Repentance Or Remorse?
One of the most poignant moments in the film, The Post, is when Ben Bradlee (played by Tom Hanks), the executive editor of The Washington Post, admits to his wife (played by Sarah Paulson) that his friendship with President Kennedy had caused him to become a political tool instead of an honest journalist who reported the truth to the public. After spending hours reading The Pentagon Papers, Bradley says to his wife, Tony, “I never thought of Jack as a source. I thought of him as a friend. That was my mistake… The way they lied. The way they lied. Those days have to be over.”
It’s obvious when it comes to politics, the media, and religious leadership “those days” aren’t over, but we can get some historical perspective by listening to what Hosea, an 8thcentury BC Jewish prophet, reported about the lying, immorality, and deceitful promises that were made in the court of the kings of Israel as the Assyrian Empire built up siege works against Samaria, the capital of Israel.
“You have ploughed under the seeds of evil, you have reaped a harvest of apostate perversity.
You have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you trusted in your own way of doing things, in your buildup of military
strength; therefore, the roar of battle will arise among your people.
All your fortified cities will be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth Arbel, on the day of battle, when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children. In the same way it will happen to you, O Bethel, because your wickedness is great. When the day dawns, the King of Israel will be completely destroyed.” Hosea 10:13-15
In Hosea 7:1ff Hosea took us inside the court of the king that was filled with drunken sex and officials lying to the public and one another. The result was assassinations, crop failures, set back on the battle field and until Shalmaneser V (727-722) of Assyria took Hoshea, Israel’s last king, captive and ravaged the population, including women and children.
What happens when rulers, journalists, priests and pastors no longer believe that truth matters and deception, drunkenness, and sex rule the day? Hosea witnessed the end of his nation, but he also goes on to speak of divine grace that can still give life. This grace will have nothing to do with remorse with its false confessions, intense religious ceremonies, and no change in behavior. God knows hearts. He demands honest confession of sin to himself and those we have hurt. He also demands a change in our actions. He can give us a new heart, but there is no grace without truth and accountability.
LORD, it’s easy to shake my finger at lies and deception in Washington. Help me to allow your Spirit to expose daily what’s happening in my own heart. Protect me from lying under pressure.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!