Archive for the ‘Repentance’ Category

Give Thanks to God!

March 7, 2012

For the repentance of Harold Camping.

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Repenting for Our Fathers’ Sins – Part 6/6

August 16, 2011

Ezra also provides an example of the same thing in terms of prayers of repentance for the sins of our fathers.

Ezra 9:1-15

Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, “The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.”

And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied. Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice. And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God, and said,

O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.

And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments, which thou hast commanded by thy servants the prophets, saying,

The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness. Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.

And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this; should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping?

O LORD God of Israel, thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.

This one is less explicit than some of the previous examples, but it shows a general repentance for the ways of our fathers. It should be obvious that Ezra’s concern is that the people are doing exactly what their fathers did. He’s so shocked he sits like someone who has had a stroke for hours upon hearing the news. He can’t believe that they just got out of captivity for their sins and their turning right back to the same thing — and not just a few rascals, but the very princes of the people.

This in particular we should be careful about. If God sends us chastisement, and we repent, we ought not to immediately turn back to the old sin. The very idea of doing such a thing ought not to be tempting to us, but ought to shock us like the report of Israel’s sin shocked Ezra.

May God give us the gift of repentance so that we may depart from our sins and the sins of our fathers before us.

– TurretinFan

Repenting for Our Fathers’ Sins – Part 5/6

August 15, 2011

Nehemiah also provides us with two examples of repentance for the sins of our fathers. In a first example, the prayer is simply indicated, without the details being provided:

Nehemiah 9:1-3

Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.

Hopefully, a theme is catching on in the mind of my readers who may have been skeptical that perhaps the previous examples were isolated cases.

As for the prayer that was used, we do not know exactly what was prayed in the prayer mentioned in Nehemiah 9. Nevertheless, we can see an example of the sort of prayer that may have been used in Nehemiah’s own prayer.

Nehemiah 1:1-11

The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, that Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

And they said unto me, “The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.”

And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

And said,

I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, “If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: but if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.” Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.

For I was the king’s cupbearer.

In this example, it is not explicit that Nehemiah is confessing his fathers’ sins, since he could simply mean those of his siblings with the expression “Father’s house.” Nevertheless, given the other example above, it seems reasonable to suppose that Nehemiah is also including his ancestors.

Perhaps it is useful at this point to observe that Nehemiah is praying about his ancestor’s sins, but for himself – not for them. It is too late for them. They have already passed on – either unto glory or dishonor. These prayers are prayers for the living, even if they are sometimes about the dead.

(to be continued)

Repenting for Our Fathers’ Sins – Part 4/6

August 14, 2011

The same theme of repenting from the sins of our fathers can also be found in Psalm 106.

Psalm 106:1-48 (the whole of the psalm)

Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise? Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.

Remember me, O LORD, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation; that I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.

We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.

Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea. Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known. He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left.

Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.

They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the LORD. The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram. And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked.

They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image. Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.

They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt; wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea. Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.

Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word: but murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD. Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness: to overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands.

They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead. Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them. Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed. And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.

They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes: because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips.

They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: but were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.

Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.

Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity. Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry: and he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies. He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives.

Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.

This one is quite explicit and detailed in terms of identifying the sins of the fathers. Considering that the identified fathers go all the way back to the Exodus, and the events referenced extend all the way to the captivity, we can see that the fathers whose iniquity is being confessed are long dead. Nevertheless, this Psalm express repentance from the unbelief of the fathers who did not trust in God with all their heart.

So ought those of us who cannot trace back our lineage through believers only to repent of the sins of our fathers, and to strive not to imitate their sins. We ought especially to do so when it seems the hand of God’s judgment is upon us and our families.

(to be continued)

Repenting for Our Fathers’ Sins – Part 3/6

August 13, 2011

We can also see repentance for the sins of the fathers in two prayers of Jeremiah. Here is a first example:

Jeremiah 14:19-22

Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy soul lothed Zion? why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? we looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble!

We acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee.

Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us.

Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God?

Therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.

This one is not explicit that the fathers have passed on, but the same theme is present. And there is yet another of the same in Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 3:21-25

A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God.

Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.

Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God. Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel. For shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.

Notice that repenting of the fathers’ sins is not done in isolation from our own sins. We should not repent of our fathers sins with a self-righteous attitude, like the Pharisees.

Matthew 23:29-32

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say, “If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.” Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

Notice that Christ does not condemn them for repenting from the sins of their fathers, but exactly the opposite! For not repenting, He condemned them.

