Sunday, February 03, 2013

King Saul and Repentance

King Saul started out knowing God's will and following it. Later in life he turned to and continuously sought his own good, even when it was in contradiction to the will of God. He did not completely destroy the Amalekites as he was told to, instead he allowed some of the people to take plunder for their own benefit, though he said it was for sacrifice. Then he sought to kill David - who was to be his successor - though David proved over and over again that he was faithful to Saul's leadership and would be till he died. He continued to ignore God's law. He slaughtered a whole city of priests in his pursuit of David, and even threw a spear at his oldest son, Jonathan, because of his friendship with David. Finally God ceased to speak to him at all. In I Samuel 28, the Philistines gathered their forces to come against Israel. After seeing the army of the Philistines, Saul decided to seek God, presumably because he was afraid they were too much for him. But God did not send any message, not by a dream, or by prophets. Even the Urim, a device used by the priests, was silent. Then Saul went to a medium, a person who talks with dead people. This practice is expressly forbidden in the law of God. That worked, sort of. However, Saul never showed any real repentance for any of his sins and he died in that battle, along with all of his sons.

There is a lesson here for us. When a person continuously ignores God and disobeys Him, eventually He will just let that person go. The person's conscience will stop telling him he is doing wrong. He may turn to seek God, but it will get harder and harder to be repentant. Scripture says “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” (Heb. 4:7)

Today may be your last chance to repent. Maybe you think you have time to repent, but you and I do not know when life will end, perhaps your life will end tonight.  Or maybe you think your sins are too much for you to repent of; Jesus promises to forgive all your sins. Maybe you have an addiction to drugs or pornography or some other sin, and you don't know how you can be free of it; turn to Jesus, He is the only one who can make you "free indeed."

In the book to the Romans Paul asks, "Do you presume on riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?" (Romans 2:4) Later he says, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)

If you are a Christian, the Bible says that you are "a new creation." (II Cor. 5:17) Is there something different about you? Part of being a Christian is following Jesus continually repentant from the sin that still remains. If you are a Christian, pray to know God better through His Word, then read it regularly. Regularly get together with other Christians to think about His Word and worship Him together.

If you have questions or would like help finding a good church in your area feel free to post them.