Cain, Esau, Saul, Ahab, Judas
(J. C. Philpot)
"Godly sorrow brings repentance that
leads to salvation and leaves no regret,
but worldly sorrow brings death."
2 Cor. 7:10
These two kinds of repentance are to be carefully
distinguished from each other; though they are often
sadly confounded. Cain, Esau, Saul, Ahab, Judas,
repented. But their repentance was the remorse of
natural conscience, not the godly sorrow of a broken
heart and a contrite spirit. They trembled before God
as an angry Judge, but were not melted into contrition
before Him as a forgiving Father.
They neither hated their sins nor forsook them.
They neither loved holiness nor sought it.
Cain went out from the presence of the Lord.
Esau plotted Jacob's death.
Saul consulted the witch of Endor.
Ahab put honest Micaiah into prison.
Judas hanged himself.
How different from this forced and false repentance
of a reprobate, is the repentance of a child of God;
that true repentance for sin, that godly sorrow, that
holy mourning which flows from the Spirit's gracious
Godly sorrow does not spring from a sense of the
wrath of God in a broken law, but from His mercy
in a blessed gospel; from a view by faith of the
sufferings of Christ in the garden and on the cross;
from a manifestation of pardoning love; and is always
attended with self-loathing and self-abhorrence; with
deep and unreserved confession of sin and forsaking
it; with most hearty, sincere and earnest petitions to
be kept from all evil; and a holy longing to live to the
praise and glory of God.