07 November 2008

Fake Repentance – 11.7.08

Exodus 10:17 Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the LORD your God, that he may take away from me this death only.

Add Pharaoh to your list of people in the Bible who "repented," not because they were sorry they had done wrong but because they got caught and had to face the consequences of their evil deeds.

Think Cain, Genesis 4:13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

And Esau, Genesis 27:34, 38 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father…And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.

In Hebrews 12:17 the Bible says Esau would have inherited the blessing, but he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. Now don't misread this verse. Esau didn't unsuccessfully seek for repentance. He sought for the blessing but did not receive it because he found no place of repentance. He wasn't sorry for his fornication or profanity (v. 16), he was put out only because he didn't get the blessing.

My mind also turns to Saul, who was rebuked by Samuel for failing to follow God's instructions in the matter of the Amalekites. 1 Samuel 15:30 Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God. God saw straight through to this man's sorry (as in lousy, not repentant) heart and rent the kingdom of Israel from him and gave it to a better man.

What about Simon the Sorcerer. He was converted during that great revival in Samaria in Acts 8 (good thing the Lord didn't grant the request of Boanerges in Luke 9:51-54), but he was rebuked by Peter for offering the apostles money for the power to impart the Holy Ghost as they had done. And it's quite a rebuke (vv. 20-23). Simon's response: Acts 8:24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.

Here's the question. Can we add your name to this list? How do you respond when confronted with your sin – by the preacher, by a parent, by a friend, by the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit, by the clear and simple truth of the word of God? What kind of sorrow works in your heart when somehow you get caught in wrong doing? Have you ever been glad you were found out so you could get the thing right and move on?

What made David a great man and a man after God's own heart was not the fact that he never messed up. It was the fact that when he did, he would genuinely repent and continue to seek after God.

The Bible says that even a just man falls seven times. But he repents, and he rises up again.

2 Corinthians 7:9-11
Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge!

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