In 1 Samuel 15:24-25 (NIV):

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.”

Saul seems to have recognized his sin and repent/ask for forgiveness. However, he wasn't forgiven which can be seen in some verses later when the LORD rejected him and "the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel." (v. 35)

Does the concept of repentance/ask for forgiveness only work in New Testament time?

  • This is a good question, but you may need to ask for a specific doctrinal viewpoint (e.g. Catholic, Reformed) to bring it into scope. – Mick Nov 11 '17 at 9:17
  • @Mick thanks for telling. I am a Reformed :) – DatVM Nov 11 '17 at 9:33
  • You will need to edit your question. It's just the way the site works. – Mick Nov 11 '17 at 9:34
  • I think verse 11, 23 explain it why. (So, verse 35 is a repetition). God's "regret" comes first ---unchangeable--- even later Saul beg for forgiveness. But this is only my own opinion, not Reformed :). – karma Nov 11 '17 at 10:44
  • @karma Please answer in answers rather than in comments – KorvinStarmast Nov 13 '17 at 14:17

You appear to be reading this into the text. It doesn't say that God didn't forgive him. Samuel had to make it clear that Sauls sin cost him his crown, so he wouldn't go to worship with Saul. Once this was established, we see Samuel soften and respond to Sauls second plea to go and worship in v30. Therefore we see God forgives on a personal level, but that doesn't mean there is no price for our sin. I hope this is helpful.

  • God's forgiveness is all that matters in the end​. If you are forgiven, God will surely comfort you one day. Also see Samuel's remark that Saul will be in Heaven, proving that God really did forgive him. – Tomislav Ostojich Aug 27 '18 at 22:47

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