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I Have Sinned

Jul 9, 2008, 7:32 AM | Article By: By Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye

Anyone who admits to having sinned confesses guilt or some shortcoming vis-à-vis God. When in meek humility we come before God's throne of grace, in total penitence before Him to tell Him we have wronged Him and how, He hears us.

God will always lend a listening ear and would gladly welcome us back. "Whoever comes to me I will never drive away." (John 6:37) The Bible states that each time we confess our sin, our unwholesomeness before God; each time we turn away from our wicked and sinful ways; each time we recognise our guilt and ask for pardon, there is joy in heaven because God is attentive to our cry (Luke 15:10 ) and He restores us to our rightful places as sons and daughters.

When the Prodigal Son became conscious of his pitiful state which led him to consider feeding on pig food, he knew he had fallen very low because in his father's house from which he had drifted, even the servants had something descent to eat each day. First, he had to acknowledge his status was miserable and desolate. Second, he had to admit that he had offended God and then resolve to do something about it. He had to determine to break away from his current dismal condition.

And so he said to himself: " I will set out and go back to my father." Notice his resolve and determination. He recognises his guilt and he takes steps to remedy it. He continued "and say to him: father I have sinned against heaven and against you." (Luke 15:18) The Bible account underlines: "So he got up and went to his father."

Our sins are against God the Creator, it is He who has made us, it is He who has laid down the groundrules that we must live and abide by. Therefore, it is to Him that we ask for forgiveness and restoration. There was no one there to point an accusatory finger at the Prodigal Son. He was lucid enough to see through his circumstances to have evoked the father's help. "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." (Proverbs 22:6)

The Prodigal Son no doubt benefited from some Godly upbringing. However, in his youthful exuberance, he had rebelled against his father and had broken his chains to his utter regret later.

He gets to the point where he packs his bags and heads home to the father to confess; "I have sinned against heaven and against you.." His conscience was not numb; it pricked him into regretting what he had done against both his heavenly and earthly fathers.

How often do we strip ourselves of our pride to humbly and meekly come before God's throne of grace to seek His face and ask for forgiveness? Unfortunately, we behave like Pharaoh; our remorse is superficial. It is with our lips only, not with our hearts.

Pharaoh disobeyed God several times, over the instructions given to him through Moses from God to let His people, the Children of Israel, go free. He was obstinate to the extent of mocking God. When God's wrath wrecked havoc on the Egyptians and their property, and he pleaded to Moses for God to stay His hand. He admitted to Moses and Aaron: "This time I have sinned. The Lord is in the right and I and my people are in the wrong." (Exodus 9:27)

Was his confession sincere? At the height of the pressure as God rained hail on the land of Egypt and as the locusts went on the rampage Pharaoh sought God's mercy through Moses' intervention. Soon after he got relief, he returned to his wicked ways and refused God's instruction to let the Israelites go free.

Don't we behave very much like Pharaoh? When sin brings its consequences upon our lives, we are ready to cry to God for help; we recognize our fault and we are on our knees.But no sooner the pain is lifted and we are no longer in the throes of death, we forsake God and carry on as usual. Our state of repentance is not thorough, only skin deep. We pine in grief just for God to turn down the fire and we forget immediately after.

Soon after the hail subsided, Pharaoh denied the Israelites their 'exit visa', meaning their freedom. "When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he sinned again:" (Exodus 9: 34)