Thursday, March 17, 2011

repentance & steadfast love

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.
Micah 7:18

This final chapter of the prophet Micah is a chapter of repentance. In it we see that even though God is stern in justice and judgment, He is also steadfast in his unfailing love. This chapter is very personal, and I think it is Micah's personal response to the message God had given him to proclaim. And as such, it may have been a personification of what God wanted to see His people do.

There is a strong reaction of confession in the first six verses. Micah goes so far as to keep it just between himself and God. But it is clear that repentance is in view and that repentance would gain the attention of the God Who saves (Micah 7:7). A quiet trust in the coming of salvation and restoration of fortune is the theme of this last part of the book.

God is always ready to pardon sin and to respond to real repentance. That does not mean that all consequences of past sin are eliminated, but it does mean that relationship is restored. Chapter seven reminds Israel of the covenant blessings that God wants to restore to His people. God's steadfast love follows our sincere and solemn repentance. God is delights in loving us this way. He does not want to be the sin punisher. He wants to grant pardon, new life, and joy! Those who have been forgiven know this and grow closer to God.

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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