Repentance — A Changed Worldview — Nacham and Shuwb (Hebrew) and Metanoia (Greek)

On September 13, 2012 5:44 PM, "Stephen Williamson" wrote:

Subject: Chatting about repentance

Hi all

Some thoughts on repentance.

Repentance Ė identified by some in English as "re-ponder", "re-pensive" or "re-weigh" — nacham (naw-kham) in Hebrew means to sigh deeply, and shuwb (shoove) means to turn, to comfort yourself through a subsequent/successive/changed understanding of the facts, a subsequent knowledge Ė metanoia in the Greek. This comes to us as a gift from God. For we have limited knowledge (unlike God) and when we receive this new worldview, yes, God is good.

Interestingly, it follows sorrow (pain/sadness) - identified by some in English as "re-penitence", i.e. a godly sorrow or soreness that contrasts our wrongdoing with God's goodness and mercy, not the sorrow or sadness of the world that leads only to death.

Ok, because God has full knowledge of his own plans, we have those wonderful words "God is not a man that he should lie, neither the son of man that he should repent. Has he said and shall he not do it? or has he spoken and shall he not make it good?" Numbers 23:19-20. It uses a reflexive form of the verb to repent, and means that in terms of God's long-term choice of Israel, God does not change around the way a person does. We change because we come to know we're doing the wrong thing. But there is no unrighteousness with God.

And it contrasts with a passive form of the verb in this passage "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth (i.e. where God's changed understanding is in response to individuals changing, as men everywhere came to fruition with their wicked plans) and it grieved him at his heart (like a potter that is greatly saddened at a vesselís refusal to respond to the potterís actions). And the LORD said I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast and the creeping thing and the fowls of the air, for it repents me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." Genesis 6: 6-8.

And we are told that Noah had no children for 500 years (2962BC Ė 2462BC) obviously during this time of Godís waiting. While the earth corrupted its direction through rebellious angels (sons of God) having children with the women. And the earth was filled with violence/cruelty.

That is, all of the generations corrupted and violent except for Noah, his generations were fine. And thus when Noah started building the ark, there were no complicated issues for his having to have some of his grandkids / great-grandkids, etc messed up with this angel / violence issue.

Yes, Godís foreknowledge of what he is planning to do, regardless of manís plans, yes, is brilliant. Long term choice, with fine-tuning along the way. Sure beats any computer program that could be written :-)

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (i.e. know), according to the power that works in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages (generations), world without end (forever and ever). Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Blessings all Steve

Stephen Williamson Computing Services Pty Ltd
www.swcs.com.au/aboutus.asp