When I was a little boy, an old neighbor across the street used to call me ‘Johnny What’. Guess he called me that because I kept asking him ‘what does that mean’, ‘what did you say’, and ‘what about that’. Inquisitive little guy who probably wore out his welcome much like Dennis the Menace with Mr. Wilson! I liked that old neighbor in spite of ‘what’ he said about me!
Today’s Bible reading is not only about ‘what’ but also ‘who’. The Old Testament prophet Micah poses a most important question–‘who is a God like you…?(v.18). Good question? Any comparisons worth their salt? Here’s a ‘what’ for my old neighbor–what is God like? His character?
Micah 7 is packed full. Who is like our God? What can be said of Him? Well, for starters, He forgives sin. If that were all, that’s good enough for me! But there’s more. Called before the Judge to give account of our breaking the law, instead of giving us a deserved sentence, he pardons us. What! We’re set free!
Then Micah says that He ‘…forgives the transgression of the remnant of His inheritance’. God lets go of our guilt when we’ve crossed over the line, stepped way out of bounds. Did you notice what we are to Him? His inheritance! His legacy! When the last will and testament of Heaven is read, those who believe in Jesus Christ are awarded as inheritance to God Himself! You and me… God’s bequest!
Micah 7:19 tells us more about who God is. His anger and wrath? Not for long for His inheritance, us. Doesn’t hold a grudge or throw salt on our wounds. I might. You might. He doesn’t. The Bible says that He ‘…delight(s) to show mercy'(v.18). Grace is receiving what we don’t deserve. Mercy, not getting what we do deserve. I’ll take mercy any day of the week! He has lots of it to give.
Why is all this so hard to accept? Too good to be true? Possibly. For me, it’s that I know myself, my failures and foibles. We drag alongside us all that weight of sin that God has let go of. He’s free of them. So should we. Hard to do. But go for it anyway. No pain, no gain. Get behind Him. Believe what He says. Be free as free can be…in Jesus Christ! Amen?
Prayer: For freeing us in forgiveness and mercy, we thank you our God. We want to be an inheritance worth receiving. In Jesus’ name. Amen.