Numbers 32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.
The words quoted above were addressed directly to the tribe of Reuben and Gad when they came to Moses requesting permission to settle on the other side of the Jordan, rather than in the land of Canaan that God had promised to Abraham.
The principle found in this verse is applicable to all people. Whether we like it or not, sin has a way of revealing itself and it is never pretty.
It is quite common for us as people to look for some wiggle room in life. We know we are not able to live by God’s law. All people have been blessed with a conscience. That conscience reminds each person that they do not meet the standard of a just and holy God. Over the centuries man has developed imaginary gods and imaginary religious doctrines that they can hold to. However, those who develop their own false doctrines also know they need wiggle room within their false doctrines.
In Exodus 20, God gave the nation of Israel the 10 commandments. He new man cannot meet that righteous standard on His own. That is why the first commandments speak of the true God and the importance of knowing Him. God showed Israel that the 10 commandments were His standard of righteousness. In order for any person, Jew or Gentile to be able to please God, they would need to meet His righteous standard.
God has never lowered His standard of righteousness. Even though He is well aware of the fact that we cannot keep His standard, His standard remains the same. The devil has been busy convincing every person alive to ignore God’s righteous standard at some point in their life. In every generation a few people have come to see this does not bring contentment, and through God’s mercy and grace they have turned to Him for His salvation through which they submit to the righteousness of Christ. The righteousness of Christ does not allow for wiggle room. Jesus declared:
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Jesus Christ did not come to make it possible for man to ignore God’s law and still please God. Jesus Christ did not come to give man a way out for breaking God’s law.
John 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
Jesus Christ is the perfect God/man. He is the eternal Son of God and He provided the sacrifice that God required for man’s rebellion. Jesus Christ gave His life a ransom for many so that any person who listens to the work of the Holy Spirit in their heart and wants to be forgiven, can turn to God in repentance and put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and be forgiven and saved.
We know from numerous Bible examples, that even born again Christians will still seek to find some wiggle room when they are in the flesh. As we look at the false doctrine of “second chances”, those who cling to that false doctrine are looking for wiggle room. They claim a false humility and agree they cannot meet God’s righteous standard, but they do not want to deal with their sin in a Biblical manner. They want to “whitewash” their sin and pretend they are still in a right relationship with God. Then they look for someone who will take the risk and rewrite a certain doctrine to make their sin seem acceptable to God, or they may assume to be that authority that can rewrite God’s doctrine to make their sin seem acceptable to God. This is not a new problem. It has taken place since the fall of man.
King David was a man that God could say some good things about.
Acts 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
When we look at God’s account of the life of king David we find some good things that he did and we find some bad things that he did. We find a man who understood the importance of confession of sin and who also understood the importance of forgiveness for sin. We also find a man who suffered personally for his sin, even though he was forgiven. We find that his family also suffered for his sin. We also find that the nation of Israel suffered for his sin.
God shows us that rather than promoting the false doctrine of “second chances”, David’s life reveals to us the blessings of obedience to God and the disaster of ignoring the true doctrine of God.
II Samuel 12:12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
This verse records God’s answer to David’s several sins against God with Bathsheba and with her husband, Uriah. David assumed he had thought things through well enough and he thought he could cover up his sins and no one would ever know about them. For a short time, he assumed the false doctrine of “second chances” was valid.
Not long after God confronted David with his sin, Amnon, one of David’s many sons, revealed his true heart. He too was a lustful man and he desired to have his sister for a quick fling. He imagined that he could have his way with her and then he could just brush it off and it would not have any lasting effects. In II Samuel 13, he discovered it does not work that way. He defiled his sister and then he hated her.
Another of David’s sons, Absalom entered the scene and he decided to defend his sister Tamar from Amnon. The end of that story is that Absalom arranged for the murder of Amnon as vengeance against his wicked deed. Absalom’s deed was no better, but when a father, in this case David, did not deal with sin properly, it left a gaping hole for the devil to lead others to rationalize their sinful desires as justifiable.
Further on we find that Absalom briefly convinced the majority of the nation of Israel to support him in the brief overthrow of his father’s rule as king. Absalom was never a God-appointed king. God was not finished with David yet, but David would be used by God for a very strong object lesson of what happens when we try to make up our own doctrines rather than submit to God’s doctrines.
During Absalom’s short reign, he defiled some of David’s wives publicly. He further fulfilled God’s warning to David, that he had tried to keep his sin secret, but God would expose his sin openly before the people. There are many people who like to look at king David and use him for an excuse to justify their own version of the false doctrine of “second chances”. After all, they suggest, David could still be king and look at what he did.
If we read our Bibles carefully as any born again Christian must do, we cannot use that argument, but if we read our Bibles carelessly with our own false glasses on, we can assume we find justification for our own false doctrine for a short time. If a person is truly saved, the Holy Spirit of God will not allow that person to be content to live by his own false doctrine.
Not only did David suffer greatly for his distorted views, but his wives and his children suffered for his sin and the nation of Israel also suffered for his sins. The nations around Israel were also given occasion to scoff at the true God as they saw the mess that David had made.
There is nothing to be desired in the sins that David committed. Even though he was the God-appointed king of Israel, he did not get away with his twists and turns that he tried to make into God’s truth.
As we read the Bible we find that God often referred to David as the standard by which He judged other kings of Judah. However, we also find that God recorded the sins of David and kept them in their place to remind us all that there are unpleasant and even disastrous consequences for sin.
God never records any person’s sin as a means for Him to gloat about the consequences of sin. He records man’s sin to show the rest of humanity to choose His way rather than suffer similar consequences as others who have chosen to develop their own false doctrine.
God’s way is perfect and right. God’s way is impossible for mortal man to live by. It takes the spiritual man to be able to live according to God’s way. The spiritual man will acknowledge that God’s way is always right and good. When the spiritual man gets in the flesh, he will fail. Every mere mortal man will fail at times. The spiritual man will not remain in his failure. He will not seek to develop a false doctrine to cover for his sin. He will get up and submit to God’s righteous standard and by the grace of God he will follow God’s righteous standard.
Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.