Repentance is the abandonment of the path of sin for the path of obedience to Yahweh. It is not guided by an emotion (although it can awaken very strong
emotions); it is guided by something much more concrete and secure: it is guided
by Yahweh’s word: “And return to the LORD your God, you and your children, and
obey his voice in all that I command you today” (Deuteronomy 30:2). Yahweh’s word impacts the listener in such a way that he directs himself toward Yahweh from his innermost being: “With all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 30:2). Yahweh works so that his heart has a new sensibility that it did not have before: “And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live” (Deuteronomy 30:6). Since this happens within, it is not limited by distance or by inaccessibility to the tabernacle: “If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there he will take you” (Deuteronomy 30:4). And because Yahweh is great in mercy and lovingkindness, He removes the curse and blesses once again: “Then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you… And the LORD your God will put all these curses on your foes and enemies who persecuted you” (Deuteronomy 30:3, 7).
Repentance is not just an event; it is a lifestyle, a life transformed toward continuous obedience: “And you shall again obey the voice of the LORD and keep all his commandments that I command you today” (Deuteronomy 30:8). And although it may be very painful, repentance directs us to the genuine blessing and joy of a restored relationship with Yahweh: “The LORD your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your cattle and in the fruit of your ground. For the LORD will again take delight in
prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers” (Deuteronomy 30:9).
No other reaction to our sin is acceptable before God other than repentance. And nowhere else is there grace like that of Yahweh who receives the repentant sinner and delights in him again for blessing.