Thursday, August 10, 2017
AUGUST 10 "THE LONGER YOU PERSIST IN REBELLION, THE DEEPER....."
"..for this matter cannot be settled in a day, for we have sinned greatly". I read that and thought, "aint that the truth". And the other revelation we can learn from these men is that the longer you persist in your disobedience and rebellion, the deeper the hole you dig and the longer it takes to dig your way out. This story is a tragic mess with no happy ending. There is going to be crying and broken hearts. These men are going to be sending away their pagan wives along with their children. I will give them credit though, often, Christians want to say "I'm sorry" but they don't want to make any changes or undue anything they've done, they just want to exercise that greasy Grace, not change a thing, take that wonderful forgiveness and move on. However these men, realize it's one thing to ask forgiveness, but if we don't act or do anything, is it really genuine? When folks were coming to John the Baptist for forgiveness, John actually sent them away. He said, "first go forth and show fruits of repentance, then come back and be baptized." Everybody wants to be forgiven and right with God, very few want to make the changes necessary to accommodate that. The man who divorces his faithful wife of his youth (which God says he hates in Malachi) and marries the young, blond, bimbo; then he begins to think about his eternal abode, with such a crude and heartless act, and goes to church, and cries "Lord, I'm so sorry" but then walks away and keeps the young blood bimbo, he doesn't divorce her, send her off and return to his faithful wife and 3 children. He begs forgiveness but keeps everything he wanted, how nice is that! That would be like robbing a bank, writing a letter to the bank indicating that you are truly repentant and sorry for what you did, but never returning the money. In our text, today, not only do they say, "I'm sorry" but they also add to that, "to show fruits of repentance, to show that we are truly sorry and we know what we have done wrong, we are going to send these wives and their children away. It costs them, it hurts them and that's good! When forgiveness comes at a price, we are more likely to think twice, next time we are going to disobey and do our own thing. I'm not talking about doing penance, I know ultimately, Jesus paid the price for our forgiveness, but I am talking about showing forth, "fruits of repentance" rather than just crying out, "oh Lord, I"m sorry, forgive me, but please let me keep the money I stole from the Bank".