Wednesday, 12 October 2022
“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” – Micah 7:18
Our key verse gives us immense hope, as God is perceived a merciful God! Micah, who was a contemporary of Isaiah, speaks here of the incomparability of God. There is nothing of all creation to compare with God! [NKJV Study Bible]. The revelation of God as the one who pardons iniquity comes from Exodus 34:6-9, where God revealed Himself to Moses. Contrary to the concept of many about the God of the Old Testament as a task master, God revealed to His faithful as a merciful God!
It matters much and makes a big difference as to how we perceive God! God revealed His character to His people, through revelations, the ways He dealt with His people and the manner in which He worked in history! Samuel understood that God will not lie (1Samuel15:29). David understood God as glorious, mighty and having all power (1Chron.29:11-13).
This merciful and truthful God declared through Isaiah in Isaiah 9:1-2 about a light that will be shone for the people walking in darkness and even declared the geographical location of this light! Matthew quotes this in Matt.4:12-17 and presents to us that this light promised by God is Jesus Christ! What a wonderful God! He did not forsake His people although they were walking in darkness. In His mercy He sent a Saviour to rescue them- His own Son Jesus Christ!
The Merciful God is the same in the Old Testament as well as in the New, unlike the misunderstanding of many—there are plenty of quotations of His mercy in the Psalms and the Prophets and other books! “For You, LORD, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.” (Ps 86:5). Joel 2: 13: “…Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.” Though His chosen people sinned against Him and turned from His way over and over again and they bore the consequences of their sin, yet His tender mercy pursued them in pardoning them and restoring them! Prophet Micah was confident of His mercy and forgiveness when He wrote: “Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity…. He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy….You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:18,19).
The picture of the Merciful Father is so well etched in the story of the Prodigal in Luke 15:11-31- “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” (vs20). The Father’s mercy flowed into the son’s total reinstating! The same holds for you and me who will willingly run back to our Merciful Father’s arms, truly repenting of the ways we grieved Him. Psalm 30: 5 says, “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life…”
Today the Merciful God has given us His Son Christ Jesus through whom we can receive the forgiveness of sin and be totally restored to Him! He has placed all our sin and the just punishment we should have received on His Son so that we can be pardoned! Would you spurn His loving-kindness and tender mercy towards you today; or in true humility receive it so that you will be covered in His love? 1 John 4:9 (NLV) says, “This is love! It is not that we loved God but that He loved us. For God sent His Son to pay for our sins with His own blood.” Would you receive this new life in Him?
Think on: “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy….” -Psalm 33:18
Listen: 'What a Merciful God...'