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Regret, Repent or Relent

Author: Lori Carter

bibleI am reading the Daily bible, In Chronological Order, 365 Daily Readings. This one was put together and published by Harvest House Publishers with commentaries by F. LaGard Smith. It is the New International Version. It is very interesting, and I am 4 days ahead in the readings. Sometimes I don’t want to put it down.

Every time that I have delved into the readings of the scriptures, I find something new, something I must have skimmed over the first couple of times, or it just didn’t sink into this thick skull of mine. As I am reading about Moses receiving the Ten Commandments for the second time, I notice that there is a slight difference in some of the words in the New International Version. For instance in Exodus 32:14, during a conversation with Moses it says : And the Lord repented of the evil he thought to do unto his people”, but the New International Version uses the word “relented” instead of “repented.”

I decided to look a little further and found several other instances where God repented. 2 Samuel 24:16 says “And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing place of Araunah the Jebusite” and Jonah 3:10 states “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.”

Some would have you believe that meaning is not that god “repented” of anything he did wrong, but that he changed his mind or was moved to pity and withdrew the punishment he was planning to inflict on his people. Repented is defined as “showing remorse, feeling sorry, contrite or reproachful about ones thoughts and actions.” Relented is defined as “to become more lenient, compassionate, or forgiving”.

Whether the true meanings in these scriptures are “repented” or “relented”, it still serves to show us that God is not unfeeling, cruel or cold in his feelings. We were made in his image, and I believe that image spoken of is the spiritual, mental make-up and not so much our physical nature. God became angry, sorrowful, merciful, loving, and instructional and often times, even friendly all throughout the bible.

He sent his son down to experience everything the human race was going through and to be the final sacrificial lamb for our sins. Jesus experienced anger, love, and sorrow. He was the victim of untruths, hatred, physical and mental abuse, and finally payed the price by dying in a horrific style. He was victim to all the evil and sinful natures of man.

We are like God in more ways. We feel anger, love and sorrow. We are often the victims of cruelty, physical and mental, untruths, and immorality and we often regret, relent and repent just as God did in the past and most assuredly does in the present.

Jesus was sent as an intercessor for our prayers, for our forgiveness, because we were so like the father that he wanted us to learn to live under different rules than what he showed us of himself, early on in our existence.

We were made in his likeness and we are closer to being like God in our actions and words than most people want to admit. We are given a chance to mend our ways and if we don’t take advantage of it, then woe unto those who do not repent, relent or regret.

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