2 KINGS 13:1-13
Like the many kings before him, Jehoahaz did things that were “evil in the eyes of the Lord”. He committed sins that affected the Israelite people and made the Lord burn with anger. But one thing Jehoahaz did different was he repented. He came before the Lord, with all of his guilt and shame, and asked for His favor. For a King to admit that he was wrong is a big deal-- Jehoahaz could have continued to live his self-righteous, prideful life, but he knew that things went to ruin when he chose sin over God. What’s even crazier is that “the Lord listened”. The Lord was quick to forgive Jehoahaz and quick to save the Israelite people.
Notes on the Text
A lot of times, we think God is eager to punish us. We imagine God spitefully waiting for us to admit defeat just so He can say “I told you so!” and hit us with a stick or something. But this passage tells us otherwise. God is not eager to punish-- He is always willing to relent. All it took was Jehoahaz to repent, not so that God could prove himself right, but so God could move through Jehoahaz. Repentance draws us nearer to God, because admitting our wrongs gives the Lord room to move through our lives. He’s a gentle God, and for Him to move in us before we repent would be invasive of Him. Isn’t that so beautiful? Doesn’t a God like this deserve more than us?! That’s why we sing that song “Reckless Love” all the time, because His love makes absolutely no sense!
Maybe you’ve heard this message a thousand times before, but take this time to really think about how you view the Father. How do you feel when you repent to God? Do you feel like He’s going to punish you? Do you feel afraid of how He’ll respond? If you feel these things, then you have a wrong perception of God’s forgiveness, and it’s okay to admit that you do. Let me clarify one thing: God never responds to our mistakes like “You really messed up, so I’ll forgive you this one time, but don’t ever let it happen again!”. It says in 1 John 1:9 that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”. When we come to God in genuine repentance, He wipes us clean and we are born again by His Grace. Remember, God is a forgiving God who listens to you. Today, quiet your thoughts and let Him speak to you apart from what you think He’ll say. Let God speak for Himself and show you the true beauty of His forgiveness.