this middle ground. What they basically said was, "This is as far as we go! This suits our lifestyle just fine! We’ve come a long way...we’re tired, give us Gilead Jazer. Let the rest go on...we are going to settle here."
This is not just a history lesson about the struggles of Israel. Paul said in 1 Cor. 10:6, "...these things occurred as examples, to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did." In other words, this is history with a voice - speaking to us!
This example of settling for middle ground speaks clearly to the lukewarmness and compromise in the church today. In this story God is showing us the tragic consequences of partial obedience.
They suffered terribly because Adaptability became their way of life. And we see how their sin found them out...they were overcome by the enemy...and ended up more wicked than when they were in Egypt.
Those who live on middle ground today share certain characteristics... the same characteristics of these 2 1/2 tribes who refused to separate themselves from the things and ways of the world. Let’s look at each of them.
Reuben was Jacob’s firstborn, but he lost the birthright because he was driven by lust...and had sex with his father’s concubine. Jacob described his son as one that was "unstable as water"...and would not excel.
Moses also recognized this weakness. Reuben had eyes only for this world...for its things, its pleasures. He was unstable because his heart was always divided...and this spirit was passed on to his descendants. Here was an entire tribe attached to the world and bent on having their own way.
Gad...the name means fortune-troop...or soldiers of fortune... mercenaries. This was a tribe that looked obedient from the outside... but their overriding characteristic was self-interest. Gad was consumed with his own problems...the need to make it!
Gad’s philosophy is, "I’ll fight with the Lord’s army...I’ll do what’s expected of me...but first I’ve got a stake in life. I need to get myself and my family set up...then I’ll be free to give and do more for the Lord!"