Be Sure Your Sin Will Find You Out





“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD:
and be sure your sin will find you out.”

Numbers 32:23


  1. When Israel prepared to cross Jordan to take Canaan, two tribes wanted to stay east of Jordan (Numbers 32:1-15).
  2. Moses would only allow it on their promise to fight with the other tribes on the west of Jordan (Num 32:16-27).
  3. These famous eight words, which every child and adult should understand well, were a warning to the two tribes.

The NEED FOR THE LESSON Considers the Seriousness of Sin and Man’s Vain Self-Deception.

  1. Sin is the transgression of God’s law (I John 3:4) and punishable by death (Ezekiel 18:4).
  2. Wicked men sin because they have no fear of God; but why do Christians that fear God sin?
  3. You cannot cheat or compromise on God’s religion and commandments and get away with it.
  4. Christians use many deceitful delusions to continue in sin, but two are very popular (Jer 17:9).
    1. Sins committed in secret will never be known (Psalm 10:4-15; 59:5-8; 64:1-9; 94:1-11; Proverbs 9:13-18; Isaiah 29:13-16; 47:7-11; Ezekiel 8:12; 9:9-10).
    2. I shall not be punished for my sins (Deuteronomy 29:18-21; Jeremiah 23:16-20; 37:8-10; Hosea 7:2; Amos 9:1-4; Zephaniah 1:12-18; Malachi 2:17; Galatians 6:7).
    3. My sins are not all that bad; God is not mean enough to judge them (Gen 19:17-23).
    4. Christian reader, why do you sin? On what basis do you presume against God’s laws?

The DOCTRINE OF THE LESSON Reviews God’s Omniscience and Justice in Judging All Sin.

  1. God is omniscient: He sees everything at all times with full recognition and judgment.
    1. God eyes are in every place beholding good and evil (Pr 5:21; 15:3; Jer 16:17; 32:19).
    2. God’s omnipresence is quite useful: He is everywhere to see everything (Jer 23:24).
    3. God sees clearly our thoughts and intents (Deut 31:21; I Chron 28:9; Heb 4:12-14).
    4. God’s knowledge of our sins laughs at secrecy and mocks darkness (Ps 90:8; 139:11).
  2. God is just: He rewards every transgression with proportionate judgment without mercy.
    1. God defers judging sin to deceive men into vain hope (Psalm 50:16-22; Jer 4:10).
    2. God executes judgment and vengeance in His own due time on sinners (Deut 32:35).
    3. God’s judgment is certain: evil pursues and hunts wicked men (Ps 140:11; Pr 13:21).
    4. He cannot allow any violation of His word or threats, for it would render them vain.
    5. If He does not chasten His children, He is a liar or you are a bastard (Heb 12:5-17).
    6. God may wait for Judgment Day, but He still judges (Ec 12:14; Matt 12:36; Ro 2:16).
  3. Consider the wise analysis of Elihu regarding God’s pursuit of sinners (Job 34:21-30).

The EXAMPLES OF THE LESSON Consider Scriptural Illustrations of Sin Finding Out Men.

