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.
  4. God blessed me with a mother that taught me these words at a very early age that convicted and warned at times.
  5. He convicted me recently with Judges 9:22-24 and His seemingly slow justice, which is always infinitely perfect.

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

  1. Sin is the transgression of God’s law (I John 3:4), and punishable by death (Ezekiel 18:4; Rom 6:23).
  2. Wicked men sin because they have no fear of God (Ps 36:1); but why would Christians ever sin?
  3. You cannot cheat or compromise on God’s religion and His 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; 3:13-15; Galatians 6:7).
    3. Christian reader, why do you sin? On what basis do you presume you can get away with sinning?

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 and appropriate judgment.
    1. God defers judging sin to deceive men into vain hope (Psalm 50:16-22; Jeremiah 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. It does not matter what sinners do to protect themselves, God will judge (Pr 11:21; 16:5).
    5. He cannot allow any violation of His word or threats, for it would render them vain.
    6. Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he reap, and you may count on this law (Gal 6:7).
    7. If He does not chasten His children, He is a liar or you are a bastard (Heb 12:5-17).
    8. 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 got impatient when Samuel did not arrive and profanely offered a sacrifice (I Sam 13:8-14).
  15. Saul thought he could get away with modifying God’s commandment (I Samuel 15:1-23).
  16. Saul disguised himself and sought help from a witch and familiar spirits (I Sam 28:7-20).
  17. David thought he had well covered both his adultery and murder (II Samuel 11:1 – 12:14).
  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. David did not question Adonijah, so one brother killed another (I Kings 1:5-10; 2:12-25).
  21. Adonijah subtly used Bathsheba to influence Solomon in covert sedition (I Kings 2:12-25).
  22. Ahab thought he could disguise himself and escape judgment for rebellion (I Kings 22:30-38).
  23. Forty-two children saw no harm from teasing Elisha, the man of God (II Kings 2:23-24).
  24. Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, disobeyed him and took a gift from Naaman (II Kings 5:15-27).
  25. Jezebel thought she had escaped the judgment for killing righteous Naboth (II Kings 9:30-37).
  26. King Uzziah presumed on the priests’ office and died a miserable leper (II Chron 26:16-21).
  27. Haman hardly knew what hit him in rapid succession for his conspiracy (Esther 6:1 – 7:10).
  28. Fathers and mothers who neglect child training will suffer pain (Pr 19:13; 22:6,15; 29:15,17).
  29. Sennacherib ridiculed God, so his sons killed him while he worshipped his god (Is 37:1-38).
  30. Judah’s elders came to Ezekiel with idols in their heart, which God judged (Ezekiel 14:1-11).
  31. King Belshazzar blasphemed God and died that night in an impregnable city (Daniel 5:1-31).
  32. Jonah was once quite secure in his decision to reject God’s call to Nineveh (Jonah 1:1-17).
  33. The regathered Jews thought they could put their houses before the Lord’s (Haggai 1:1-11).
  34. Judas conspired to betray the Lord Jesus Christ, but God destroyed him (Matthew 27:3-5).
  35. Peter could only see those questioning him until it was much too late (Luke 22:54-62).
  36. The Jews thought they could get rid of Jesus Christ by Roman crucifixion (John 19:15).
  37. Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Ghost and Peter about their giving (Acts 5:1-11).
  38. King Herod killed James and loved adoration, but he died a miserable death (Acts 12:20-23).
  39. John Mark went AWOL, so Paul rejected him for his second trip (Acts 13:13; 15:36-41).
  40. 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? Are you training your children? Your finances? Your spiritual exercises? Your thought life? Your speech? 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 can 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 TIMING OF GOD’S JUDGMENT Is Not Always What You May Be Thinking or Expecting.

  1. We may desire or expect God’s immediate judgment, so we cry out, Where is the God of Elijah?
    1. It has been said the wheels of justice turn slowly, meaning that governments prosecute slowly.
    2. The wheels of justice may turn slowly, but they grind small (Pr 20:26). And God is a great king!
    3. Do not let God’s silence or lack of judgment deceive, for He will tear in His anger (Ps 50:16-22).
  2. The joy of the hypocrite is short, which Zophar described for your profitable warning (Job 20:4-29).
    1. Read this passage and understand that your pastor’s ferocity against sin is in line with wise men.
    2. But what God counts as short and a moment may be hours, days, years, or centuries. Learn it.
    3. Bad parenting will not show up until the children are older to rebel or show lack of character.
    4. Bad financial management shows up more and more as life progresses and variances widen.
  3. Remember the wise warning of Peter that God’s longsuffering is for your salvation (II Peter 3:9,15).
    1. While you wonder why He has not judged others, bless Him for being slow to anger (La 3:22)!
    2. The longsuffering and mercy you resent being shown toward others may have saved your life.
    3. The forty days given to Nineveh brought them repentance and preserved their lives and great city.
    4. God’s goodness should lead men to repentance. Thank God for His longsuffering and repent.
  4. Be wise. God’s judgment may be of a sort that does not match your limited perspective of judgment.
    1. For example, living many more years without the Spirit, like King Saul. This is great judgment.
    2. God allows more sins for greater judgment (Gen 15:13-16; Dan 8:23; Mat 23:32-35; I Thes 2:16).
    3. Some wonder almost angrily why God did not kill David, but he suffered much the rest of his life.
    4. God’s judgment can get worse, much worse; do not presume of others or yourself that it is over.
    5. God’s judgment can get worse, much worse; do not foolishly say, “I can handle this chastening.”

