Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18-19)
What A Wonderful God We Serve
The history of man has never been anything that has shown man to be worth a great deal. From the beginning, the struggle against sin resulted in Adam and Eve being cast out of the Garden of Eden, the world of Noah’s day literally destroyed and the apple of God’s eye – Israel – destroyed from the ravaging stench of sin. It goes unabated today. The world is in a fragile state of immorality destroying nations and families with its insidious onslaught of unfulfilled promises. Why does God allow the world to stand? Looking around the world makes a person stop and question how much worse can it be and when will the Lord return and bring all this misery to an end? Reflecting in a personal way can be a challenge to question why the Lord continues to forgive us when we struggle so hard with sin. The prophet Micah gives us the answer.
Who is a God like the Lord of the Bible? His grace gave hope to Adam and Eve in the beginning because He forgave them offering a way of escape. The world of Noah’s day was completely given over to sin. He destroyed all those who rebelled but Noah found grace in His eyes and the Lord God saved eight people. Israel was the precious vineyard of the Lord that He destroyed because of their rebellion but there was a remnant that came out of the darkness because of their faithfulness. Who can we compare the Lord God Almighty with regarding anything man has done? There is no God like our Father. He does not stay angry forever. There may be reason for Him to retain His anger because we sin repeatedly but He does not because He is full of mercy. His love is so abounding we cannot fathom how much God loves us.
Penitent hearts are so dear to God. When David did all those terrible things involving Bathsheba, the Lord saw a tender heart of godly sorrow and forgave him. Saul of Tarsus devoted his early life to the complete obliteration of the church of Christ and yet he found mercy from a loving God who forgave him and molded him into an instrument of righteousness. Who is a God like that? If our Father will forgive David and Saul (among so many more examples) then why do we think He will not forgive us when we are filled with godly sorrow and remorse? Our Father in Heaven will pardon us. That means the sentence of death is removed. He will pass over our sin because He sees the blood of Jesus Christ and our hearts of penitent sorrow. The anger God has with sin He removes because He wants to, desires to, and longs to extend His mercy to us in every measure of His nature.
The Lord is a God of wrath. Of this, we must not be mistaken. But this fear of the wrath of His character is not why we serve Him. We follow the will of God because He is full of mercy forgiving us every time we sin casting our sins into the deepest part of the sea. Coming to the Lord in love for His mercy we are forgiven and stand righteous before Him in love. Who is a God like Him? His truth and His mercy have been from everlasting. His promises are true. Thank God for the wonderful grace of His love.
When it is said that God loves man this is not a judgment on what man is like, but on what God is like. (Anders Nygren, Agape and Eros, 1953)