What If Pharoah Had Repented? What Lesson Is There for Us?

Plague after plague and the heart of Pharoah continued to be hard. Finally, one last plague on Egypt. Would this do the trick?  Was it just about allowing the Israelites to leave or was there something more that Pharoah could have and should have done?  

And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.   Exodus 12:30 (KJV)

Makes you wonder how different things would have turned out, and even be today, perhaps, if Pharoah responded with godly sorrow that leads to repentance rather than the world's sorrow that leads to death.  After all, look at the far different reaction to the preaching of Jonah in Nineveh by that heathen king. The whole city followed his lead in a very different sorrow, one that would spare them divine judgment.   

So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying,

Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?

Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.
  Jonah 3:5-10 (NKJV)

Take a moment and see how the Apostle Paul instructs us on the difference between guilt that leads to no good and sorrow that leads to repentance and thus deliverance: 

Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal,what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.  2 Corinthians 7:9-11 (NKJV)

You might remember that both Peter and Judas felt sorry for what they had done to Jesus.  However, there were two very different results.  Peter's sorrow eventually led to reconciliation with Jesus while Judas' sorrow led him to take his own life.

How about you? Are you sorry to the point of repentance or is your sorrow one that just makes you feel guilty but unto nothing good? Let God know the sorrow of your heart and allow Him, through your repentance, to turn that sorrow into joy.

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