When God Repents.
Repentance means to literally turn, the activity of reviewing one’s actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs. Isn’t it amazing God repented many times in scripture for his words and actions? Repentance is necessary for salvation.
Many times in New Testament scriptures we see repentance and salvation going hand and hand (Matthew 3:2) (Acts 2:38). Even Jesus preached repentance (Matthew 4:17). God is our perfect example as it relates to repentance.
The LORD repented that he made man and sought to destroy man and beast from the earth (Genesis 6:6-7) but Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. Because of Noah’s faithfulness, God decided to give man and beast another chance.
In the book of Exodus, the LORD was upset with the children of Israel because in Moses’s absence they had made idols to worship. God told Moses to leave the mountain where he was revealing things to Moses and to go quickly to correct the children of Israel. Before Moses could get his sandals on fast enough, God was so angry he was telling Moses “now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation!”
God was so angry he proposed consuming the entire nation of Israel and starting a new with Moses and his wife. However, Moses begged God not to destroy the children of Israel (Exodus 32:11-13). Moses begged God so much so, God repented of his thoughts and actions towards Israel (Exodus 32:14). That’s powerful stuff. It means we have the ability to convince God not to destroy us.
Yes, God will punish us but through prayer and fasting we can change God’s mind. I find the repentant mind of God to be spiritually groundbreaking. It means although God may decree a thing, we have the ability to ask for mercy thus altering God’s wrath. It’s important to note repentance is only granted to humans.
Angels do not or cannot receive repentance. The reason being is angels are fully spirit and have seen the full glory of God. When they become followers of Satan there is no repentance for them. Once a fallen angel leaves its first estate (Jude 1:6) that’s it.
Humans are granted repentance because we’ve never seen or experienced God’s full glory. We’ve never seen God’s face, thus because we see now through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: we know in part, but as prophecy is fulfilled we shall fully know, for too much prophecy could make us fearful of the future.
Repentance is granted to humans because we walk with God by faith although we haven’t seen God in the physical. This is why angels desire to look into the mystery of salvation and repentance (1 Peter 1:12).
Repentance is also contrition which means to feel remorseful and penitent. Because of King David’s contrition, God forgave him of many shortcomings and transgressions. King David was so close to God because he understood the power of repentance. He knew how to touch God’s heart and mind. King David said “the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise!”
When we have a repentant mind we are indeed in tune with God’s mind. Repentance leads to mercy and mercy leads to forgiveness. Jesus, John the Baptist, and all of the Apostles taught the importance of repentance, why? Because repentance is the gateway and spiritual portal to God.
Repentance is the soil for seeds of salvation, healing and the fruits of the spirit too grow. The repentant mind of God gives us hope no matter how bad a situation may look, feel, or seem.
“…Once again, we see God’s great redemptive work as a response to repentance” ⤵
God did not destroy Nineveh because the people hearkened to the voice of Jonah and repented (Jonah 3:10).
God repented to the prophet Samuel for allowing Saul to be king over Israel (1 Samuel 15:11). Although it’s very unfortunate to read of God repenting of his leadership picks, it’s also refreshing to see God isn’t afraid to admit when he’s wrong and when he makes mistakes.
Yes! I said God isn’t afraid to admit when he’s wrong or when he makes mistakes. I think that’s the beauty of the repentant mind of God!
For too long pastors, ministers and theologians have taught of a God that doesn’t have feelings or emotions. A God that is perfect and doesn’t make mistakes or regretful decisions. A God that doesn’t lose his cool at times.
That type of God is no where in Old or New Testament scriptures. No! God does not have schizophrenia. No! God does not suffer from multiple personality disorder. God is as confident as he is repentant.
The mystery lies in freewill, of which God doesn’t control, manipulate, or dictate. God is simple in the sense that if we draw nigh to him he will draw nigh to us. No force or control…all voluntary. Repentance then makes us excited about our future. It makes God listen to our supplication.
In the 15th chapter of Luke, Jesus mentions repentance in verse 7 and 10. In verse 7 of chapter 15, Jesus said “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance”.
When one person on earth repents of their transgressions there’s joy in heaven. Why? Because another person has connected to the mind of God – God must first be reached through and by repentance.
If the almighty God (Jehovah, Elohim, Yahweh) has no problems repenting, so shouldn’t we.
The Apostle Paul talked about doing works meet for repentance (Acts 26:20). Repentance is an action. It’s a literal turning away or changing one’s mind. That type of action takes courage and humility. Repentance has saved nations and kingdoms from destruction.
Ask yourself…has God ever repented to you? Has God ever told you he’s sorry for things that happened to you that wasn’t supposed to happen? Chances are God has repented to you but you weren’t aware of it. I’m convinced God has repented to all of us which is why we must repent to him. When we repent to God – God also repents to us because our spirit is open to receive his tears and sorrow for our earthly pain.
Just like a good parent, God can be hard on us at times. The Bible says God chastens whom he loves, but there are times God repents to us for things that happened in our lives that he didn’t plan or allow.
Freewill comes with consequences of which leads us to celebration or repentance. Understand God isn’t some strict parent looking to punish us every time we fall short, for the Bible clearly states we are saved by grace; however, God loves when we like King David are responsible enough to admit our wrongs.
None of us are perfect in this body of imperfection, but repentance keeps us on a road of pursuing God’s mind of mercy. The reality remains if you are a parent, God knows you weren’t perfect. If you are a son or daughter, God knows you weren’t perfect. But being able to repent to your children or parents…tell them you’re sorry can possibly heal years of hurt.
Through repentance we cleanse our mind, heart and soul of everything we’ve done or was done to us. Repentance means, no, we are not perfect, but we are righteous. Anyone who refuses to repent will never know the redemptive power of God, for even God has and continues to repent to us!
Just as God repented in scripture, he still repents today…and no, he isn’t the son of man that he should have to repent, but as the God of man he does repent
Dr. Jim Allen