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Who is the God we worship?

Columbia Biblical Studies: Wednesday, August 13
Columbia Biblical Studies: Wednesday, August 13
Barb Ver Sluis

Today’s bible study is Micah 7:18: Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.

Who is a God like you? What an interesting question to ask! Have we ever stopped to ask it? Have we ever wondered exactly what kind of God we are putting out trust in, believing implicitly in, constantly being grateful to, and speaking to in our prayers?

It’s interesting, and many of us actually have not done so. We know a great deal about God through the teachings of the bible, the words of Jesus and the writings of the apostles. But what is God really like? What is the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? We know that God delights in mercy and is forgiving and kind. We know that the love of God surpasses all human expressions and forms of love. Yet, Micah raises an intriguing question. To answer it, it helps to study some historical context.

In Chapter 7, Micah testifies to what the righteous remnant should do in the midst of God’s judgment. They should resolve to pray and look expectantly for the Lord’s deliverance that will be the fruit of His judgment. This is again expressed in Habakkuk 3:1-2.

The conclusion of Micah is a song of victory. It is written from the perspective of God’s city, Jerusalem, and its people as they recover from judgment. It celebrates finding the light of the Lord’s presence after experiencing the darkness. It also celebrates vindication before the nations who have proudly opposed God and anticipated their submission to Him. It acknowledges the justice of God’s dealings with His people and expresses submission to the Lord’s will as confidence in His faithfulness. Finally it rejoices in wonder at the Lord’s compassionate pardon.

We are left with questions, not answers. Perhaps the answers, if some there be, are beyond our comprehension. Even theologians composing concordances have no appreciable answers. Historical context is helpful, yet is inadequate. Suffice it to say, may we, like the Israelites, rejoice in God’s compassion and vindication and submit with confidence to his holy will.

References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock, The MacArthur Bible Commentaryby John MacArthur, Concise Bible Commentary, David S. Dockery, General Editor

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