“Who is a God like you, forgiving iniquity and passing over rebellion for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not hold on to his anger forever because he delights in faithful love. He will again have compassion on us; he will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show loyalty to Jacob and faithful love to Abraham, as you swore to our ancestors from days long ago.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
When you are writing or speaking one of the things you want to keep in mind is that people will tend to remember the last thing you say better than all the rest. This means you need to make sure to save your best stuff for last. With that in mind, when reading through an individual document in the Scriptures, we do well to pay special attention to what the author saved for the end. That’s the thing he most wants us to keep in mind. So, what do we find at the end of Micah’s collection of prophecy? Let’s take a look and talk about it.
Micah is one of the longer works of the Minor Prophets. It’s been quite a journey. We’ve seen him announce judgment on the leaders and the priests of Israel. We’ve seen descriptions of the state of the nation as a whole that left us sharing in his sadness and frustration. At the same time, we’ve seen promises of redemption that left our hearts soaring. There have even been some pointers toward the Messiah that reminded us of just how carefully our God planned out our salvation. As I said, quite a book.
Here at the end, we indeed find that Micah has saved the best for last. This is a reminder of who God is; one that should stick with us wherever we go. Let’s talk through this.
What kind of God do we serve? We serve one who forgives iniquity. He forgives sin. Think for a minute about how amazing that is. If God is even a little bit like the various guys who contributed to the Scriptures describe Him to be, by what logic should we expect Him to forgive us? He created us. And it wasn’t like it was hard for Him. He put a little more effort into us, but most of creation He simply spoke into existence. If creation was that easy for Him and we rejected Him in favor of ruling ourselves (a crazy notion when you think about it… demonstrated amply by our failures at it), why not just wipe us out and start over?
He doesn’t just forgive, though. Micah gets more descriptive next. He passes over rebellion. Seriously? How good is this God? Just how far are the limits of His patience?
And when He gets angry—just because He forgives iniquity and passes over rebellion doesn’t mean they don’t make Him angry—He doesn’t stay angry. We’re often told He’s an angry God. Nope. Not according to Micah here. He doesn’t hold anger forever. Why? Because He delights in faithful love. He would much rather shower us with love than hold us away in His anger. He made us to keep us near. He’s going to default back to that as often and as quickly as He can. His default setting is love. Wow. Just wow.
It gets better. He won’t simply forgive our iniquities, He will have compassion on us when we have sinned and vanquish them. He destroys our sin. This was only a promise that Micah was making to Israel. It is a glorious reality for us because Jesus did indeed vanquish our iniquities on the cross.
He vanquished them and cast them—all of them—into the depths of the seas. That is, He cast them as far away from us as they could possibly be. Today we might have put this as Him casting them to the furthest corners of the universe. Furthermore, when He has made a promise, He keeps it. Period.
That’s the kind of God we serve. It’s the kind of God He’s always been. It’s the kind of God He will always be. When all things come to an end, this is who will be standing over it all, shining with all the glory there is to be had. He is the thing that will last. I wonder: Do you know Him? If you don’t, it’s time to fix that. You’ll be glad you did.