Reading: Micah 7; Jeremiah 31:31-34
God will show His glory again to His people and to the world, in the great deeds which He will do for His people. Part of His greatness is also His mercy. Micah says in verse 18: Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?
It is our nature, not to forgive sins but to remember them forever, and to openly talk about the sins of others, not forgiving them. Bringing them up again, years later. We always have so many difficulties to truly forgive each other their sins. If the Holy Spirit did not work it in us, we would never be willing to forgive each other’s sins.
It is God’s glory, that He in His mercy forgives our sins. He does not stay angry forever. No, He will forgive the sins of His people and He will restore them. Part of that restoration is also that He will renew them. In verse 8-13 we read that Israel will rise again, before the eyes of their enemies. But Israel will not rise as the nation it was before, sinful and disobedient. God will subdue their iniquities. He will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
Jeremiah prophesied in Jeremiah 31, that God will bring about a change. He will make a new covenant, in which He will give them a new heart. He will put His law in them so that by nature they will do what is good and don’t need to be told by others anymore. God is not satisfied with forgiveness alone, but God is going to change His people so that they will sin no more. They will know what is good and they will do what is good. That is God’s mercy. He does not just forgive sins, but He also renews.
God will not just bring His people back from exile and then again have lots of patience with them, as happened in the past. God is going to work something that had never happened in the past. God, Himself makes a new start. Not by changing His demands or conditions for salvation. He is going to change the people so that mankind is going to be able to meet God’s unchangeable conditions. God was going to work something that no ear had heard and no eye had seen and no human mind had ever conceived. He was going to send a Saviour, Who in the first place would pay for their sins, but Who at the same time would also change the hearts and the natures of His people. That is what God does through His own Spirit.
God did not accept His people as they were. He was not satisfied with an imperfect situation. No. He renewed them and was going to make them perfect. God would be very merciless if He accepted us as we are, in our sinful state. Then He would let us continue to struggle, and every time He would forgive us, but next time we would do the same again. If God would accept His people as they were, in the Old Testament, then that would be an endless continuation of the disappointments in the Old Testament.
God has a much greater plan with His people. God accepts you in Jesus Christ! He renews you by His Spirit. God is not satisfied before His work of renewal is complete. God does not accept an imperfect situation. He will continue to work until He will have made you perfect. There will be a time when you don’t have to go to God every day again to confess your sins and ask for forgiveness. The last day, when Christ returns.
God is great in His mercy. God is great in His love. That is part of His almighty power. In this power, He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ. He is the Saviour, through Whom God works His great work of redemption. God showed His almighty power AND His mercy in the coming of His Son Jesus Christ to this earth. And in that God showed His LOVE for this world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
It is with this prophecy that Micah may close this book. Although Micah didn’t know exactly how it would be and what exactly would happen, he did know that the salvation would come from God. Micah had plenty of reason to give thanks to God.
That gives us also much reason for thankfulness. God placed us as His people in this world. We don’t belong to this world. We belong to the Kingdom of God and we expect a better world. But God placed us in this world as a witness to this world, to show that there is a beautiful future for this world. We have the beginning of that future. In Christ. We have the beginning of that new life. In a world that is racing in an increasingly high speed towards its destruction and eternal misery. We have life, eternal life. Life that nobody can take away. Life, In Christ.
Living on this earth, expecting a new heaven and a new earth. Looking forward to that great day, the return of our LORD and SAVIOUR, Jesus Christ on the clouds.