Summary: Sin in the life of a child of God will be exposed by the Father who loves us too much to permit us to hide our sin.
“In the course of time the wife of Judah, Shua’s daughter, died. When Judah was comforted, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. And when Tamar was told, ‘Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,’ she took off her widow’s garments and covered herself with a veil, wrapping herself up, and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she had not been given to him in marriage. When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. He turned to her at the roadside and said, ‘Come, let me come in to you,’ for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, ‘What will you give me, that you may come in to me?’ He answered, ‘I will send you a young goat from the flock.’ And she said, ‘If you give me a pledge, until you send it—’ He said, ‘What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, ‘Your signet and your cord and your staff that is in your hand.’ So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him. Then she arose and went away, and taking off her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood.
”When Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite to take back the pledge from the woman’s hand, he did not find her. And he asked the men of the place, ‘Where is the cult prostitute who was at Enaim at the roadside?’ And they said, ‘No cult prostitute has been here.’ So he returned to Judah and said, ‘I have not found her. Also, the men of the place said, “No cult prostitute has been here.”’ And Judah replied, ‘Let her keep the things as her own, or we shall be laughed at. You see, I sent this young goat, and you did not find her.’
“About three months later Judah was told, ‘Tamar your daughter-in-law has been immoral. Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.’ And Judah said, ‘Bring her out, and let her be burned.’ As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, ‘By the man to whom these belong, I am pregnant.’ And she said, ‘Please identify whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff.’ Then Judah identified them and said, ‘She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.’ And he did not know her again.”
Robert Gibbs, Press Secretary for the forty-fourth President of the United States, recently responded to a question asking why a speaking engagement for the President in Las Vegas was closed to the press, glibly replied “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Taken from the title of a book by Michele Daniels, that phrase expresses a common sentiment for many people. The idea conveyed by the saying is that moral restraints no longer apply when one is away from home, or when one is not immediately accountable to family or church.
No Christian should imagine that he or she can sin with impunity. No Christian dare imagine that sin will not be exposed. For a Christian, there is no such thing as “private sin.” Jesus warned His disciples, “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known” [*Luke 12:2*]. The Bible is replete with warnings that sin cannot be hidden. The biblical principle for all who worship the Living God is, “Be sure your sin will find you out” [*Numbers 32:23*]. We are aliens in a foreign land, awaiting our call to go to our eternal home. While here, we are responsible to glorify God through a holy life.
How pitiful is the cry of sinning believers that is recorded by Isaiah, a mournful cry that could easily be offered up by far too many modern Christians.
“Our transgressions are multiplied before You;
and our sins testify against us;
for our transgressions are with us,
and we know our iniquities.”
God does not exempt His own people from divine correction when they sin. Those individuals who claim to have a relationship to the Living Saviour while living in sin deceive themselves, for God will never leave His child in the condition in which He found Him. Moreover, when a Christian sins and refuses to turn from that sin, he must know that God will correct His child.
We will do well to read again the warning issued in the Letter to Hebrew Christians. “Have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,