(to be continued)

Repenting for Our Fathers’ Sins – Part 2/6

August 12, 2011

There is also an example of repenting of the sins of our fathers to be found in the final chapter of Lamentations. There, Jeremiah offers a prayer to God in which he expresses contrition for the sins of the fathers. In this case, it is explicit that the fathers have died.

Lamentations 5:1-22 (the whole chapter)

Remember, O LORD, what is come upon us: consider, and behold our reproach.

  • Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens.
  • We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows.
  • We have drunken our water for money; our wood is sold unto us.
  • Our necks are under persecution: we labour, and have no rest.
  • We have given the hand to the Egyptians, and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread.
  • Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities.
  • Servants have ruled over us: there is none that doth deliver us out of their hand.
  • We gat our bread with the peril of our lives because of the sword of the wilderness.
  • Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine.
  • They ravished the women in Zion, and the maids in the cities of Judah.
  • Princes are hanged up by their hand: the faces of elders were not honoured.
  • They took the young men to grind, and the children fell under the wood.
  • The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their musick.
  • The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.
  • The crown is fallen from our head:

Woe unto us, that we have sinned!

For this our heart is faint; for these things our eyes are dim. Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it. Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation. Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so long time? Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old. But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very wroth against us.

Notice that here Jeremiah indicates as well that the children have borne the iniquities of the fathers. There is no conflict between this bearing of the sins of the fathers and either Deuteronomy 24:16 (that is a civil law – a limitation on human justice) or Ezekiel 18 (that provides relief from punishment for the fathers’ sins for those who repent). Nevertheless, until we repent and do not follow the sinful deeds of our fathers, we need to repent from them, as illustrated in these examples.

(to be continued)

Repenting for Our Fathers’ Sins – Part 1/6

August 11, 2011

Daniel prayed a prayer of confession to the Lord. His prayer is interesting in that it involves confession and repentance not only for individual sins, but also for collective sins of Israel, and the sins of their fathers as well.

Daniel 9:4-19

And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said,

O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; we have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.

O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.

And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.

Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.

O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.

O Lord, hear;

O Lord, forgive;

O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

There many good elements of this prayer for us to model, particularly our absence of reliance on mere human merit and instead a reliance on the mercy of God (“for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies”). What I particularly want to highlight, though, is Daniel’s explicit repentance for the sins of the fathers of Israel – those who went before this generation. This is significant in that it reinforces the federal relation that exists within families. In the absence of God’s mercy, we would be held responsible for the sins of our fathers and their fathers and so on back to Adam’s original sin.

But by God’s mercy, we are adopted into a new family, and have the rights and privileges of the sons of God. Thus, we are under the federal headship of Christ, rather than Adam.

(to be continued)

The Koran, Dr. James White, and the Idea of Repenting

June 3, 2011

Recently, a Youtube video came to my attention, in which my friend Dr. James White is accused of lying about the Koran. Specifically, Dr. White had made essentially the following argument:

1) Our Muslim friend alleges that the Bible is wrong, because the Bible says that God repented.

2) But, the Koran (at 2:37) teaches that Allah repented.

3) Therefore, if our Muslim friend is to be consistent, he would have to say that the Koran is wrong.

The video alleges that the Koran, at 2:37, does not say that Allah repented. The Online Quran Project provides a number of English translations. Here are the translations I found there of that particular ayah of surah 2.

Abul Ala Maududi

 37.  At that time Adam learnt appropriate words from his Lord and repented, and his Lord accepted his repentance, for He is very Relenting and very Merciful.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali
 37. Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration[37], and his Lord Turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.

Ali Quli Qara’i
  37. Then Adam received certain words from his Lord, and He turned to him clemently. Indeed He is the All-clement, the All-merciful.

Arthur John Arberry
 37. Thereafter Adam received certain words from his Lord, and He turned towards him; truly He turns, and is All-compassionate.

Ahmed Ali
 37. Then his Lord sent commands to Adam and turned towards him: Indeed He is compassionate and kind.

Aisha Bewley
 37. Then Adam received some words from his Lord and He turned towards him. He is the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful.

Ali Ünal
  37. (Aware of his lapse and in the hope of retrieving his error, rather than attempting to find excuses for it,) Adam received from his Lord words that he perceived to be inspired in him (because of his remorse, and he pleaded through them for God’s forgiveness). In return, He accepted his repentance. He is the One Who accepts repentance and returns it with liberal forgiveness and additional reward, the All-Compassionate (especially towards His believing servants).

