January 25, 2009

God’s Regret and Non-Regret (Num 23:19 & 1 Sam 15:11, 15:29)

By: Rev. Jeremiah Cheung

I. God’s Regret

First. The phrase “God Regrets” is an anthropomorphism. This phrase ascribes to God human attributes and characteristics; using terms that men can understand to describe God’s nature and ways.

Second. “God’s Regret” describes His extreme disappointment. The word “regret” in the NIV is translated as “grieved”. The Lord was grieved that He had created man. This expresses that His heart was full of anguish. But God’s regret brings about a new action; ‘God regrets’ and ‘God changed his heart’ often occur together, this means God changed his attitude and actions.

Third. God is almighty. He never regrets. The phrase “God regrets”, from man’s point of view, means God may change his will depending on man’s reverence or irreverence and obedience or disobedience toward him. But regarding God’s eternal plans, He does not ever change. ‘”God regrets” reminds us that we must do our best to always pray and obey God’s word.

II. The Things God Regrets

1. God Regretted He Created Man

About God’s regret in creating man, we must understand an important principle: Our lives may display the glory of God or cause God sorrow.

2. God Regretted Making Saul King

That God regretted making Saul king does not mean God made a mistake in choosing him. This only means that God was grieved about Saul, for he began with a promising future but was eventually rejected by God. It is such a pity!

3. God Regrets and then puts off sending calamity

God regretted and put off sending calamity on the city of Nineveh. This tells us that if men are willing to repent, God will change His heart and put off sending calamity.

But we must understand that there are four different wills of God:
1. God’s eternal will
2. God’s guiding will
3. God’s permissive will
4. God’s tolerant will.

No amount of prayer can change the eternal will of God. But when we pray, we can influence God’s time table in sending calamities, so, we must never take for granted the importance of repentance.

III. The Things that God does not Regret

Romans 11:29 “for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”

Paul tells us that there are two things which God do not regret about – God’s gifts and his call.

God is faithful, he will never be unfaithful to us, even if we become unfaithful to him, he continues to be trustworthy. And for us, what a comfort this is!

January 25, 2009