Micah’s Final Word
Rev. Robert J. Gebel
Micah 7:18-20 Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. 19He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. 20You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.
Reading Micah’s prophecies is a challenge of endurance. Back and forth like a divine pendulum, the prophet alternates harsh words of condemnation for God’s rebellious children to tender appeals of comfort and restoration. It leaves the reader asking, “Which is it? Mercy or wrath? Pardon or punishment?
In these days of unchartered territory of the corona virus, we may find our emotions swinging on a pendulum as well. Is this a good thing to have more time at home to enjoy my family and have a reason not to “be running all over”? or Is this a bad thing – how are we going to pay all our bills? What about delayed medical procedures and treatments? How can I care for my aging parents? I am getting bored and I just want to visit friends and family.
In the middle of it all (Micah 5:2), God makes his own surprise announcement: God is sending the Leader of His own choosing, the One from Ancient Days, to step in, over, and above the competition. He is a Leader beyond compare for a task beyond measure: He will step in and finish the task of Israel’s long forgotten mission to be a blessing to all nations.
How will it all end? Micah closes his scroll with incredible words of promise and hope, pardon, relenting of divine anger, and the casting of our sins into the heart of the sea. The shepherd comes not just to lead the flock, but to cleanse and restore.
Question for Contemplation: What does it look like in my life to hang onto God’s promises in these days of constant change?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for compassionately carrying my sins far from God’s sight. Amen.