Amatul Rahman Omar
  37. After that Adam received from his Lord certain (useful) commandments and He turned to him with mercy. He, indeed is Oft-returning with compassion, the Ever Merciful.

Bijan Moeinian
  37. [Out of mercy] Adam received from his Lord some words of supplication. [Once he returned to his Lord with those words of supplication,] God forgave Adam as He is the most forgiving and merciful.

Abdul Majid Daryabadi
 37. Then Adam learnt from his Lord certain Words, and He relented toward him, verily He! He is the Relentant, the Merciful.

Edward Henry Palmer
 37. And Adam caught certain words from his Lord, and He turned towards him, for He is the compassionate one easily turned.

Faridul Haque
  37. Then Adam learnt from his Lord certain words (of revelation), therefore Allah accepted his repentance; indeed He only is the Most Acceptor of Repentance, the Most Merciful.

George Sale
 37. And Adam learned words of prayer from his Lord, and God turned unto him, for He is easy to be reconciled and merciful.

Hamid S. Aziz
 37.  And Adam obtained certain words (revelations) from his Lord, and He relented towards him, for He is the Relenting, the Compassionate.

Mahdi Pooya
 37. not yet included, see Chapter 90-114

Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali & Muhammad Muhsin Khan
  37. Then Adam received from his Lord Words. And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful.

John Medows Rodwell
 37. And words of prayer learned Adam from his Lord: and God turned to him; for He loveth to turn, the Merciful.

Muhammad Ahmed & Samira
  37. So Adam received from his Lord words/expressions, so (He) forgave on him, that He is, He is the forgiver , the most merciful .

Muhammad Aqib Farid Qadri
  37. Then Adam learnt from his Lord certain words (of revelation), therefore Allah accepted his repentance; indeed He only is the Most Acceptor of Repentance, the Most Merciful. (See Verse 7:23)

Muhammad Asad
  37. Thereupon Adam received words [of guidance] from his Sustainer, and He accepted his repentance: for, verily, He alone is the Acceptor of Repentance, the Dispenser of Grace.

Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali
  37. Then Adam received (some) Words from his Lord; so He relented towards him; surely He, Ever He, is The Superbly Relenting, The Ever-Merciful.

Muhammad Sarwar
  37. Adam was inspired by some words (of prayer) through which he received forgiveness from his Lord, for He is All-forgiving and All-merciful.

Muhammad Taqi Usmani
  37. Then ‘Adam learned certain words (to pray with) from his Lord; so, Allah accepted his repentance. No doubt, He is the Most-Relenting, the Very-Merciful.

Maulana Muhammad Ali
  37. Then Adam received (revealed) words from his Lord, and He turned to him (mercifully). Surely He is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.

Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall
 37. Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful.

Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah & Ahmad Darwish
 37. Then Adam received Words from his Lord, and his Lord relented towards him. He is the Receiver of Repentance, the Merciful.

Rashad Kalifa
 37. Then, Adam received from his Lord words, whereby He redeemed him. He is the Redeemer, Most Merciful.

Shabbir Ahmed
  37. (The solution to this catastrophe was beyond human intellect.) Then Adam received Words of guidance from his Lord and He accepted his repentance. Behold, He is the Acceptor, the Most Merciful. (Adam = Man. His wife = Woman. She also repented and Allah treated both of them equally (7:23-24))

Shakir
 37. Then Adam received (some) words from his Lord, so He turned to him mercifully; surely He is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.

Syed Vickar Ahamed
  37. Then Adam received the words of inspiration, from his Lord, and his Lord forgave him; For He is One Who accepts Repentance (Tawwab), Most Merciful (Raheem).

Tahir al-Qadri
  37. Then Adam learnt some words (of humility and repentance) from his Lord. So Allah accepted his repentance. Surely He is the One Who is Most Relenting, Ever-Merciful.

T. B. Irving
 37. Adam received words [of inspiration] from his Lord and he turned towards Him. He is the Relenting, the Merciful!”

Umm Muhammad (Sahih International)
  37. Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.

Wahiduddin Khan

 37.  Then Adam received some words [of prayer] from his Lord and He accepted his repentance. He is the Forgiving One, the Merciful.

[Al-Muntakhab]
  37. Prompted by the sense of guilt, Adam felt shame, but because guilt did not reside in the intention, Allah in mercy inspired him with a prayer for invoking His forgiveness, and in turn did Allah give up resentment against him and pardon his offence: it is He Who always accepts true repentance and the atonement made by the people, He is AL-Rahim.

