Exodus Week 2 Day 8

Read Exodus 8:5-14

It happens to the best of us. We reached the end of a busy day, after we had a test, baseball practice and a piano recital. And our mom asks us to clean our room, and we just snap. We say or do things that we swore at Radiate last week we would never do. In that moment, we experience regret, but if nothing changes, we find ourselves repeating that moment over and over again.

In Exodus 8, Pharaoh goes through a similar cycle, apologizing for his sins, then doing the same thing over again. After each plague God sends on Egypt, Pharaoh has a moment of regret where he asks Moses to make the destruction stop. But then he goes right back to the way things were, and the cycle continues.

We all have those “throw our hands up, make it stop” moments. But regret and repentance are two different things. Regret is wishing something had never happened. Repentance is taking action to prevent something from happening again. Regret says, “Make it stop.” Repentance says, “God, make me different.” Regret leads to remorse, but only repentance leads to change.

Pharaoh wanted God to fix his nation’s troubles, but he was not willing to change his heart or his mind on freeing God’s people. Too often, we do the same thing. We ask for relief from what ails us without any desire to change our thoughts or actions.  
Breaking the cycle starts with a breaking point. We have to want to follow Jesus more than we want to be right in our own eyes. This change of heart leads to a change in behavior. 2 Corinthians 7:10 describes it this way, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

God sent Pharaoh a way out of regret in the form of Moses’ constant invitation to repent, and He extends the same invitation to each of us through Jesus’ death on the cross. Saying yes to Jesus’ invitation gives us the power to change, but it’s only when we acknowledge our brokenness that we’re motivated to make a change.  

Is there any area of your life where you find yourself in a constant cycle of regret? If so, what is it?

Why is it so important that our hearts change before our behavior changes?  

What step can you take this week to move from regret to repentance? Maybe it’s a grudge you need to forgive or an unrealistic schedule you need to let go of.