Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Situational Repentance

Jeremiah 34:15-16
(15) You recently repented and did what was right in my eyes by proclaiming liberty, each to his neighbor, and you made a covenant before me in the house that is called by my name,
(16) but then you turned around and profaned my name when each of you took back his male and female slaves, whom you had set free according to their desire, and you brought them into subjection to be your slaves.

Jerusalem was under siege, so Jeremiah commanded the people to release all their Hebrew slaves from their commitment. Keep in mind that the Hebrew slaves were more like indentured servants. They sold themselves into service to pay for something. At the seventh year they had to be freed, per the Law.

The people obeyed at first. After all, they needed help in defending the city. But when the Babylonians stopped their siege the people changed their minds. They took the Hebrews back into slavery.

This reminds me of my promises "never to drink again" when I was hung over. How many of us have made foxhole prayers that we were sincere about at the time only to repent of our repentance later? I certainly did a lot of that when I was struggling with habitual sexual sin.

God doesn't want our wishy-washy prayers. He wants our hearts. He demands our hearts.

2 Corinthians 7:9-11
(9) As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.
(10) For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
(11) For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.

It all starts at the cross. Consider what your sin did to Christ. Consider how sin grieves our holy God. How can we give Him any less than our whole hearts?

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