Introduction: A possible benefit of knowing history is that we can learn from the mistakes of others. In our text, we should learn from the punishment and repentance of the people. This discussion centers around how, “We should repent before the punishment gets too bad.”
1. God still punishes sin. Notice in II Peter 3:9 that God is longsuffering. But in Hebrews 12:6 shows how God will punish sin (e.g., I Cor. 11:29-32; 3:12-15). God can send pain and withhold blessings (see Hag. 1:9). Let’s obey God, so we can avoid His punishment.
2. God punishes those He love. Notice that Hebrews 12:6 teaches that God’s punishment comes from His love for us. Some parents were known for saying, “this is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you.” They reasoned that punishing a 5 year old was better than visiting a 25 year old in jail or visiting their early grave site.
In like manner, God punishes us now, so we can be better later. We should remember that we are still God’s children and He is working things out for our good (see Rom. 8:28). Let’s make sure that we don’t become hopeless, in our times of being punished.
3. God wants us to repent. Notice that II Chronicles 7:14 teaches that God is waiting for His people to repent. God may be like the father in Luke 15:20-24 who threw a party for his son, after his son came to himself.
It is great to know that after all of the evil and low-down things that we have done that God still loves us and wants us to turn back to Him. When others have given up on us, God still loves us with open arms. Let’s repent like we believe that God still loves and wants us.
4. How long will we take to repent? Notice in Judges 3:8 and 14 that the Israelites suffered 8 years and 18 years, before they repented and cried out to the Lord about their pain and commitment to obey.
Many of us are already crying out for pain relief – high bills, low revenue, aches and pains as well as betrayal and disappointment.
But how long will we take to turn from our wicked ways? How long will it take for us to stop robbing God of His tithes and offerings; to stop withholding our praise and worship; to stop being stingy with our inviting, bringing, and serving; and to support our church’s values? How long will it take for us to give our best to our personal stewardship, so we can experience the abundant life that God intends for us (see Jn. 10:10)? Let’s repent of our sins, now.
5. We are impacting so many others. Notice how Matthew 5:13-16 support the idea of our making a positive impact in the lives of others. If we give God our best in service then so many people could be blessed.
We could support mentoring of young people, providing friendships for men and women, and helping our church be known for helping people. But when we continue in an unrepentant state, we become a part of so many young people falling through cracks, so many young men and women rotting in prisons, and so much negativity in our communities.
Ezekiel 33:6 and James 4:17 urge us to do God’s will, now, so we will not be responsible for the bad that follows. Let’s work on doing our part, now.
Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.