Most people in the world will say that they are sorry for the wrongs they
do, but then they do them again; but God requires true repentance.
True repentance is when our whole being is so attuned to God’s heavenly will, that we recognize our sinful ways immediately, with such remorse, that we do everything in our power to never do them again.
An example of this is recognizing the atrocities committed against animals raised for food, and truly repenting for ever having been a contributing factor by buying and eating animal products, and resolving in our heart and soul to never do it again.
This is the true repentance that causes a change in our lifestyle.
In Psalm 81:1-16, we see another example of how God requires true repentance.
1. Sing for joy to God our strength;
Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.
We hope we all remember that God changed the name of Jacob to Israel after
they wrestled and Jacob became faithful.
Jacob was a deceiver (or as his name means, one who grasps the heel) before then, and the fact that we see that we are to shout joyfully to the God of Jacob, gives us the understanding that God truly loves the sinners of this world and does everything in His power to help them repent and change into true children of God.
We are to spiritually wrestle with God, which is the meaning of the name Israel.
We can all change from sinner to saint, but we must be willing to do so; and when we are, God is there to help us in a very personal way.
2. Raise a song, strike the timbrel,
The sweet sounding lyre with the harp.
3. Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
At the full moon, on our feast day.
4. For it is a statute for Israel,
An ordinance of the God of Jacob.
This is true. However, in Isaiah 1:13-15, we are told that God doesn’t want this, even that He hates it.
13. "Bring your worthless offerings no longer,
Incense is an abomination to Me.
New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies-
I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.
14. "I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts,
They have become a burden to Me.
I am weary of bearing them.
15. "So when you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide My eyes from you,
Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen.
Your hands are covered with blood.
Why this stark difference?
Because the people that Isaiah is talking about lived at a time when the people of Israel had turned against the Lord their God, stiffened their necks, hardened their hearts and souls, and rejoiced in killing animals and shedding their blood, which is upon their hands, and they refused to change.
With this in mind, let’s go back to Psalm 81.
5. He established it for a testimony in Joseph,
When he went throughout the land of Egypt.
I heard a language that I did not know:
6. "I relieved his shoulder of the burden,
His hands were freed from the basket.
7. "You called in trouble, and I rescued you;
I answered you in the hiding place of thunder;
I proved you at the waters of Meribah.
All God wants is to help truly repentant sinners to change.
8. "Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you;
O Israel, if you would listen to Me!
9. "Let there be no strange god among you;
Nor shall you worship any foreign god.
I’ve heard people say, “I can’t live without meat.”
What they are really saying is that they have made flesh an idol before God.
True repentance has no room for anything before God.
10. "I, the LORD, am your God,
Who brought you up from the land of Egypt;
Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.
We are to remember who God is and what He has done, and return to Him wholeheartedly and unconditionally.
11. "But My people did not listen to My voice;
And Israel did not obey Me.
This is the same thing that Isaiah wrote about.
12. "So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart,
To walk in their own devices.
This is the state of the world today; the vast majority of people seem to be walking in their own evil devices and desires, but God requires true repentance.
13. "Oh that My people would listen to Me,
That Israel would walk in My ways!
And we strongly believe that God is saying the same things about the church
If we truly seek God’s righteousness, He will protect us from our enemies, mainly the devil and his minions, and those who follow them and cause so much violence, suffering, and bloodshed in the world around us.
14. "I would quickly subdue their enemies,
And turn My hand against their adversaries.
15. "Those who hate the LORD would pretend obedience to Him;
And their time of punishment would be forever.
This is also what Isaiah was referring to, but even then God was waiting for us to truly repent, for He sees the true intent of our heart and soul.
16. "But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat;
And with honey from the rock I would satisfy you."
And God will once again bring us back to a plant food diet, because even the
honey referred to here is really the sweet water that flowed from the rock
in the wilderness; for as we all know, honey doesn’t come from a rock.
Let’s now take a look at Jeremiah 2:4-13, and see the message of God that Jeremiah had for the sinful people of his day...
4. Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob,
and all the families of the house of Israel.
5. Thus says the LORD,
"What injustice did your fathers find in Me,
That they went far from Me
And walked after emptiness and became empty?
We see the same things today with even the churches following the cruel ways
of the world and promoting it with suppers of the roasted remains of
They are ignoring the heavenly will of God.
They seem not to understand that God requires love, compassion, and true repentance.
6. "And they did not say, 'Where is the LORD
Who brought us up out of the land of Egypt,
Who led us through the wilderness,
Through a land of deserts and of pits,
Through a land of drought and of deep darkness,
Through a land that no one crossed
And where no man dwelt?'
7. "And I brought you into the fruitful land,
To eat its fruit and its good things.
But you came and defiled My land,
And My inheritance you made an abomination.
Here again we see that God desires us to return to a plant food diet, but most people desire the foods of suffering and bloodshed.
8. "The priests did not say, 'Where is the LORD?'
And those who handle the law did not know Me;
The rulers also transgressed against Me,
And the prophets prophesied by Baal
And walked after things that did not profit.
Since these are some of the same people who compiled the Bible, this also seems to answer the question of why so much of the Bible is filled with the ways of the world with all its cruelty and violence, and far less about living as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God.
9. "Therefore I will yet contend with you," declares the LORD,
"And with your sons' sons I will contend.
10. "For cross to the coastlands of Kittim and see,
And send to Kedar and observe closely,
And see if there has been such a thing as this!
11. "Has a nation changed gods,
When they were not gods?
But My people have changed their glory
For that which does not profit.
12. "Be appalled, O heavens, at this,
And shudder, be very desolate," declares the LORD.
13. "For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns,
That can hold no water.
God requires true repentance, but the people didn’t want to change from
their evil ways for they loved them, and rejected God’s heavenly will, the
living waters that bring life.
We see the world today in a very similar way.
God requires true repentance, and He will help us all to change into the children of God He desires us to be.
We can live in God’s heavenly will.