Teacher: Bro. Felix Dordaa Mahama
Text: Judith 5:17-21
What if I were God? Would I be able to forgive the many wrongs that people do, even after they confess?
When I examine my own thoughts and emotions and when I listen to contributions to the Friday morning toaster programme, I wonder what would happen to us if God were a human; He is so full of mercy and compassion, sometimes I wonder if I were God I would be able to forgive some of the things that the Israelites did, and some of which we repeat today, even though I am also a victim.
Imagine what David did, he slept with Uriah’s wife; had him killed, and married his wife. I wonder how many of us here can forgive such crimes against our fellow human beings. Yet God forgave David. And now with the sacrifice of his own son for our salvation, He no longer covers our sins, but washes them away to remember them no more, that is if only we would go to Him in confession. God has given us the opportunity to come to Him in the sacrament of reconciliation. Again, He has given us the opportunity to forgive as He forgives. But to be able to go to Him in the sacrament of reconciliation or to forgive as He forgives, we need to seek the grace, for the Bible says, “For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock.” Matthew 7:8. The love of God for man is so great.
There was a time in my life when I had sins I knew I had to confess. Even with that knowledge, it was hard for me to go to confession, because I felt shy going to the priest to confess my sins. This was in spite of the fact that I had been to confession several times before. However, knowing how important it was for me to go to confession, I sought the face of the Lord. Every evening when I took some time off to pray in the church after prayer meeting, I would put this matter before the Lord. I told the Lord frankly that I knew I needed to go to confession but that I felt shy and needed Him to help me to go. One evening while I was in the church praying my rosary, all the shyness that I had felt just vanished and got replaced by a very strong urge to go to confession. By this time it was around 9pm. I left the church immediately and went to the parish, found a priest and made the confession. What a relieve I felt! I felt the love of God.
The mercy of God is abundant
To illustrate how important it is to confess our sins immediately, I will give you a certain woman’s story (real story). There was a lady who was a very devoted Christian. However, she was living with an aunt who was a witch. The prayers of the lady used to disrupt the activities of the aunt and her colleague witches. The aunt was looking for every possible means to kill the lady but could not succeed because she was protected by the Lord through her devotion. The aunt discussed with her fellow witches and they agreed that the only way they could get to the lady was to get her to sleep with her boyfriend (the lady had a boyfriend but was still a virgin). They influenced the boyfriend to pressure her into having sex. They monitored the situation until the day that the lady had sex with the boyfriend. They then immediately mastered their forces and went to attack the lady. But when they got there, they saw that the lady was covered by the Holy Ghost fire because the lady was already on her knees confessing to God in tears for her sin.
Do not take the mercy and love of God for granted
And yet mercy and anger alike are of the Lord (Read Sirach 5:4-7). Because the Lord deals patiently with us, we sometimes take His mercy for granted. When we sin, the Lord is ready to forgive and receive us, just like the father was ready to receive the prodigal son – Luke 15:11-32. However, when we postpone our confession, we get the consequences of our postponement. Just like in the case of the Israelites, when we are in the good books of our God through faithfulness to Him, we are invincible. But when we sin and refuse to confess immediately, we open up the chance for our enemies to attack us and “we suffer heavy losses in many wars and are finally taken captive to foreign countries.”
Don't be complacent
One common area where we become complacent is when the Lord is blessing us, when we are prospering and everything is going on well with us. We begin to wonder whether what is happening to us is not by accident, especially when others who are notably ungodly are also prospering, or even prospering more than we are doing. We begin to wonder whether we really need all those rigorous religions practices in our lives. We begin to fool around. This is when the wrath of God descends heavily upon us. (Read 1 Kings 10:14-11:8; 1 Kings 11:9,11)