Judges 1-3, Psalm 70
Every day in my offices I see between 25-35 patients. Many are there for a routine check-up, but many are there for problems. Many have problems which are random and can occur to anyone. Others have problems due to choices. The same is true for us. I have so many women who upon finding out they are pregnant out of wedlock, cry in shock as to how this could happen. But they were having sex outside of marriage, often without any means of preventing pregnancy. When I diagnose a sexually transmitted disease, again the response is again shock. But many are either promiscuous or in a relationship outside marriage. Recently I saw a patient who was outraged that her last boyfriend gave her Herpes, and must have deceived her in not letting her know. During the visit she revealed that she was in a new relationship and wanted advice on how she could hide the fact that she had Herpes to this man. We read in Galatians 6:7, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." Many who find themselves in these unfortunate circumstances weep and express regret. But it has been said, "Remorse is sorrow over being caught and the pain of consequences that follow. Repentance is not being concerned for ourselves but having a contrite heart."
When the men of Judah and Simeon defeated the Canaanites at Bezek, we read in Judges 1:6-7, "Then Adoni-Bezek fled, and they pursued him and caught him and cut off his thumbs and big toes. And Adoni-Bezek said, "Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off used to gather scraps under my table; as I have done, so God has repaid me." This godless king realized that he was reaping what he sowed. We read in Numbers 32:23, "But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out." We also read in Luke 6:38, "...For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you." When the Angel of the Lord confronted the children of Israel after they chose not to obey by destroying the people and the altars used for the false gods in Judges 2:3-4, we read, "Therefore I also said, "I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you." So it was, when the Angel of the Lord spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept." We must realize that an emotional response is not the same thing as repentance. Weeping is of no value unless we change. We read in Judges 2:19, after God provided judges for the people when they cried out to Him, "And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way."
We must realize that an emotional response does not equal repentance. Saying, "I'm sorry", does not equal repentance. Even confession does not equal repentance. Repentance means to change your mind or to turn your ways around. It means when you see your ways as opposed to God's ways, you realize that God's way is right and your way is wrong. We continue to stumble, but the difference is we are not standing in our own confidence and self-righteousness. Jesus said in Matthew 10:26, "Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known." If you want to see a perfect example of someone who sinned and believed it was covered up adequately, only to be confronted by a messenger of God, read the sin of David in 2 Samuel 11-12 when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband, Uriah murdered. The prophet Nathan then confronted him. If you want to see a beautiful picture of repentance read Psalm 51, which David wrote in response to this event in his life. We read in Psalm 51:3,4,17, "For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight-...The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-These, O God, You will not despise." We can only repent if we know God and what is revealed in His Word. Otherwise we allow society to dictate what is right and wrong. Sadly, many in our society are being denied this due to the normalization of a whole host of sins from any and every form of sexuality outside what God has prescribed, drug use, drunkenness, etc. May we stay focused on His Word, and diligently invite others to do the same, so that when it comes to sin it is not your opinion against their opinion, but their opinion against God's unchanging Word.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: