But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.
1. First, our sins find us out when there is a direct connection of cause and effect between the sin and the punishment, and in the most literal sense of the word, we eat the fruit of our own doings. The delirium tremens which overtakes the drunkard, the premature decrepitude or forlorn old age of him who has laid waste his youth by sensual excesses, the rags with which the sluggard is clothed, the shameful fall which so often the proud prepares for himself, what are all these but men's sins finding them out, the sin having all along been big with the punishment, and in due season bringing it forth — according to our own proverb, "Old sin, new shame," old and new being linked with one another by indissoluble bonds, and sooner or later making this relation between them to appear?
2. But not in this way only do men's sins find them out. Oftentimes there is no such connection of cause and effect; but there is that conformity between the sin and the punishment, that unmistakable resemblance between them, which it is impossible to ascribe to blind chance. Scripture, and not Scripture only, is full of examples in this kited. It is measured to men exactly as they have measured to others; the very cup they have held to the lips of others being by and by held to their own. The deceiver is deceived; the violator of the sanctities of another man's home beholds his own trampled on and violated in turn. The wicked king, that slew the prophets and left their very bodies unburied, is himself slain and east forth with the burial of an ass. So marvellous is the conformity between the sin and the suffering, that there is wrung from the sufferer, sometimes in the hearing of all the world, but oh t how much oftener in the secret of his soul, a confession of the same: "As I have done, so God hath requited me" (Judges 1:7; Revelation 16:6). Others may miss the connection, may not so much as guess that there is one; but he knows only too well whose hand it was that smote him; from what wing the arrow which pierced him has been drawn.
3. Then, too, men's sins often find them out, though no visible sign or token may betray this fact to the world. All may outwardly stand fair; there may be no breach in the worldly prosperity, nay, this may be ampler, more strongly established than ever; while yet there may be that within which forbids to rejoice, which takes all the joy and the gladness out of life — the memory of that old sin which was as nothing when committed, but which now darkens all, the deadly arrow poisoning the springs of life, which will not drop from the side, which no force, no art of man's device, can withdraw. Is there not here one whose sin has found him out? Neither let us assume that it is only the wicked whose sins thus come round to them again. God is faithful, and will not allow His own children to escape altogether, any more than the children of this present world. The cup of suffering may be filled more fully for some than for others; but it shall come round in due time to all.
4. What shall we say to all this? If earlier or later, first or last, our sins do thus so often overtake us even here, shall we not put far from us so evil a thing and one which has such a fatal power of thus coming back on him that wrought it? It may be that it is too late for this ; but there is still something which we can do. We can, so to speak, take the initiative; turn the table on our sins, and instead of waiting for them to find us out, we, earnestly seeking, by aid of that candle which the Lord has lighted in us, may find out them; and then we have the sure word of promise that, if we will judge ourselves, we shall not be judged of the Lord.
Parallel VersesKJV: But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.