Have you ever said “I’m sorry” for doing something wrong?
After Moses died, Joshua led the people into the Promised Land. And all was well…for a little while.
But soon after Joshua died the Hebrews began to sin. A lot. They started to act just like the other people in the land. They began to worship other gods and idols. They began to do very wicked things. Listen to how life in Promised Land is described here in Judges chapter 3:
Judges 3:7-9. 7 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God and served the [false gods]. 8 Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of the king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served [the king of Mesopotamia] for eight years. 9 But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.
The book of Judges is a repeating cycle that tells the same story over, and over, and over.
- First the people sin against God.
- Then they are conquered by a wicked king.
- Then they cry out to God for forgiveness.
- Then God sends a hero (a judge) to deliver, or rescue, his people.
- Then the people start sinning again and the cycle repeats.
The sad thing is that sometimes our lives can be this same cycle. Have you ever done something wrong, said “I’m sorry,” and then turned around and done the same exact wrong thing again a little bit later? I have. Maybe you said something mean and hurt someone’s feelings. Then you apologized (that’s good). But the next day you said the same kind of mean things again (that’s bad). Why does this happen? Why do we repeat the same bad things over and over?
Because simply saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t actually change our heart does it? Sometimes, like in the book of Judges, we only apologize because we want to get out of trouble.
You see God doesn’t want us to just say “I’m sorry” when we’re mean or when we disobey. He wants us to then choose to love him and love others too. He wants us to trust him and obey our parents and be kind to others.
But how do we do that? How do we learn to love God and others? By first knowing that God loves us very much, and that he always will no matter what.
But how do we know that God loves us?
Because he sent us a deliverer!
Not Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. No, he sent us the greatest deliverer ever – God’s son, Jesus.
Because Jesus died for our sins on the cross we can be forgiven when we say “I’m sorry.” But not only that, Jesus also loves us so much, and he is so good to us, that we can trust him and actually choose to love God and love others, and be kind to each other.
Because of Jesus I am always loved and forgiven.
With Jesus I can learn and choose to do good.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch this scene from Into the Spider-Verse. Miles (young Spiderman) is taught how to swing by Peter (old Spiderman). Talk about how Jesus is our hero that not only rescues us but also teaches us how to be like him.
Thank you for forgiving me of all my sins, but I don’t just want to be forgiven, I want to be like you. Help me to know that you love me, and help me to love others like you do.
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