“Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents”.
In thinking about this joy before the angels of God one must consider the sinner who repents. What is this act of repentance that produces Angelic Joy, and who is this sinner? Scripture tells us in no uncertain terms that we all are sinners. (Romans 3:23) Scripture also informs us “The time of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,” (Acts 18:30) “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” (Genesis 3:7)
It seems for as long as I can remember I have been aware of sin. Or at least, what was perceived good or bad. In other words, I had a conscience. Some have noted a “strong moral compass”. That’s not to say I have always been good, far from it, but it can be said that when I wasn’t good ~ I knew it. I would blind myself to my indiscretions and silently suffer enormous guilt and shame. One day God showed me my sins ~ from his perspective. The shame was unbearable and the grief inconsolable. God had already forgiven me and loved me, but he waited to fully show me, after I fell in love with him. My repentance was devastatingly mournful ~ disgusted by my sins I could not believe what I had done to my beloved Savior, and even more, I could not believe that he still loved me. My fig leaf removed ~ I stood completely naked, and the shame and remorse seemed more than I could humanly withstand. This was my Godly sorrow…this is my greatest joy!
I think about Adam and Eve in the garden ~ “and they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3: 8-9)
God knew exactly where they were, and he knew exactly what they had done.
God sees our “naked fig leaf” ~ Where are you? God is calling and the Angels are waiting to join you in joy.