Repent, Rescue, Repeat
Scripture: Judges 9:22-11:28
"Again the Israelites did evil in the LORD's sight." (Judges 10:6a NLT)
How sad that the Israelites have once again done evil in the sight of the Lord. Did you notice the repeated phrase in the LORD’s sight? This is a clear reminder that nothing is hidden from Him. Evil led to the Israelites’ misery—which the Lord saw—and it grieved Him. (v. 10:16)
The word misery is well worth our time to unpack. It is the Hebrew word `amal and means to toil, trouble, and labor. Toil is defined as hard and continuous work and exhausting labor or effort. Habitual sin, like that of the Israelites' idol worship, is exhausting. The continuous effort to stay involved in sin is toilsome; one sin leads to another that leads to another and leaves us in complete misery.
As we have seen the cycle of repent, rescue, and repeat among the Israelites, it’s easy to conclude they never truly repented of their sins. True repentance means a change of mind that leads to a change of action. Basically, we make a 180° turn and determine in our mind not to look back at our sin. The Israelites were sorry for their sin, but they never really had a change of mind that led to a change of action. When they suffered the ramifications of their sin, God’s chosen people just wanted a bail out from their troubles.
I want to be a 180° repenter, not a rescue-crying-sinner who calls on God to bail me out when the going gets tough. How about you? Let’s determine today to change our mind about our sin and escape the cycle of repent, rescue, and repeat so we never cause the Lord to grieve again.