“Who is a God like you…” Micah 7:18
There are two kinds of people in this world. (Okay there are more than two.) There are those who want to hear the bad news first and then the good news and those who want the good news first and then the bad news. Which kind are you? Ready or not here it comes!
The book of Micah is a poetical (yup that’s a word) contrast of the sinfulness of mankind and the exceptional mercy of God. Before we can fully understand the depth of God’s mercy we must understand the severity of our sin. God speaks through the Prophet Micah in chapter 7 to deliver three irrefutable truths.
Three Irrefutable Truths
#1 You are a sinner.
We are people drawn to sin. Even if we manage to conceal our actions, our thoughts convict us. The Apostle Paul said it this way in Romans 3:23 “All have sinned”. It’s irrelevant to which particular sin you are drawn to.
God does not grade our level of sinfulness. There is no distinction between sins because all sin has the same outcome, immediate and eternal separation from God. You were not created to live apart from God. Comparing your sin to someone else’s sin is no way to lighten the guilt of your sin.
“The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.” Luke 18:11
If you feel this way about your sin, that’s Pharisaical. You need to be “de-Pharisee’ed” (that is not a word). The Pharisees did not think they were sinless. They believed their sin was not as bad as others. All sin is repulsive to a holy and righteous God. There is no sin less vile in God’s sight.
#2 Sin angers God
Micah 7:18 tells us that sin and rebellion angers God. God is not bothered or troubled by sin and rebellion, He is angered by it. The Hebrew word for anger speaks of anger growing strong. God’s anger burns hot towards sin.
God’s anger is not an uncontrolled emotional outburst like human anger. This may seem paradoxical but God’s love and mercy causes His anger towards sin to burn strong. How is that? On the backside of every sin is injustice. Someone is debased, innocence is violated, evil is accepted and celebrated.
God’s mercy does not mean that He will turn a blind eye towards injustice. God is a just God and will come to the defense of those who have been the victim of injustice.
#3 Mercy triumphs over sin!
Are you ready for some good news? Hold on it’s coming!
Micah uses three different words to talk about sin. This is intentional in order to enlarge our understanding of the severity of sin.
- Sin expresses the perversity and depravity of the act.
- Transgression emphasizes the evil nature of sin and rebellion.
- Iniquity expresses the guilt of our actions, highlighting missing the mark.
Here comes the good news! To show His sovereignty over sin, God uses FOUR phrases to express mercy!
- God will pardon our sin, (v.18).
- God will forgive our transgression, (v.18).
- God will tread our sins underfoot, (v.19).
- God will hurl all our iniquities into the depth of the seas, (v.19)
In each phrase God effectively removes sin from us and eliminates our sin debt. It’s not a partial removal or a temporary one but a full and complete work. It’s not an automatic removal; we receive it through repentance.
So if God is quick to show us mercy when we are so undeserving of it, why do we withhold mercy from those who hurt or offend us?
“13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:13
Do you need mercy? Show mercy!
Have you been shown mercy? Show mercy!
Mercy is a journey that begins with a single step. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Be set free from the burden of offence and the weight of hurt by showing mercy.