[Progressive Muslims]
 37. Adam then received words from His Lord, so He forgave him; He is the Forgiver, the Merciful.

For the purists, the Arabic is this:

37 ‏فَتَلَقَّىٰٓ ءَادَمُ مِن رَّبِّهِۦ كَلِمَتٍۢ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلتَّوَّابُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ

Note that, of course, not all of the translations are equally literal or equally authoritative. The purpose in presenting them all is two-fold. First, I want to affirm that none of them (not one!) says “Allah repents.” Not one uses those exact words. On the other hand, many of them identify Allah as “oft-returning” or “oft-turning” or the like, which has the same sense. Obviously, some take a different tack completely. The point, though, is that there is a reasonable basis for the idea that Allah “turns” whether one uses the word “repent” or not.

That reason is the reason given by Paul Rezkella in the comments section of the post where I found the video:

If you read the arabic in Surah 2:37, you read the word “tawwabu”, which means “repenting”. “…and his Lord repented (fataba) towards him; for He is Oft-Repenting (huwa al-tawwabu), Most Merciful.” S. 2:37

Of course, Sam Shamoun has already written about this. He points out that there at least four more such places. Also Sam Shamoun has already explained about the idea in the Bible of God repenting, with comparisons to the Koran.

But the fundamental error of the person in the video seems to be his assumption that if the term “repenting” is not used by the translators, the sense of the word is not there. That’s a mistaken argument.

Of course, there’s a possible alternative error. Some poor deluded person might think that when the KJV says that God “repented,” they mean that God turned from sins. Such a notion would be the result of someone simply not understanding English very well. That would be excusable in the case of someone who is not a native English speaker, as perhaps may be the case for the person in the video. But such a notion is completely wrong and unfounded.

In any event, someone who wants a more thorough, detailed discussion can peruse Sam Shamoun’s articles at the links above.

-TurretinFan

Haiti as a Warning to America

January 16, 2010

Psalm 64:9 And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.

In a previous post we explored the possibility that the earthquake in Haiti is God’s judgment on Haiti (link to post). As we said then, it may well be God’s judgment on that nation, and it may be hard for us to discern what particular sin or sins brought about that judgment.

But there is another lesson that we may consider the earthquake in Haiti. That is we may consider the earthquake as a warning to the U.S. in particular, the Americas more broadly, or even to any nation that is going on in sin.

Recall what we learn in the Gospel:

There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them,

“Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

He spake also this parable;

“A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, ‘Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?’

And he answering said unto him, ‘Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.'”

(Luke 13:1-9)

Nations who lack fruits that please God should look at this apparent judgment on Haiti as a warning. Do we think that Haiti was the worst of the Caribbean nations? Do we think that its sin had more of a stench before God than that of the U.S. or of the U.K. or of Russia?

Even now it may be that this earthquake is being sent as a warning to all nations to turn from their sins. Surely nations – who tolerate the holocaust of the unborn, who wink at sodomy, who are rampant in fornication and adultery of every kind, and who refuse to purge their land of murderers and witches – surely such nations ought to tremble before the awesome might and power of God.

For man this was a devastating disaster. For God this was nothing. God has brought greater judgment than this. In the time of Noah, recall, God destroyed the entire world by a flood. And some day, perhaps soon, Christ will come again in judgment and destroy this world with fire.

It is relatively easy to point the finger at Haiti and suggest that God’s earthquake (for it was God’s earthquake) was a judgment on their sins. What about the sins of our nations? Now is the time for repentance.

– TurretinFan

Judgment on Haiti (?)

January 15, 2010

Someone has claimed that Haiti’s disaster is due to the fact that they made a pact with the devil many years ago. The basic idea that they (or some small group of revolutionaries long ago) made a pact with the devil (or some evil spirit) is not necessarily incredible. It’s also not incredible that this is the judgment of God on the nation of Haiti. However, there’s no good reason to pick out that particular sin as the cause of this judgment. Why not pick out Haiti’s particularly loathsome treatment of children (link to report). There are lots of possibilities. It may well be God’s judgment. While calamities like this can be and, in Scripture, frequently are the judgment of God, it may be something else. Recall Job. We should not be quick to judge Haiti, but those in Haiti ought seriously to consider why God brought this, and if they find sin, they ought to repent of it.

– TurretinFan


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