Forgiveness is there, because that’s just who God is. Jesus says in Luke 17:4 if you’re brother sins against you seven times in a day and seven times comes to you and says, “I repent” you must forgive him. That’s just who God is, He is merciful and he desires for nobody to perish (2 Peter 3:9). But repentance has to come quick, Esau missed his chance of repentance, (Hebrews 12:17).
God’s kindness leads to repentance (Romans 2:4) and He is the one who grants repentance, (2 Timothy 2:25).
Repentance isn’t feeling guilty or sad, a worldly repentance is sadness and brings about death. God leads us to repentance which is not depression or regret. (2 Corinthians 7:10) Regret is self-focused, “I wish I hadn’t done that, I feel so stupid”… Repentance is God seeking, “I can’t believe I did that despite the love you’ve shown me. I will never go back for the sake of your love.”
Seeing God leads to repentance, Isaiah 6 where he says, “Doom! Doomsday!” or Job 42:5-6 where Job says, I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye has seen you. Ttherefore I despise myself, and I repent in dust and ashes!
Psalm 4:2-5 You men, how long will you try to turn my honor into shame? How long will you love what is worthless and search for what is deceptive? Realize that the LORD shows the godly special favor; the LORD responds when I cry out to him. Tremble with fear and do not sin! Meditate as you lie in bed, and repent of your ways! Offer the prescribed sacrifices and trust in the LORD!
Isaiah 30:18 says the LORD is ready to show you mercy; he sits on his throne, ready to have compassion on you. Indeed, the LORD is a just God; all who wait for him in faith will be blessed
Matthew 3:8 and Luke 3:8 both say we should produce fruit that proves our repentance. The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self control. (Galatians 5:22)
1 Kings 8:47-54
When your people come to their senses in the land where they are held prisoner, they will repent and beg for your mercy in the land of their imprisonment, admitting, ‘We have sinned and gone astray; we have done evil.’
When they return to you with all their heart and being in the land where they are held prisoner, and direct their prayers to you toward the land you gave to their ancestors, your chosen city, and the temple I built for your honor, then listen from your heavenly dwelling place to their prayers for help and vindicate them.
Forgive all the rebellious acts of your sinful people and cause their captors to have mercy on them.
After all, they are your people and your special possession that you brought out of Egypt, from the middle of the iron-smelting furnace.
“May you be attentive to your servant’s and your people Israel’s requests for help and may you respond to all their prayers to you.
After all, you picked them out of all the nations of the earth to be your special possession, just as you, O sovereign LORD, announced through your servant Moses when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt.”
When Solomon finished presenting all these prayers and requests to the LORD, he got up from before the altar of the LORD where he had kneeled and spread out his hands toward the sky.
2 Kings 23 is another story of repentance, the Old Testament Kings are some of the best repent-ers out there.
Here’s a group of people who had everything, and it got to their heads. Here’s a group of people who had the worlds expectations on their shoulders and some of them crumbled under pressure. Here’s a group of people who had a rich legacy, and they couldn’t keep it up. Here’s a group of people who had the biggest of father wounds and they had to live with consequences of choices they had no control over.
Here’s King Josiah,
First, he reads aloud the word of God
Second, he makes a covenant in front of accountability partners, not alone in a dark room, he does this in public
Third, he did some radical amputation and destroyed all the idols and pagan priests
Fourth, he reintroduced Passover, looking back at what the Lord had done, honoring the Passover lamb i.e. looking to Jesus for salvation
Fifth, 2 Kings 23:25 - No king before or after repented before the LORD as he did, with his whole heart, soul, and being in accordance with the whole law of Moses.
A Prayer of Repentance – Psalm 51
(Written when Nathan the prophet confronted him after David’s affair with Bathsheba)
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your loyal love! Because of your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts! Wash away my wrongdoing! Cleanse me of my sin! For I am aware of my rebellious acts; I am forever conscious of my sin.
Against you – you above all – I have sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. So you are just when you confront me; you are right when you condemn me.
Look, I was guilty of sin from birth, a sinner the moment my mother conceived me. Look, you desire integrity in the inner man; you want me to possess wisdom. Sprinkle me with water and I will be pure; wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
Grant me the ultimate joy of being forgiven! May the bones you crushed rejoice! Hide your face from my sins! Wipe away all my guilt! Create for me a pure heart, O God! Renew a resolute spirit within me! Do not reject me! Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me! Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance! Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey! Then I will teach rebels your merciful ways, and sinners will turn to you. Rescue me from the guilt of murder, O God, the God who delivers me! Then my tongue will shout for joy because of your deliverance.
O Lord, give me the words! Then my mouth will praise you. Certainly you do not want a sacrifice, or else I would offer it; you do not desire a burnt sacrifice. The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit – O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject. Because you favor Zion, do what is good for her! Fortify the walls of Jerusalem!
Then you will accept the proper sacrifices, burnt sacrifices and whole offerings; then bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.
The LORD says, “A sound is heard in Ramah, a sound of crying in bitter grief. It is the sound of Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are gone.” The LORD says to her, “Stop crying! Do not shed any more tears! For your heartfelt repentance will be rewarded. Your children will return from the land of the enemy. I, the LORD, affirm it!
Indeed, there is hope for your posterity. Your children will return to their own territory. I, the LORD, affirm it! I have indeed heard the people of Israel say mournfully, ‘We were like a calf untrained to the yoke. You disciplined us and we learned from it. Let us come back to you and we will do so, for you are the LORD our God. For after we turned away from you we repented. After we came to our senses we beat our breasts in sorrow. We are ashamed and humiliated because of the disgraceful things we did previously.’
Indeed, the people of Israel are my dear children. They are the children I take delight in. For even though I must often rebuke them, I still remember them with fondness. So I am deeply moved with pity for them and will surely have compassion on them. I, the LORD, affirm it!
I will say, ‘My dear children of Israel, keep in mind the road you took when you were carried off. Mark off in your minds the landmarks. Make a mental note of telltale signs marking the way back. Return, my dear children of Israel. Return to these cities of yours.
How long will you vacillate, you who were once like an unfaithful daughter? For I, the LORD, promise to bring about something new on the earth, something as unique as a woman protecting a man!’”
Hosea 14:2, 4 Return to the LORD and repent! Say to him: “Completely forgive our iniquity; accept our penitential prayer, that we may offer the praise of our lips as sacrificial bulls…..“I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger will turn away from them.