Sunday February 5 2022

LOTS OF “R” WORDS

Part One                                                                                            Sunday February 5 2022

Remorse, repentance, redemption, restoration, relationship and restitution, to name a few.

There is an account given in Scripture – outlining the difference between remorse and repentance.

The account of King Saul

1 Samuel 15.

  • Saul was commanded to destroy the Amalekites along with their leader king Agag.
  • Saul was also commanded not to take anything from this people.
  • And, he was to await the arrival of the prophet Samuel who would then oversee the priestly work of sacrifice and thanksgiving.

Saul’s sins

  • He did not utterly destroy the Amalekites and he even spared the life of king Agag. (From the loins of Agag would come Haman of Esther fame!)
  • We don’t see the big picture. But we don’t need to! All we need do is be obedient and do what the LORD says to us.
  • Also, Saul took for himself the choice cattle and sheep of the Amalekites.
  • Scripture describes Saul’s actions regarding the spoils from the Amalekites with the phrase, “he flew upon the spoil, or swooped greedily upon the spoils of the Amalekites.”
  • Saul exhibited a greed for their wealth, and wanted it for himself.
  • Then, growing inpatient because Samuel delayed his arrival for seven days, Saul oversaw the priestly duty of sacrifice and thanksgiving.

Upon Samuel’s arrival

  • Saul is quoted saying, “I have accomplished all that the LORD required!”
  • I love Samuel’s reply, “Then what is all this lowing of cattle and bleating of sheep I hear?” – a reference to Saul taking spoil from the Amalekites, contrary to GOD’s command to him.
  • Saul’s sin was exposed!
  • Was there an expression of repentance? – no.
  • Then, the excuses follow.
  • Saul was expressing remorse.
  • Remorse is a substitute for true repentance.
  • Our world wallows in remorse and not repentance!
  • I have grown quite weary of hearing those caught up in their sinful behaviour saying, “I take full responsibility for my actions.” Whoopee ding!
  • Of course you do – you were caught red-handed!
  • This is not repentance its remorse at getting caught!
  • Bill Graham was fond of saying, “Be sure your sin will find you out.”
  • I have a question for those who say such things today as “I take full responsibility for my actions,” Would you still be doing what you’re doing if you hadn’t been caught? Of course they would!
  • Remorse at being caught.
  • No repentance here on Saul’s part.
  • Now, there are consequences as there always is with sin.

The consequences of Saul’s non-repentant heart

Let’s skip ahead to 2 Samuel 21.

“Then, there was a famine in the days of David, three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, ‘It is for Saul, and his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.’”

  • This states very clearly that there are consequences of sin that may live beyond you!
  • “there was famine in the land due to sin!”
  • Is there a famine in an area of your life?
  • If there is, you can be sure it is rooted in unrepentant

David enquired of the LORD.

  • We have spoke often of “roots to fruits.”
  • If there is a “fruit” expressing itself in your life that you do not want, then there is a “root” cause for that unwanted fruit.
  • David does the right thing – as should we – he enquired of the LORD.
  • Something’s not right LORD; show me what is wrong.
  • And the LORD reveled the problem – unrepentant sin from king Saul!
  • Saul was dead by this time and yet his sin covered the land!
  • He had disobeyed GOD and killed many of the Gibeonites.
  • Verse two of the above chapter details what was wrong.
  • The Gibeonites were not of the families of Israel but a remnant of the Amorites and there was an understanding between them, Israel, and the LORD.
  • So David asks in verse three –

“What shall I do for you, and what atonement can I make, that you may bless the inheritance of the LORD?”

  • Atonement here means “to make reconciliation.” – one of our “R” words.
  • Here, we have an example of the connection between reconciliation and relationship.
  • More on this aspect later when we address the term

What did the Gibeonites require of David?

  • Money can’t settle this, we want none of Saul’s gold or silver.
  • You need to turn over to us seven of Saul’s children and grandchildren for public execution. The grandchildren were adults.
  • David agreed (sparing the son of Jonathan with whom David had an oath.)
  • And relationship was restored between David, the LORD and Gibeonites.

There was remorse expressed by Saul, which is a fleshy substitute for true repentance.

  • Remorse cannot prevent consequences for sin.
  • Sin must be repented.
  • And even when sin is repented there is still the possibility of consequences.
  • We will see this in David’s case.

Saul’s remorse verses David’s repentance

David’s sequence of sins is recorded in 2 Samuel 11.

I will summarize this for us.

  • David spies a beautiful woman bathing across the way.
  • He lusts for her and asks about her.
  • He has an affair with her and she informs David later that she is pregnant.
  • How often we have heard this story in our present day!
  • David enquires, and has her husband Uriah called home from the military.
  • He is attempting to cover us his sin by having the husband return to the “comforts of home.”
  • Uriah refuses to go to his wife while his men are suffering on the front lines.
  • David then attempts to get Uriah drunk in the hope he will give in and be with his wife, but that too fails.
  • Finally, he has his general assign Uriah to a most dangerous position on the front lines – he puts Uriah “in harm’s way.”
  • Uriah is killed; David brings Bathsheba into his home and marries her.

