“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.” (Micah 7:18)
What comes into your mind when you think about God?
A. W. Tozer once wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Our thoughts about God reveal a great deal about ourselves: our hopes, our fears, our worldview and our deepest longings.
Most of us have a range of different ideas that spring to mind when God enters the conversation. Some of those ideas will be good and true, while others will be a mixture of misconceptions, stereotypes, caricatures and projections from popular cultures. Our view of God is crucial but so often created from sources far removed from the truth of God’s word.
If our view of God is the most important thing about us, then it’s vital that we get our view of God from what he has said about himself. We need to have our thoughts about God shaped by what God has revealed in his word. We need our minds reconnected and redirected to the true and living God, and the final chapter of the book of Micah is a great place to begin.
In the final verses of his book, Micah ask the most important question: “Who is a God like you?” Micah knows that what he thinks about God is the deepest thing about himself, and so he asks what God is really like. Is there anything that God can be compared to, asks Micah, and the answer is no. There is nobody like God.
So what is God like? He pardons sin and forgives transgression. That doesn’t mean that God forgets justice or he doesn’t care about sin. Read the rest of Micah’s book if you aren’t sure! But this is also far from the vengeful ‘Old Testament God’ that is usually parodied in popular culture. God can care deeply about justice and also pardon sin and show mercy. Micah talks about God treading our sins underfoot, stamping out the fire of sin and crushing guilt and shame under his boot. Micah says that God hurls our iniquities into the depths of the sea. All our wrongdoing has been weighted down and thrown into the deepest part of the ocean, never to be seen again.
Who is a God like you? God is faithful and shows love to his people, “as you pledged on oath … in days long ago” says Micah as he closes his book. God is like a suitor romancing his bride, God is like a groom on his wedding day pledging his marriage vows, God is like a faithful husband, loving his wife forever. God’s love knows no bounds and no end. He is faithful and true, steadfast and constant, even when we are flaky and uncertain.
Who is a God like you? This God was willing to show his love by coming to earth and living as a human being. In the person of Jesus, God lived and loved and showed himself to us. In Jesus, God’s justice and mercy came together as he went to die on a cross saying “Father, forgive them.” On the third day, Jesus rose again to show that our sin is trampled underfoot and our guilt and shame taken away forever.
Is this the kind of God that comes to our minds? What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. Let our minds go quickly and easily to this kind of God, the kind of God that Micah talks about and who has revealed himself to us. Let’s throw away those misconceptions and misunderstandings and fill our hearts and minds with the God who is truly there.