3 Bible Tips: When the Enemy Repents
What should we do when an enemy does an about-face?
1. Our natural reaction is like Jonah's when Israel's ruthless enemy Nineveh repented and God spared them.
"But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. So he prayed to the Lord, and said, 'Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm'" (Jonah 4:1-2).
2. Ananias and the New Testament Church were understandably worried about Saul (Paul), who had imprisoned and had some of them killed.
"Then Ananias answered, 'Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name'" (Acts 9:13-14).
3. Jesus set the example for us—to rejoice over every sinner who repents!
"I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance" (Luke 15:7; see also Matthew 5:43-44).
For more about forgiving an enemy, see "Forgive, and You Shall Be Forgiven."