“Repent at my rebuke!
Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
I will make known to you my teachings.”
I find this verse to be very interesting. It’s interesting to me because it has a very specific order, and it’s not the order that comes logically to my mind. The verse says to repent first, and then, later, God will make known his thoughts and teachings on the matter. It’s counterintuitive to me that the verse is presented in this order. In my mind, it should be the opposite. It seems like I would repent after I had understood the teachings and thoughts behind why my sin was in fact a sin.
The writer of this proverb sees it differently, and for good reason. After reflecting on this verse, it’s clear to me that often we can’t wait to fully understand every sin and temptation before we reject it. Instead, even if i don’t know why, if I’m told by God’s word not to do something, I must repent immediately. I must do so out of faith and trust that God’s will is perfect, his plan for me is good, and his commandments will never lead me astray.
None of this should come across to mean that we shouldn’t seek to understand the reasons that God has commanded us in certain ways. It is actually helpful to do so. However, this isn’t the first priority. The first priority is to submit to the will of God, repent of the sin that he has commanded against, and trust that He is right. Then, after repentance and forgiveness, there is time and clarity with which to discern some of the nuts and bolts of the situation a little more in depth.
Sometimes it’s not about understanding every little detail, but about trusting God. He will make all things known in due time, but until then, we must trust that he knows what is good, that he wants good things for us, and that we should follow without question.
Think of it this way. If you were blindfolded and driving a car down the highway and the person sitting in the passenger’s seat, not blindfolded, told you to hit the brakes, would you ask why, or would you just do it? You would hit the brakes first and ask questions later. We should approach sin the same way. Heed the rebuke, repent, and then learn.
Help me to trust you enough to listen without always having to ask “why” first. Help me to reject the sin in my life, even if I don’t understand it, and then seek understanding. Don’t let me stay content in my sin as I attempt to discern it, but rather to learn from my sin in hindsight after heeding your rebuke.
In Jesus Name,