Saturday, March 27, 2010

Biblical Examples of Repentance

For those of us hungry for God’s mighty hand to move among us, greater levels of humility, brokenness over our sin, and sincere repentance are absolutely necessary. God freely forgives confessed sin (Proverbs 28:13) because the sacrifice of Jesus provides an infinite capacity to forgive that is greater than any sin we can commit. An example of a truly penitent person is found in the Prodigal Son (Luke 15). Our Father assures us of his forgiveness, and His love anticipates our return and even goes out to seek us (Luke 15:4, 20; 19:10).
David is one of the best examples of repentance in the Bible (2 Samuel 24:10; Psalm 32:5; 38:18; 51), and he was called a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). He set the standard for what God wants in a repentant heart (Psalm 69:5, 13, 16) and in our response to forgiveness (Psalm 32:1-7).
In Psalm 32:1-7, the forgiven David said (in paraphrase): “I am a blessed man. I confessed everything, and You forgave all my sins and covered them in Your mercy. You have given me a clean slate. You do not charge me with iniquity. You are holding nothing against me. It feels good to be free from the guilt and weight of sin. I was overwhelmed with sorrow before I received Your mercy. You are my hiding place. You preserve me from trouble and sing me songs of deliverance. Let me stop a moment and meditate on that.”
In Psalm 32:8-11, God responds to David that the broken fellowship with Him is restored. “I will instruct you and teach you the way. I will counsel and watch over you. Don’t be stubborn like a mule, because that gets you in trouble with the wicked. My unfailing covenantal love surrounds you. Rejoice and be glad in Me.”

Other Biblical examples of how to repent

  • Israel –Numbers 21:7; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Ezra 10:12; Jeremiah 3:21; Hosea 6:1
  • Josiah – 2 Kings 22:19
  • Job – Job 42:5-6
  • Ezra – Ezra 9:4, 6
  • Nehemiah – Nehemiah 1:6-7
  • Isaiah – Isaiah 6:5; 64:6-7
  • Jeremiah – Jeremiah 14:7, 20
  • Daniel – Daniel 9:5, 16
  • Nineveh – Jonah 3:6, 8
  • Tax collector – Luke 18:13
  • Peter – Luke 5:8; 22:61-62
  • Paul – Acts 26:18, 20
  • The Corinthians – 2 Corinthians 7:9-10
  • The Thessalonians – 1 Thessalonians 1:9