National Day of Repentance
"Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out..."
"If My people who are called by My name would humble themselves and pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways..."
Since 1994 we have been actively praying for National Repentance to take place in Papua New Guinea. It wasn't until 2010 that the Lord instructed us to call the nation to repentance. The first Solemn Assembly was held around the country on September 18 which was Yom Kippur or Israel's Day of Atonement. It wasn't until 2011 that we were able to meet with the Acting Prime Minister, Sam Abal who officially made August 26, a National Public Holiday each year called the National Day of Repentance. Since 2011 there have been different themes, like Tearing Down the Idols, or Repentance for transgressing the 10 Commandments. On August 26, we also take a free will offering called the Aliyah Offering which is given to the Jewish Agency For Israel for the repatriation of the Jewish people from around the world back to Israel.
Why is national repentance so important?
Most of us recognise the fact that repentance is animportant part of an individual entering the kingdom of God, but few recognise the importance of community wide and even nation wide repentance. There are definitely sins that we as individuals needto repent for; but in the same way, there are alsocommunity sins and national sins that need to berepented for. The book of Jonah holds great hope for the cities and nations of the world. Though the prophet Jonah, isoften remembered for his disobedience, the message that he preached was so effective, that it brought about a reformation of the heathen city of Nineveh. When Jonah brought the warning of judgement, the whole population of the city, humbled themselveswith fasting, put on sackcloth as a sign of mourning, and repented.
The king made this decree: "7 Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let manand beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evilways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish." The Bible then records these words.“10 When Godsaw what they did and how they turned from theirevil ways, he had compassion and did not bringupon them the destruction he had threatened.”Jonah 3:7-10
In other words, their repentancechanged the course of history, and their city andnation were spared.If the course of a heathen nation, who didn’t know right from wrong, can be changed through humility and repentance, how much easier shouldit be for a nation with such a large Christian population like Papua New Guinea? Which is why we need to repent as a nation more thanever. If we were a nation with a founded on any otherreligion, we would not be as guilty. But, even the preamble to our constitution clearly declares that weare a Christian nation. However, out of all the nationsin the pacific, we have the biggest problem with law and order, the highest number of HIV and AIDS cases,the worst corruption index, and the most violent crimes,etc.
We the people of Papua New Guinea have clearly blasphemed the name we bear and need to repent.