Just shy of 1500 years before the Messiah, the Son of God ,came into the world, the children of Israel were following Moses to the Jordan River, and they were about to cross it into their inheritance which God had promised them. However, two and a half of the 12 tribes (Reubenites, Gadites, and one half the tribe of Manasseh) had cows, lots of cows. They saw the land they were passing through was a good place for cattle. So, they went to Moses and said “hey man…this is a good place for cows, why don’t you let us inherit this land instead of the land on the other side of the Jordan.” That’s the Malcolm Harrison, countryfied version of the original Hebrew condensed.
Moses was aggravated with the request but relented on the condition that Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh cross the Jordan and fight alongside the rest of Israel to win their inheritance; after which they could return to the land they wanted for cows and remain there. The cattle barons agreed, and Moses charged them with this famous and well-known verse “But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.”
I heard once about a man who liked to take a little drink of whiskey now and then and kept a bottle hidden in the kitchen cupboards. He claimed, “this will just help me take the edge off and relax from my problems a bit; and besides, Jesus made water into wine.” Prom night came and his daughter was permitted to attend with her boyfriend. They were late returning, and the parents grew worried. Finally, there came a knock at the door. The policeman said there had been an accident and they should go to the hospital immediately. The doctors are doing their best they were told. Both sets of parents walked the floor and waited. The highway patrolman said that there was a whiskey bottle in the car and that was likely what caused the accident. The outraged father of the girl, cursing loudly said he’d kill the devil that sold them whiskey! The patrolman cautioned him but to no avail. Finally, the doctor came out to tell them “The boy looks like he’ll make it, but we were unable to save your daughter.” A few days later, in his sorrow, the man went to the cabinet to get his whiskey, but instead found a note from his daughter that read “Daddy, a special occasion requires a special drink so I took your bottle; I’ll pay you back for it.” Oh friend, be sure your sin will find you out. Maybe you’re not boozing and doping, but can I warn you? Old folks tell us that the chickens come home to roost sooner or later. Sin always demands payment. God understands, you say. No one knows, you say. You can be sure says God your sins will find you out. I would urge you to notice all around us we see the consequences of sin and sinful choices manifesting themselves in lives, in politics, on social, economic and civic levels. People say, well it’s not that bad. Yes, it is!
Calvary Baptist Church is still preaching for God, against sin. We’re for mercy and grace and forgiveness. Across from Pizza Hut on the Loop, 903-724-5924.
Malcolm Harrison is the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Palestine. Find church services and columns online at calvarybdpalestine.com.