- Cry Crocodile Tears
Tears are non-negotiable when it comes to non-repentance. Make sure everyone knows that you’re sad and upset by your sin. This will demonstrate just how sorry you are that you got caught. Then many people will believe that you have genuinely seen the error of your ways and that you’re on the road to real change. Of course, you don’t have to fake tears to fake repentance. Your tears might be real because the consequence that you’ve been given is so terrible. These tears will work as well. Don’t hold back!
We did this as a nation after Moses told us we’d have to hang out in the wilderness for forty more years just because we didn’t want to fight against GIANTS. We’re a bunch of runaway slaves, not an army, for crying out loud! So we got together and “mourned greatly” as a nation. I don’t want to brag, but it was really quite the production. Anyone would have thought that we were actually repentant. Brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.
- Admit you sinned, but be vague.
In this tricky follow-up to the crocodile tears, you want to say that you sinned, but—don’t miss this—keep it vague. That’s really the key. You want people to think that you’re acknowledging the depth your indiscretion, while you really have no plans whatsoever to change. If you get too specific, you can get yourself in all kinds of trouble. What we’re going for is vague generalities. Also, be careful to sidestep the concept of sinning against God. Keep your admission at surface level. Also, don’t make anyone drag it out of you; offer your confession without being coerced–this will help enhance the effect of pseudo-authenticity.
We’re throwing around some different possibilities for what to say to Moses: “We messed up,” or, “We really blew it.” And then there’s the classic, “We were wrong.” The great thing about these little beauties is that they don’t require you to actually say what you did. I mean, everyone already knows, so why make a bigger deal about it? Am I right? Anyway, after much discussion, we’re going to go with, “We have indeed sinned.” Moses is a pretty serious guy, so I think he’ll like that we’re using some “God words” in there. That should really please him and maybe get him off our backs. Then maybe he won’t make us wander in this wilderness for the rest of our lives!
- Act like nothing happened.
Once you’ve cried your crocodile tears and vaguely admitted that you were wrong, it’s now safe to assume that everything should go back to normal. At this point, consequences of your actions should really be off the table. Once you’ve said you’re sorry, you ought to be free to move on! Leaders should be reinstated to their positions; all privileges should be put back into effect; and promises must still be kept. It’s only fair!
We’re trying this out on Moses as well. We made our nebulous confession, and now we’re going to go ahead and take the land. We’re getting a militia together to go in and fight the pagans in the hill country. After all, God promised to fight for us, didn’t He? We should be fine. No problemo!
- Ignore wise counsel.
Apparently Moses doesn’t think it’s a good idea to go fight the Canaanites. I don’t get this guy. Just last week he was telling us that we could go take the land! But because we got cold feet because we didn’t want to fight GIANTS, now he thinks we shouldn’t go at all. Honestly, the guy can be such a downer! Anyway, we’re employing step #4: Ignore wise counsel.
Sometimes after an indiscretion has been committed, authorities expect you to get “counseling.” This is supposed to be helpful, to help you avoid the pit you just climbed out of. Or maybe you won’t have to go to formal sessions, but believe us, plenty of people will offer plenty of advice “just because they care.” The last thing you want to do is to listen to these people, even if they’re really wise and godly. Blow them off. Be nice about it, of course. But don’t take their advice. You’re in charge of your own life! You should get to do what you want. That means we’re going to go get us some Promised Land! Bring on them giants!
- Keep doing what you want.
This is the fifth and final step of our method. It’s simple really. Just keep doing what you wanted without any change whatsoever. Real repentance is all about turning away from the act that you committed. That’s not for us. What we’re after is just enough remorse to get off the hook, and then we’re back at what we wanted in the first place. And what we want is some milk and honey. First on the list is the Amorites…
Editor’s Note: Shortly after this final entry, the Israelite army was chased out of the hill country as if by a swarm of bees. Their army suffered a humiliating defeat. No further attempts were made to enter Canaan for approximately forty years. For further information regarding this account, please see Numbers 13-14 or Deuteronomy 1.