A Good Confession

The LORD replied, “When the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, the Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you and you cried to me for help, did I not save you from their hands? But you have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!” But the Israelites said to the LORD, “We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now.” Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the LORD. And he could bear Israel’s misery no longer. – Judges 10:11-16

The Israelites had forsaken the LORD. So he permitted enemy nations to oppress them. Finally, his people returned to the LORD and confessed their sin. God reminded his people that he delivered them in the past from their enemies. But then they forsook him for false gods, so God challenged them to pray to those gods that they had chosen.

This challenge from the Lord led them to a prayer of confession. “We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now.” Then the Israelites discarded the false gods they had accumulated, and they served the LORD. The actions of the Israelites show the sincerity of their prayer of confession.

Sometimes it is easy to say “I am sorry” or “I was wrong” only so that we might get out of trouble or get our way. However, what’s in our hearts really matters. Saying the words “Do with me whatever you think is best” reveals hearts that have been truly humbled. Making a change in our way of life shows hearts committed to true repentance.

When we sin, we can say a prayer of confession similar to that of the Israelites. We can ask God to do with us whatever he thinks best because we know that while we may face consequences for our sin, because of Jesus the final word from God is always “Your sin is forgiven.”

Prayer (Psalm 130):
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. Amen.

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