  1. Cain tried to hide the murder of Abel in a field and deceive God about it (Genesis 4:3-15).
  2. Lot compromised with sin in order to “provide for his family” (Gen 13:10-13; 19:14,30-38).
  3. Abraham took Hagar as a second wife, which caused much trouble (Gen 16:1-6; 21:9-14).
  4. Isaac and Rebekah let Esau marry worldly girls, which caused grief (Gen 26:34-35; 28:1-9).
  5. Dinah went to play with the world’s girls and lost her virginity and boyfriend (Gen 34:1-31).
  6. Joseph’s brethren deceived their father about Joseph’s plight (Genesis 37:18-35; 42:21-22).
  7. Judah considered the use of an apparent prostitute an innocent thing (Genesis 38:12-26).
  8. Korah criticized Moses for his office, but God heard and buried him alive (Numbers 16:1-35).
  9. Achan hid his stolen goods of Jericho from the sight of everyone but the Lord (Joshua 7).
  10. Adoni-Bezek mutilated prisoners, so Israel mutilated him before his death (Judges 1:4-8).
  11. Eli’s sons abused God’s worship, but they died young together (I Samuel 2:12-17; 4:17).
  12. Eli was too loving and weak to stop his sons from their profane wickedness (I Sam 2:22-36).
  13. The men of Bethshemesh thought they could safely peek in God’s ark (I Samuel 6:19).
  14. Saul thought he could get away with modifying God’s commandment (I Samuel 15:1-23).
  15. Saul disguised himself and sought help from a witch and familiar spirits (I Sam 28:7-20).
  16. David thought he had well covered both his adultery and murder (II Samuel 11:1 – 12:14).
  17. David did not question Adonijah, so one brother killed another (I Kings 1:5-10; 2:12-25).
  18. Amnon thought he could enjoy his virgin sister, but lost his fantasy and life (II Sam 13:1-39).
  19. Absalom despised his father, and he was killed by darts in a tree (II Sam 16:21-23; 18:9-18).
  20. Adonijah subtly used Bathsheba to influence Solomon in covert sedition (I Kings 2:12-25).
  21. Ahab thought he could disguise himself and escape judgment for rebellion (I Kings 22:30-38).
  22. Forty-two children saw no harm from teasing Elisha, the man of God (II Kings 2:23-24).
  23. Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, disobeyed him and took a gift from Naaman (II Kings 5:15-27).
  24. Jezebel thought she had escaped the judgment for killing righteous Naboth (II Kings 9:30-37).
  25. King Uzziah presumed on the priests’ office and died a miserable leper (II Chron 26:16-21).
  26. Haman hardly knew what hit him in rapid succession for his conspiracy (Esther 6:1 – 7:10).
  27. Fathers and mothers who neglect child training will suffer pain (Pr 19:13; 22:6,15; 29:15,17).
  28. Sennacherib ridiculed God, so his sons killed him while he worshipped his god (Is 37:1-38).
  29. Judah’s elders came to Ezekiel with idols in their heart, which God judged (Ezekiel 14:1-11).
  30. King Belshazzar blasphemed God and died that night in an impregnable city (Daniel 5:1-31).
  31. Jonah was once quite secure in his decision to reject God’s call to Nineveh (Jonah 1:1-17).
  32. The regathered Jews thought they could put their houses before the Lord’s (Haggai 1:1-11).
  33. Judas conspired to betray the Lord Jesus Christ, but God destroyed him (Matthew 27:3-5).
  34. Peter could only see those questioning him until it was much too late (Luke 22:54-62).
  35. The Jews thought they could get rid of Jesus Christ by Roman crucifixion (John 19:15).
  36. Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Ghost and Peter about their giving (Acts 5:1-11).
  37. King Herod killed James and loved adoration, but he died a miserable death (Acts 12:20-23).
  38. John Mark went AWOL, so Paul rejected him for his second trip (Acts 13:13; 15:36-41).
  39. The Corinthians abused the Lord’s Supper, but they were weak, sick, and dead (I Cor 11:30).

The APPLICATION OF THE LESSON Identifies Areas of Practical Concern In Our Own Lives.

  1. Children hide sin from parents; men hide adulterous thoughts; families create public facades.
  2. God is always on the side of those in authority, which children ought to weigh very heavily.
  3. If you are hiding hatred in your heart with your lips, God will reveal it (Proverbs 26:24-26).
  4. Hypocrisy, the greatest of all sins, allows only short joy to its foolish victims (Job 20:4-29).
  5. Where are you cheating or compromising in your life? Because God will judge it for sure!
  6. Remember that God will even judge your heart sins with torment (Prov 21:2; Matt 18:21-35).
  7. Is your marriage all that it should be? Your finances? Your spiritual exercises? Your thought life? Your speech? Are you training your children? Loving the brethren? Maintaining prayer?
  8. Each father and mother must do their job as parents, or pain is coming (Pr 22:6,15; 29:15,17).
  9. Financial discipline means you must reject sleep and pleasure (Prov 6:6-11; 20:13; 21:17,20).
  10. Some sins simply come back to haunt you in a hateful way (Ps 36:1-2; Prov 5:7-14; 7:18-23): fornication, alcohol, evil friends, pornography, slothfulness, presumption, whoredom, child abuse, evil television, smoking abuse, adulterous thoughts, evil music, wasteful spending, overeating, excessive ambition, hasty speech, quick anger, insubordination, etc., etc.
  11. Consider fornication: it will lead to (1) pregnancy, (2) loss of respect and honor, (3) loss of virginity, (4) poor relationships, (5) parental anger, (6) church exclusion, (7) guilt, (8) jealousy, (9) disease, (10) sexual dysfunction, (10) a horrible example, and/or other troubles.

The INVERSE OF THE LESSON Reviews God’s Promises that Righteousness Is Also Rewarded.

  1. There are blessed rewards for learning and obeying the words of God (Ps 19:10; James 1:25).
  2. God rewards the righteous and wicked with the fruit of their doings (Is 3:10-11; Mal 3:16-18).
  3. Some rewards are made openly in this world and some in the world to come (I Tim 5:24-25).
  4. If you serve God faithfully in secret, He will reward you openly (Matthew 6:3-6,16-18).


  1. It is essential that you examine yourself with God’s help and turn from any wickedness in your life (Ps 139:23-24).
  2. No matter how small, subtle, or secret your sin, the great God can tear you in pieces from the inside and/or outside.
  3. If you have gotten away with a secret sin so far, remember God is playing with you for destruction (Ps 50:21-22).
  4. His judgment may come in the area of your sin or in another area altogether, but His judgment is coming for sure.

For further study:

  1. Sermon outline: Examine Yourselves
  2. Sermon outline: Hating Sin
  3. Sermon outline: The Pleasures of Sin
  4. Sermon outline: Sacrificing the Future
  5. Sermon outline: Playing with Sin
  6. Sermon outline: Consequences
  7. Sermon outline: Protecting our daughters