I have seen this played out in similar ways in the movies and the newspapers.

To me, the sequence of sins committed by David seem much worse than those of King Saul. Yet David is later called “a friend of GOD,” while Saul was condemned.

What’s up with that?

  • David expressed true repentance whereas Saul only superficial

Listen to David’s utter brokenness over his sin as recorded in Psalm 32 Psalm 51.

From Psalm 51. This was penned soon after the prophet Nathan spoke a parable to King David.

  • GOD revealed to the man-of-GOD all that David had done.
  • Nathan gave the following parable to David.
  • A man who had many sheep wanted to make a sacrifice.
  • But instead of using one of his own many sheep, he stole the only sheep a poor man had and use it to sacrifice.
  • King David, Nathan asked, what would you do to such a one?
  • And David pronounced a severe punishment on such a man.
  • Then Nathan stepped closer to the king and stuck his finger right into David’s face – “the finger of authority of GOD.” and said,
  • “You are that man!”
  • David’s knees lost their strength and he was crushed.
  • True repentance followed and is recorded for our benefit in Psalm 51.

“Have mercy upon me O GOD according to Thy loving-kindness: according unto the multitudes of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgression and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, and Thee only have I sinned and done this evil in Your sight . . . Behold You desire truth in the inward parts . . .Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean, wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, that my bones which are broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me . . .Restore unto me the joy of my salvation.”

Wow! This is true repentance!

  • He calls upon the mercy and loving-kindness of the LORD.
  • He asks that his transgressions be blotted out.
  • He asks to be washed, thoroughly.
  • He acknowledges his sin. He doesn’t give excuses except that he was born in iniquity.
  • He doesn’t give the lip service – I take full responsibility for my actions.
  • He asks to be purged and washed clean.
  • He asks to be able to hear joy and gladness again for his sin is ever before him.
  • As a dark shroud blocking out every bit of life’s goodness, and keeping him isolated in the total darkness of his sin.
  • Create in me a clean heart.
  • Renew in me a right spirit.
  • Restore to me the joy of my salvation.

David was totally consumed with the horror of his sin.

He wasn’t looking to excuses; he wasn’t mouth empty platitudes; he was cut to the very marrow of his bones.

Following his forgiveness by the LORD we read the account in Psalm 32

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man whom the LORD does not impute inequity, in whose spirit is no guile. When I keep silent [regarding my sin] my bones wax old through my roaring all the day long . . .I acknowledge my sin and my iniquity I have not hid . . Thou art my hiding place.”

  • David tells us that his transgression (singular) is forgiven.
  • He tells us that his sin is covered.
  • That the LORD no longer holds his sin against him.
  • He says, that if he keeps silent regarding his sin he feels it deep down into his bones!
  • If we try to hide our transgressions – try to keep them quiet – they will be shouted from the roof tops.
  • But if we confess them to the LORD He will place them hidden under the blood. For He is our hiding place as it says here.
  • Our sins when confessed and repented of, are hidden under the blood.

However true repentance does not guarantee the removal of consequences.

  • Even though David was forgiven of GOD there remained consequences for his sinful actions.
  • Some consequences of our forgiven sins may be interrupted with the placing of the cross of Christ between the sin and its consequences.
  • But this is not always the case.
  • When we forgive an individual for their sin against us, we often have made judgments against that person and this a sin on our part.
  • This sin of judgment carries consequences but these can be terminated before they reach a fuller manifestation in our lives.
  • We can pray, ‘LORD forgive me for my sin of judgment and deliver me from the consequences of my judgments.”
  • We have witnessed the reality of these prayers in many situations.
  • We ask that our sin be placed beneath the blood, after true repentance, and ask that we be delivered from the consequences of such judgments.
  • This is all part of the “law” of sowing and reaping.
  • However, like David, some iniquities cause consequences that play out.
  • The child born out of the fornication of David and Bathsheba was still born.
  • She was still pregnant.
  • David’s repentance for sinning with her did not miraculously stop her pregnancy.
  • And further more the child eventually died even though, forgiven David, sought the LORD earnestly on the child’s behalf.
  • Often we are ‘forced’ to live with the consequences of our sin.
  • But, we can still live victoriously, and still “do the right thing” in everything thereafter.
  • And GOD will turn these consequences into good, if we remain repentant and obedient.
  • The consequences of sins forgiven may play out but will never overwhelm us or throw a shroud over our relationship with God.

Next week we will consider two other “R-words” restitution and relationship.

Amen.

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