February 28, 2012
“But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” — Numbers 32:23
Some friends had invited my former American colleague for a Chinese dim sum lunch. It was his first time having such a meal. The first dish that arrived was the steamed buns, and he liked it a lot. However, a few other dishes arrived subsequently, which he wasn’t so sure about.
The host then asked if he would be interested in trying the braised chicken claw (or feet). My American friend said he would give it a try. However, after taking a bite, he realised that he did not like it. Thinking it might be impolite to inform the host he did not like it, he did not say anything.
Seeing his empty plate, another chicken claw was given to him. Then another. Soon, the waitress came along to remove the used plates and give each diner a clean one.
My American friend was unaware of this practice, which is common in most Chinese restaurants in Singapore. When the waitress lifted his plate, everyone could see that the untouched chicken claws were neatly lined in a half-circle under the edge of his plate. My friend’s face went red with embarrassment!
When he told me that story, my immediate response (besides laughing) was, “This is a perfect illustration for the Scripture, ‘your sin will find you out’!”
We can deceive people, but we can?t hide from God.
The Israelites were moving towards the Promised Land. When they were still east of the Jordan River, two-and-a-half tribes asked their leader, Moses, for permission to make that their home. They promised they would cross over to the other side with their brothers to help them conquer the Land.
Moses said to them, “If you will do this, if you will arm yourselves before the Lord for the war, and all of you armed men cross over the Jordan before the Lord until He has driven His enemies out from before Him…then you shall return and be free of obligation. But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:20-23)
Moses died before the people crossed into the land of promise. But the people remembered the promise they had made to their leader and to God. They may be able to fool the next leader, but they knew they could not hide from God.
A little girl accidentally broke her brother’s toy boat. In revenge, he took her bean-bag doll but denied ever seeing it. The girl and her mother searched everywhere to no avail. A week passed. One day, mother saw a strange doll-shaped patch in the garden. The rain and sun had caused the beans in the doll to sprout.
The boy’s sin was thus found out.
Your wrong thoughts may be hidden from people. You may be able to fool them, but as
Moses reminded the Israelites “?be sure your sin will find you out.”
My colleague’s effort to conceal the chicken claws was discovered. The boy who thought he had his revenge was found out.
What wrong thoughts or deeds have you kept hidden from God? Confess them to Him. He has promised to forgive you. Read and meditate on 1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” — 1 John 1:9
Thought For The Week (TFTW) is contributed by Dr Koh Siang Kiang, Associate Professor (Christian Education) at the Singapore Bible College (SBC). She graduated from SBC and Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), USA, and has served in various ministries for more than 35 years, including teaching at DTS. Dr Koh has been with SBC for the last 10 years, and has a passion for people and teaching the Word of God. She also loves to make the Bible come alive by leading tours to the Holy Land, and has led 12 such trips. To help her relax, Dr Koh likes to cook and cross-stitch.