In King Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the newly built temple of the LORD, Solomon elaborated on what constitutes true repentance. 1 Kings 8:46 reveals that Solomon perceived that Israel will sin against the LORD. This would result in judgment (v 46). But, if they repent by acknowledging their sin (v 47), returning completely to the LORD (v 48), and pray to the LORD (v 48), then their sin will be forgiven (v 49). Whereas sin incurs judgment, repentance incurs forgiveness and compassion. In Solomon’s understanding, repentance is an acknowledging of guilt before God and a complete turn from the sin with their whole being (mind and actions).

Israel’s sin anticipated by King Solomon became a reality in the time of Jeremiah the prophet. In Jeremiah 3:21-4:4 the LORD speaks and shows the extent of what true repentance should look like. The sin in this instance, is the sin of faithlessness (3:21). Calling to them (3:22) the LORD promises healing if they ‘return’ and ‘come’ to Him. The correct response would be an intense feeling of remorse (3:25), an acknowledgment of guilt (3:25), and a specific mention of their sin (3:25 ‘have not obeyed’). Another part of complete repentance is putting away their sin (4:1) and turning to glory in God (4:2).

Repentance is more than remorse.