Our Daily Homily
Then said Saul, I have sinned. 1 Samuel 26: 21
The Apostle makes a great distinction, and rightly, between the sorrow of the world and the sorrow of a godly repentance which needeth not to be repented of. Certainly Saul's confession of sin belonged to the former; whilst the cry of the latter comes out in Psalm li., extorted from David by the crimes of after years.
The difference between the two may be briefly summarized in this, that the one counts sin a folly and regrets its consequences; whilst the other regards sin as a crime done against the most Holy God, and regrets the pain given to Him. "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight."
Obviously Saul's confession was of the former description, "I have played the fool." He recognised the unkingliness of his behaviour, and the futility of his efforts against David. But he stayed there, stopping short of a faithful recognition of his position in the sight of God, as weighed in the balances of eternal justice.
Many a time in Scripture do we meet with this confession. The Prodigal, Judas, Pharaoh, David, and Saul, uttered it; but in what differing tones, and with what differing motives! We need to winnow our words before God; not content with using the expressions of penitence, unless we are very sure that they bear the mint mark of heaven, and deserve the master's Beatitude, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."
When sin is humbly confessed, the Saviour assures us: "Thy sins, which are many, are forgiven thee, go in peace." "lf we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. "
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