“But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again.”
God was very clear about His people being clean from sin. Israel is a picture of the believer, and God doesn’t want any uncleanness in the believer’s life. The verse above is a dialogue about what a person was to do if they touched something that was unclean when they were in battle. God said that a person who found themselves unclean was to “go abroad out of the camp…”
The part that should encourage the Christian about this whole dialogue is found in the verse above. God says, “But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again.” Though they were unclean, the evening was coming. Though uncleanness separated them from everyone they knew, the evening was coming. It didn’t matter how unclean they found themselves, if they washed in water they could enter the camp again in the evening.
Christian, you may have sinned, but evening is coming. You may have done something to bring reproach to the name of Christ, but evening is coming. You may not have intentionally gone down the road you travelled, but evening is coming. You may have gone further into sin than you have ever gone, but evening is coming. You may find yourself on the outside because of sin, but evening is coming. If you will get right and allow the LORD to cleanse you with His Word, you will find that evening will also come for you.
Let me first say that there is always hope with the LORD. It doesn’t matter how deep sin may have taken you; there is hope with the LORD. Don’t let the Devil deceive you into believing that you can’t do anything for the LORD because of sin, because evening is coming. Sin may have forfeited the right to do some things, but the LORD gives hope in the evening. Sin may have left you feeling hopeless, but when you look at the Scriptures you will find that the LORD gives hope to the one who is found unclean. My challenge to the person who has fallen in sin is to get right and let the LORD cleanse you in His Word, because evening is coming.
Second, you must allow the penalty to end for the person who has gone into sin. Yes, the person who found themselves unclean had to stay without the camp, but when evening came they could come back and fellowship with everyone as if nothing ever happened. Forgiveness must be one of the common tools of the believer. We are in a battle against Satan, and he will damage Christians with his fiery darts; however, we must be willing to forgive them and bring them back into the camp when they are clean. If God is willing to let them back into the camp, so should you.
Third, pray that those who are living outside of the camp will come to themselves and be cleansed by the LORD. Christian, don’t be judgmental or hateful towards the one who is living in sin. A hateful and judgmental spirit has never brought one person back to the LORD. The best way to bring a prodigal believer back into the camp is to keep doing what you have always done and treat them properly whenever you see them. A gracious and loving spirit will do more to influence the backslidden to come back than a spiteful and antagonistic spirit. Always remember that evening is coming for anyone who will let the LORD cleanse them from sin.