The EXAMPLES OF THE TIMING Show God’s Judgment of Sinners Happening at Various Speeds.

  1. God took no time at all to check in on Adam and Eve and expose their sinful rebellion (Gen 3:7-8).
  2. God took no time at all turning Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt for looking behind her (Gen 19:26).
  3. God took no time at all to judge David and Uzzah for moving the ark incorrectly (II Sam 6:1-10).
  4. God took no time at all to give Judas over to the devil – it had been better to miscarry (Matt 27:3-10).
  5. God took no time at all to judge Ananias and Sapphira for lying to Peter about giving (Acts 5:1-11).
  6. God took no time at all to judge Herod for his presumptuous pride after a speech (Acts 12:20-23).
  7. God took only a few days to wipe out Sennacherib’s army and have his sons kill him (Is 37:21-38).
  8. God took ten days to judge Nabal for his wickedness toward David and his men (I Sam 25:37-39).
  9. God took a whole year before judging Nebuchadnezzar with the prophecy of Daniel (Daniel 4:24-33).
  10. God took three years to judge Abimelech and Shechem for killing Gideon’s 70 sons (Jdgs 9:22-24).
  11. God took maybe 20 years to avenge Saul’s profane zeal in killing the Gibeonites (II Samuel 21:1-9).
  12. God took about 25 years to prove Joseph’s dreams and avenge him of his brothers (Gen 37:2; 41:46).
  13. God took maybe 30 years to remove Saul from the throne for offering a sacrifice (I Sam 13:8-14).
  14. God took over 30 years to judge Joab for his murder of Abner (II Sam 3:22-39; I Kgs 2:5-6,28-34).
  15. God took 40 years before Moses then knew He would not change His mind about Canaan (De 34:4).
  16. God took 40 years before judging Israel for crucifying the Lord of glory, from 30 A.D. to 70 A.D.
  17. God took 70 years before judging Babylon of the Old Testament for razing Jerusalem (Jer 25:11-12).
  18. God took at least 80 years before judging Egypt and Pharaoh for hurting His church (Acts 7:17-30).
  19. God took about 80 years to judge Eli by firing his family’s last priest (I Sam 2:27-36; I Kgs 2:26-27).
  20. God took 120 years of Noah’s preaching and boat building before drowning mankind (Genesis 6:3).
  21. God took about 500 years to judge Amalek for abusing Israel (Ex 17:14-16; De 25:19; I Sa 15:1-3).
  22. God took near 600 years to judge Hiel for rebuilding the city of Jericho (Josh 6:26; I Kings 16:34).
  23. God took at least 1260 years to judge Babylon of the N.T. for war against the church (Dan 7:23-26).

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

  1. There is a corollary – be sure your righteousness will find you out, for you will be rewarded for it.
    1. There are rewards for the righteous in this life on earth (Ps 58:10-11; 34:12-16; 37:4; 84:11).
    2. There are rewards for the righteous in the next life in heaven (Ps 17:15; I Cor 15:19; Col 3:24).
    3. Some rewards are made openly in this world and some in the world to come (I Tim 5:24-25).
  2. There are blessed rewards for learning and obeying the words of God (Psalm 19:10; James 1:25).
  3. God rewards the righteous and wicked with the fruit of their doings (Isaiah 3:10-11; Mal 3:13-18).
  4. If you serve God faithfully in secret, Jesus said He will reward you openly (Matthew 6:3-6,16-18).
  5. Psalm 50:16-22 warns of His delayed judgment; Psalm 50:23 promises His salvation for obedience.

The EXAMPLES OF THE INVERSE Show a Few Bible Examples of Good Men Waiting for Reward.

  1. God took 13 years to raise Joseph out of numerous setbacks to Egypt’s throne to fulfill early dreams.
  2. God took about 15 years from anointing David as king until he took the throne of Israel from Saul.
  3. God took about 25 years from promises to Abraham and his seed before Abraham had the seed Isaac.
  4. God took about 400 years from promises for the latter house until Jesus made peace to fulfill them.
  5. God took 4,072 years from the promise of a Seed to destroy the devil until Jesus died to destroy him.


  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 sin so far, know God is showing longsuffering or playing with you (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.
  5. This is not hopeless at all. Add this sermon with last Sunday’s about being soul winners and save yourselves!

For further study:

  1. Sermon Outline: “Eli & Sons,” which details his compromise as father leading to a horrific end and his family tree’s ruin.
  2. Sermon Outline: “God Hates Compromise,” which details the principles and examples of God’s judgment for cheating.
  3. Sermon Outline: “Examine Yourselves,” which provides the Scriptural basis and means for properly judging your life.
  4. Sermon Outline: “Hating Sin,” which details the reasons and the Bible examples why you must avoid sin at all costs.
  5. Sermon Outline: “The Pleasures of Sin,” allowing that sin may be pleasant but carrying horrible consequences with it.
  6. Sermon Outline: “Sacrificing the Future,” which reminds of the future consequences of your choices and actions today.
  7. Sermon Outline: “Playing with Sin,” which uses the example of Lot to show that small sins turn into large judgments.
  8. Sermon Outline: “Consequences,” which provides Bible rules and examples that sin will bring painful fruit in your life.
  9. Sermon Outline: “Protecting our Daughters,” which reviews the story of Dinah being seduced by the young man Shechem.
  10. Sermon Outline: “Forgotten Sins,” which reviews many sins that are no longer understood or preached against in America.