February 01, 2023

Why Repent?

Proverbs 1:20-23

“Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you. I will make known to you my teachings.”

—  Proverbs 1:23

Not many of us like to hear the word repent, because it tends to have negative connotations. But here in Proverbs, when the voice of wisdom cries out that everyone should “repent” at her rebuke, it’s for the sake of offering them a great gift.

Here Wisdom is pictured as a person who wants to “pour out” her thoughts and make known her teachings. “Repent,” she is saying, “so that I can give you more of myself.” A more literal translation of the text here says, “I will pour out my spirit on you. . . .”

In some other Bible passages, God speaks the same words through his prophets, promising to make known his thoughts and mysteries. Perhaps the best known of those passages is Acts 2:17, where the apostle Peter declares, “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams’” (see also Joel 2:28).

God has always desired to give us more of himself, to encourage us toward a humble and contrite posture so that we can receive him. And Jesus, who is fully God, became human, just like us, so that we can receive God’s wisdom and have new, full life. We cannot receive his thoughts and teachings (and become more like him) if we have not opened ourselves to recognize that we need his help.

Lord, help me today to hear your voice of wisdom. Encourage me to come with an open, contrite heart to receive your Spirit. Amen.

About the author — Jenna Fabiano

Jenna Fabiano is an ordained minister and pastor at Willoughby Church in Langley, British Columbia. She and her family live in nearby Coquitlam, B.C.

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