Year 2 Day 238
Read - 1 Samuel 7:1-4
Message - Alan Burke
Repentance is one of those words that we hear, we know it, we kinda understand it or at least we pretend we do. It’s the first command that Jesus gives in the gospel of Mark to ‘repent’ (Mk 1:15). Literally, repentance means to turn from, to change ones mind set, to change our fundamental attitudes and outlooks on life. This is an about turn, a 180 degree change that is a total transformation in our orientation and it is seen, because repentance really does mean that you turn from your sin, shocking I know! When one repents, it is evident in their lives, in how they live, in how they renounce the sin that they once held, say that it’s no longer theirs, as they turn from it to God though His Son.
Today we see what repentance looks like in 1 Samuel 7. Twenty years have now passed form chapter 6, that’s a whole generation who have come and a generation who have gone, what we learn is that change happens slowly. After all these years the penny finally drops and Israel realises that they need to sort themselves out. Look what they are told, they mourned, before they sought after the Lord (v2). They are not just thinking to themselves “ahh, I made a mistake there” and simply getting on with their life like nothing had happened, or expressing a bit of disappointment that things didn’t work out the way that they wanted them to, like… “but sure there’s no point of dwelling over spilt milk”. Nor are the Israelites simply dealing with a bit of regret and disappoint that many of us have for our past actions. Nor is this the feeling of regret when you get caught doing something that you shouldn’t, because more often than not we are not sorry for what we have done, we are sorry that we got caught.
No this is something completely different, this mourning, this is deep sorrow. They are coming seeking the Lord, they are mourning, like that of when we mourn for the loss of a loved one, when we feel pain and grief, when we know the heartache of living in this fallen world. They are mourning, feeling the pain as a result of their sin, they have an awakened sense of that sin within them and they are seeking the Lord as a result. As they repent of their sin, of what they have done it is to be seen as they put the false gods away (v5).
I love that expression, they put away. It’s like boxing everything up and sticking it in the attic, for their idols were northing more than ornaments that were but wood and stone that could not speak. They had tried and failed to put the Lord God away, that’s what this world around us tries to do, so they don’t have to see him and be confronted with his Moral Law. Yet creation reveals that there is a God, since what may be known about God is plain for all, because since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen so that all are without excuse (Rom 1:19-20).
This worlds greatest need is to repent of their sin, it is each individuals greatest need. For Israel it meant that they turned from their idols, that they put them away. What we see here is true repentance, it is more than remorse or sorrow, it is turning from something, it is a radical 180 degree about turn. As we turn from our sin to the Lord, it must be more than sorrow for our actions, but it must be evident in our lives as we repent. As we do this the good news is that there is forgiveness for us through the atoning blood of Christ, forgiveness for all our sin, remembered and forgotten, it is the blood of Jesus (God’s) son that cleanses from all sin (1 Jn 1:7), we have redemption through his blood (Eph 1:7) alone. As Jesus calls us, one and all, Repent and Believe the gospel (Mk 1:15). Finally, repentance is on going, it doesn’t stop, are there things you need to repent of, put away, turn from, sin that you still hold on to!?
Q6 How many persons are there in the Godhead?
There are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. (1 John 5:7, Matt. 28:19)