November 13, 2021
“Who is a God like You, removing iniquity and passing over rebellion for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not hold on to His anger forever...”
“Who is a God like You, removing 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. He 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 fathers from days long ago.” Micah 7:18-20
Someone once said the difference between “Sympathy” and “Compassion” is that a sympathetic person sees & feels but does nothing. A compassionate person sees and feels and gets to work amending the situation.
I thank God that He didn’t simply “sympathize” with our sin struggle. He has compassion and puts His love into action. That’s what the Biblical idea of Messiah is all about. God provided redemption to the spiritually bankrupt because of His great compassion. He set into motion His plan to remove our iniquity by vanquishing it, and He cast our sin into a “sea of forgetfulness,” as it were.
“But God demonstrated His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us.” Romans 5:8
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and save the lost.” Luke 19:10
Anyone holding to the opinion that the “Old Testament God” was always angry, smiting, and purely a God of wrath should heed Micah’s message. There is no “Old” and “New” God. There is only God because His character never changes. That is why His promises are always trustworthy. He promises to 1) Judge & rebuke sin, and 2) Show grace & mercy to all who humble themselves, wholeheartedly turning to Him.
When Micah speaks of “Jacob,” he is referring to “Israel,” i.e., “Hebrews.” When he says of “Abraham,” he is including anyone who, like Abraham, believes in the Lord by faith and is counted righteous, by God’s grace. We must remember that Abraham was a Gentile (from Ur of the Chaldees) when he responded to the call of God. Matthew 1:1 describes Messiah Jesus as “Son of David, Son of Abraham” for this very reason. Salvation is (and has always been) offered to both Jew and Gentile, by God’s grace, through faith in Him.
It has always been God’s heart to honor true repentance, regardless of a person’s ethnicity. Israel does not hold exclusive rights to the Lord. That Jesus would be the Savior of the world (John 3:16-17) is not an exclusively “New Testament” idea.
“He says, ‘It is too small a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make you a light of the nations, so that my salvation (Yeshua) may reach to the end of the earth.’” Isaiah 49:6