This is the chapter where JVJ has decided to turn himself in, even though a clear path to “do nothing ” lies before him for the taking. Even the consequences of doing nothing (unlike Nazi Germany) do not seem all that bad. Still, he has hidden his secret for long enough and his soul cries out for confession, to be free indeed. For although he was no longer bodily in prison, no amount of good works could compensate for his guilt. These next few chapters are the most challenging to me personally. JVJ has only God to witness his decision, and he chooses what will please his one witness.
A the beginning of C2 he starts to ask for counsel, but has a second thought and walks away. My speculation is that he was afraid that he would lose his determination. I have had some moments like this in my life. I remember one particular time that I had spoken ill of someone behind his back and it suddenly became clear to me that I needed to call and confess. Once I decided to do, I went about it quickly to follow through so that I would not lose my resolve.
There is a good life lesson here: to take the time to bask in the truth of God’s acceptance and love, and enjoy what He says and does in my heart. Then when He speaks clearly, to obey quickly. But I think that usually it is not so harsh as this dark night of JVJ, probably because I have not followed hard enough. I have used counsel coming from a friend as a panacea, to escape my conscience and remain in my apparently comfortable circumstance.
But JVJ makes the right choice to plow on to make the arrangements for the next morning. 4:30? He will be up all night in anxiety waiting for that hour. But his hunger for righteousness drives him forward to be satisfied, even if it means going back to prison.