GOD’S GOODNESS AND YOUR REPENTANCE
Romans 2:1-10 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. (2) But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. (3) And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? (4) Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (5) But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, (6) who “WILL RENDER TO EACH ONE ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS”: (7) eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; (8) but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, (9) tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; (10) but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Here, the scripture tells us that God’s goodness to us INSPITE of our practice and habits of disobedience to His Word is to lead us to repentance to higher levels of obedience.
If we do not repent, it is CERTAIN God’s judgments will come on us: Samson (Judges 13-16) infamously exemplifies this truth captured in
Proverbs 29:1 HE WHO, being often reproved, hardens his neck shall suddenly be destroyed–and that without remedy.
Conversely, if we repent, we will receive mercy that will triumph over judgment like Manasseh:
2Chronicles 33:10-16 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they would not hearken. (11) So the Lord brought against them the commanders of the host of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh with hooks and in fetters and brought him to Babylon. (12) When he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. (13) He prayed to Him, and God, entreated by him, heard his supplication and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God. (14) And he built an outer wall to the City of David west of Gihon in the valley, to the entrance of the Fish Gate, and ran it around Ophel, raising it to a very great height; and he put commanders of the army in all the fortified cities of Judah. (15) And he took away the foreign gods and the idol out of the house of the Lord and all the altars that he had built on the mount of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem; and he cast them out of the city. (16) And he restored the Lord’s altar and sacrificed on it offerings of peace and of thanksgiving; and he commanded Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
It is instructive to note that Manasseh’s sins (idolatry, murder: especially of his own children etc.) were more severe than Samson’s; however, Samson did not repent of his lasciviousness with strange women and died in captivity (even though God forgave him and helped him to avenge himself of the Philistines (Judg.16.28-31)), while Manasseh repented of all his sins especially idolatry and was released from captivity to effect reforms in Judah by the mercy of God that he received fulfilling
Proverbs 28:13 He who covers his transgressions will not prosper, but whoever confesses and FORSAKES HIS SINS his sins will obtain mercy. [Psa 32:3, Psa 32:5; 1Jn 1:8-10].
So, it is critical to BOTH CONFESS AND REPENT OF OUR SINS and follow this up with actions showing the sincerity of our repentance.
In our article next week, we will see how the goodness and mercy of God will enable us survive the perilous times we are living in.