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Micah – Pardon me

Who is a God like You,
Pardoning iniquity
And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?

He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in mercy.
He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities.

You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea.
You will give truth to Jacob
And mercy to Abraham,
Which You have sworn to our fathers
From days of old.
Micah 7:18-20

Micah had a wide lens. He prophesied during the same general time as Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea, and spoke to both the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel. But from the very start, he makes it clear that this prophecy has a much broader application.

"Attention! Let all the people of the world listen! Let the earth and everything in it hear." Micah 1:2

This little Book of Micah is addressed to everyone on earth. We are all admonished to listen and hear! So while his prophecy addresses Samaria (northern kingdom) and Jerusalem (southern kingdom) specifically, ultimately, judgment for all sin will come through Christ Himself.

"Look! The Lord is coming! He leaves his throne in heaven and tramples the heights of the earth." Micah 1:3

Micah writes of God's judgment for sin and much more including prophecies of Christ's birth in Bethlehem, pardon for sin and His unfailing love and faithfulness to those who love Him.

In chapter six Micah outlines charges of disobedience, to which Israel asks again, What does God require? What kind of sacrifice will it take to appease the Lord? Micah explains that God has already shown us what to do, that God desires obedience more than sacrifice.

"He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8

This is what God wants for people, in all simplicity. Live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Why is it so difficult? The Apostle Paul writes that the problem with mankind stems from slavery to sin.

"Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy." Romans 6:19

Because of our nature, we have a bent towards living impure and lawless lives. So something like righteous living or being merciful towards God's children is hard when it should be so easy. Sacrifice's won't make it easier, nor will discipline or will power – we need to take care of the sin problem. Micah tells us that God will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea and pardon us from iniquity.

"Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives." Romans 6:4

So the water of baptism is like the deepest sea into which our sin is cast and that old way of living dies, we are pardoned, we are buried with Christ. Then by the glorious power of the Father, we are raised to new life. Lives of living justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God.

Pardon means to be released from the penalty of an offense. Usually, we hear the term associated with governmental pardons of criminals. But God can pardon something no governor or president can – He alone can pardon sin.

New life is possible by God's pardon.

Pardon me, Lord.