Micah 7:18 KJV
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.
No other god is like you. You chose us to be your people. And you decide not to remember what we have done wrong. Not many of your people remain and we have done bad things. But you choose to forget those bad things. You will not always be angry, because you want very much to be kind.
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Passeth by the transgression
Not conniving at it, but forgiving it; leaving it unpunished, as a traveller passes by what he chooses not to look into (Proverbs 19:11). Contrast Amos 7:8 , and “mark iniquities,” Psalms 130:3.
The remnant who shall be permitted to survive the previous judgment: the elect remnant of grace (Micah 4:7, 5:3,7,8).
Retaineth not … anger
Delighteth in mercy
God’s forgiving is founded on His nature, which delights in loving-kindness, and is averse from wrath.
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Who is a God like unto Thee?
We finish this series as we started.
You remember that Micah’s name meant “Who is like the Lord”?
That name contained a confession, and also a program, and in accordance with his name, Micah recorded it for the rights and statutes of the Lord.
He has called the people back to the service of the living God and has preached and displayed His incomparable beauty and glory.
Well, at the very end of his prophecies, he puts the trumpet to the mouth one more time and calls it out with great force: “Who is a God like You…?”
His glory is unspeakable. But they especially shine in this, says Micah, that He “forgives iniquity and passes over the transgression of His remnant”!
Indeed, who can ever comprehend that: There is mercy with Him for the greatest sinner.
Forgiveness to all who bow to Him with confession of guilt. And that at the expense of His own Son.
▪︎ What a Gospel!
▪︎ What an unfathomable love for sinners!
▪︎ Whoever learns to understand anything about it, the miracle cannot bear it, and repeats it after Micah: “Who is a God like You …!”
We know very little about the prophet Micah.
It is as if the prophet is completely hidden behind his name!
After all, Micah is short for Micahah: who is like the Lord?
Today we hear the themes we encountered in Micah:
▪︎ God’s wrath because of Israel’s sins,
▪︎ and the judgment to be borne.
Yet Micah is not without hope!
He knows of the destruction to come on Samaria and Jerusalem.
But he also knows who God is!
He knows that God does not abandon the works of His hands and never breaks His given word. That is why there is hope!
Do you know what is typical of the God of Israel, of the Father of Jesus Christ?
He differs from all gods because He is a God who forgives, says Micah.
He does not keep His wrath forever, and He casts our sins into the depths of the sea.
The gods don’t do that.
▪︎ These are capricious as fate,
▪︎ resentful and vindictive as quickly offended people.
▪︎ Allah speaks of laws,
▪︎ Buddha of resignation.
▪︎ Forgiveness of sins and atonement for guilt is at the heart of the Bible, of the preaching of Jesus Christ.
It is therefore an excellent reason for Micah to praise God for that.
You only do the latter if you have experienced how much space forgiveness gives you.
We are as new to God.
▪︎ We may look at Him frank and free again.
▪︎ We can face our neighbor again.
▪︎ We thank Him that Jesus died and rose for us.
▪︎ We have been saved forever and will go free in the latter.
Joy, eternal joy, becomes our part.
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