On Saturday, January 13, 2018 at exactly 8:07 a.m., an emergency missile alert was issued in Hawaii. Soon after that alert was issued, the people of Hawaii were informed that the alert was a false alarm.
One can only imagine the fear that this false alarm triggered in the people there. One moment, they were in fear for their lives, and in the next moment, they realized they were not in any imminent danger.
One of the most intriguing facts that came from this false alarm was reported by the porn site, “PornHub.” They released their internet traffic statistics from Hawaii which showed that when the missile alert was generated, their traffic dropped 77%, but as soon as it was announced that it was a false alarm, their internet traffic jumped 125%! Or to say it another way, when the people thought their lives were in danger, they turned from their sinful behavior, but as soon as they realized their lives were no longer in danger, they went right back to their sinful ways, and in a way that looked like they were trying to make up for lost time.
Such a phenomenon is not uncommon. It’s not unusual for people to turn to God in times of trouble, and as soon as their trouble passes, they return to their sin. Just read the book of Judges. Read the prophets. Or, take an honest look at your own life. Haven’t you done the same?
Friends, we need to turn from sin and turn our hearts toward God. But if we think that God doesn’t know when we’re trying to “play” him, use him, or manipulate him to our own ends, we’re mistaken. God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7). He instructs us to rend our hearts, not our garments (Joel 2:12-13). He knows the difference. Repentance isn’t a temporary change of behavior for one’s own benefit, but rather, a genuine change of heart, the intent of which is to glorify God.
Remember, God knows the difference.