The word repentance literally means to ‘turn’ or ‘return’. Coming from the Greek word Metanoia meaning ‘change of mind.’
Distraction isn’t just a safety issue. Although many a driver would have certainly benefited from more attentive driving habits. How many in fact have paid the ultimate price for failing to keep their eyes on the task at hand? When we don’t focus, when we forget to look straight ahead instead of side to side . . . distraction pulls us in. We are lured in by shiny baubles, personal glory, entertainment, even the taste of good food can be a tempting diversion from daily troubles.
The Israelite’s wondering in the wilderness so many times could have avoided troubles by simply keeping their eyes on God, on His promise. But they forgot the abuse and remembered the food. They forgot the curses of many voiceless gods and remembered the gold and pleasurable rituals. They could only see desert and and remained blind to God’s infinite ability to provide and create.
Of course we all know that this was only the beginning in a long line of generational rebellion. Again and again God would fight to get His chosen peoples attention. He yearned for them to return to Him. Even His beloved King David forgot God’s great generosity; and instead of look up and thanking the Almighty God for what was already given, David took what wasn’t his to take. God gave him everything, and because David got distracted and lost focus, everything wasn’t enough. It cost David the peace of a kingdom and the life a good man and an innocent child. And while those consequences could not be undone, Davids sincere repentance kept him from death. He had seen his mistake and returned to his God.
However, all was not (is not) lost for them or us. Even though we forget and turn our backs to our God over and over; He fought till the death for His children. So that through Jesus Christ His only Son , we are saved from self imposed destruction. All we need to do is believe. God has made it irrevocably easy to keep our eyes on Him. Now when our attention is inevitably diverted, Gods great mercy and love is there pulling us back. God Himself causes us to return.