The angel of the Lord was none other than the Lord himself.
It is God and God only that must God confront the guilty in mercy.
If God did not trouble the sinful, many would be lost. He troubled men like. Saul, David and Nebuchadnezzar.
When the Lord answered Saul no more, the end was nigh.
When the Saviour said to Judas, “What thou doest do quickly.” The end was nigh.
God’s silence should be interpreted by the guilty as the noise of coming judgment. “I kept silence,” is immediately followed by “I will reprove the.” (Ps. 50:21)
The mission of repentance There were certain men whose peculiar gifts and position mark them out as called to do this difficult task. Elijah, John the Baptist. Jesus our Lord.
This messenger was a man sent by God. That man must be inspired of God and we must not shrink from preaching repentance that is inspired of The Lord..
The minster is simply to convey the message from God. The voice is a man’s but the words are God’s
As ministers we are not at liberty to indulge in our speculation, or to claim authority for our judgment, but simply to declare, and interpret, and apply, the truth which God has entrusted to us. Look at( I.Peter 5: 2, 3) “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the over sight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being Lord over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock”
We must carry the message to the people. We need not wait for an audience to assemble. We need not wait for an spontaneous repentance. Let us journey from Gilgal to Bochim.
The message We all must keep in mind that God has been good and faithful. In our sin God has been merciful to all of us.
God has kept his side of the great covenant, so that if we miss the good fruits of it this must be because we fail on our side
It would be well to call attention to these facts before pointing out the sins of mankind. That this may be felt more deeply in contrast with the goodness of God. That the purpose of God in calling for repentance may be recognize as gracious, not vindictive. Note what Paul stated in (Rom.2:4 ) “Knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.”
The message of repentance contains a definite charge of sin.We must believe that we all have sinned. We must admit that we are not perfect. We must come to see our sin.
The people in this sitting had become tolerance of sin and evil.
The church is called to separate herself from sin “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” (I.Cor5:11)
The root of sin is disobedience. All sin is disobedience to the written law, or in our hearts, it is the setting up of our will against God’s will.
The message closes with a warning of punishment. Let us remember what Gal.6:7 said “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”
There punishment was to be a direct consequence of their tolerance of evil. Note (v.2,3) “But ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?… but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.”
Punishment is a natural fruit of sin.
The results. We see the preaching of repentance producing the varied results. Some turn a deaf ear. Some hear and resent it. Some hear and approve, but apply the message to others. Some hear and admit the truth of the rebuke, but do not have no feeling of the sting of it. Some feel sorrowful under the rebuke, but do not rise to the active repentance of will.
In the present instance the people heard meekly, humbly, and penitently, and the word bore fruit in genuine repentance and reformation.
Verse four said the “people lifted up their voice, and wept.”
Sorrow for passed sin is natural and helpful towards future amendment ,though if left to itself it will be a barren sentiment
Verse five said that at Bochin, “ “they sacrificed there unto the Lord.” The people acknowledged guilt. They sought forgiveness in the mercy of God. They reconsecrated themselves to the Lord’s service. It is not repentance along, but faith in Jesus Christ, the sacrifice for sin, following this, that secures to us God’s forgiving mercy.
Verse seven said, “And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua,” Servicing the Lord is the final outcome, and certain proof of genuine repentance.
The depth of our repentance must be measured not by the number of tears we shed, but the thoroughness of our amendment of life, and the faithfulness of our subsequent service of God.