When the Lord gave his prophetic word to the prophet Micah, there was plenty of judgment foretold that was to be unleashed on the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. Much of his prophecies spoke of bleakness and darkness for the Hebrew kingdoms–necessary actions that they deserved because of the rampant sinful culture they had fostered in violation of God’s word. But included among the doom and gloom were prophetic words of hope and God’s promised deliverance that would follow his judgments.
Micah was shown such wonderful images of God’s undying love for his people that he penned the following words:
18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7
Micah saw with his own eyes all the horrible things the worship of false gods brought to his society and the surrounding nations. That’s how he knew those other gods couldn’t even come close to being compared to the one true living God that he served. Only Jehovah was so merciful, loving, and compassionate that he would undoubtedly forgive even the worst sins of anyone who would repent of their wicked ways and turn to the Lord for forgiveness.
The traditions of all other gods showed that no matter what their worshipers did, there were never any 100% assurances that those gods would be or could be appeased. Their blind followers could never be sure that they had done everything to be in good standing with their false gods–even if they sacrificed their own children on fiery altars. Jehovah, on the other hand, had shown throughout the history of Israel that he was always ready, willing, and able to be reasoned with so that his people could easily receive his mercy if they had a heart to humble themselves before the Lord. It made God happy to have the opportunity to set aside his anger over their disobedience, show them compassion, and help them conquer their iniquities.
The same assurances he gave Micah are the exact same assurances we have today through the Lord Jesus Christ. When sin hangs over our heads like an out-of-control debt, God is the one who cancels the debt by blotting out our transgressions with the blood of Jesus. When sin is like a criminal indictment against us, God steps in as both our judge and advocate to declare us not guilty through the Lord Jesus. When sin is built up like a brick wall that keeps us from God, God is like a wrecking ball or bulldozer knocking the wall down to clear the way for us to be in his presence. That’s why he’s the only God worthy of our praises forever and ever. Amen.