And the LORD said to Joshua, Get you up; why lie you thus on your face?…
Sin as a rule is committed under a false and pernicious impression, namely —
(1) That it will never be known, or
(2) if found out, in some way punishment will be avoided.If sinners did not deceive themselves on these points there would not be half the sin in the world there is.
I. THERE IS AND CAN BE NO SECRET THING IN GOD'S UNIVERSE. Every sin, though no human eye or ear takes cognisance of it, is seen as soon as conceived by the all-seeing eye. That sin a secret when high Heaven knows it all!
II. THERE IS IN SIN ITSELF THE ELEMENT OF EXPOSURE AND RETRIBUTION. Sin, like every other natural and moral force, works out certain results, physical, spiritual, and moral, and those results are not under man's control; they are the developments of law. The transgressor is impotent. He cannot stay the Almighty Hand, which, by means of the law of cause and effect, has its firm grip upon him. He is no longer master of himself, much less of his secret. And a thousand influences are working upon him and closing in upon him, all tending to disclosure and final retribution.
III. ALL THE LAWS OF GOD'S UNIVERSE ARE PUT IN REQUISITION TO EXPOSE SIN AND BRING IT IN DUE TIME TO PUNISHMENT.
1. His physical laws. They even cry out against sin, as in the case of the inebriate, the glutton, the adulterer, &c. The heavens and the earth conspire to track and fasten guilt upon the murderer.
2. His moral law. Under its flashes and thunder peals many a guilty soul has quaked and been driven to confession or suicide. Conscience, echoing God's law, makes cowards of sinners; makes life an insupportable burden, drives them from home and makes them wanderers on the earth, as Cain was.
3. His providential law. A thousand agencies and forces are set to work to expose and punish transgression as soon as it is committed. Earth, air and water, science, art, and human law, all furnish evidence to point out and convict the criminal and bring him to judgment.
(J. M. Sherwood, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?