Who is a God like You

Micah 7:18

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Who is a God like You, who forgives wickedness
And passes over the rebellious acts of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He [constantly] delights in mercy and lovingkindness. (AMP)

¿Qué Dios como tú, que perdona la maldad, y olvida el pecado del remanente de su heredad? No retuvo para siempre su enojo, porque se deleita en misericordia. (RVR1960)

     Have you ever stood by the edge of the sea and felt the power of under tow. Or maybe you have never ventured to an ocean but have stood at the base of a mountain (or better on top) and taken in all of it’s majesty. Some have never left the great plains but have seen them rolling on what seems like forever. All of these are just a portion of the many ways we know there is no God like the God of the Bible the creator (Genesis 1) of all things. 

In our text this morning Chapter 7 begins with the prophet Micah crying out “Woe is me” because the nation of Israel has once again gone astray and failed to follow God’s commands. He goes on in v.7 to say Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me. 

We know that salvation comes from God alone, by Faith alone through Christ alone Micah did also. He will look to the Lord, and he will wait for the God of my salvation. But he did not sit idly by (waiting) he confessed  v.8-13 of the sins of Israel. 

In v.14-17  Micah calls upon the promised comfort of God for those who turn (repent) from their evil ways. Then we get to our main text v.18: 

Who is a God like You, What other (false) god could compare to a God like you who has come through for this nation of sinners so many times, never wavering on your promises

who forgives wickedness; Time after time you are ready to forgive our transgressions, when others are so ready to condemn us

And passes over the rebellious acts of the remnant of His possession? This is not to imply God did not or does not require payment or actions for our sins. Christ paid the Sin penalty for God’s elect, we must act accordingly and ask forgiveness whenever we sin (1 John 1:9)

He does not retain His anger forever, God hates sin (and the sinner) but a loving God does not retain that hate against those who repent.  

Because He [constantly] delights in mercy and lovingkindnessMicah tells us why God does not hold a grudge or retain anger, it is because His nature is one of mercy and lovingkindness. The Psalmist put it this way Psalm 147:11 The Lord favors those who fear and worship Him [with awe-inspired reverence and obedience], Those who wait for His mercy and lovingkindness.

There is no other God like that of the Bible; one so ready to forgive those who are so ready to offend. 

Children Through Christ

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Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us[b]for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Predestination remains very controversial today. Does God actually have a plan for everything? Does God predestine or predetermine everything about a persons life? The simple answer to the above questions and many more, is Yes. God is in control of all things, He is sovereign, the rule over all creation. If He is not why worship Him?

Today’s verse is one of many confirming that sovereignty and plan. lets look a little further at it. Verses 1-3 of Ephesians is Paul’s introduction to the church at Ephesus. The he says in verse 4, that God plan of redemption for mankind was predetermined.   In fact God, chose us in him {Christ Jesus} before the foundation of the world. God chooses those who will believe in Him, before creation began. Boom, brain exploding, how could anyone have that knowledge, they can’t only the sovereign God of the universe. He chooses them in Christ so that they may be be holy and blameless before him. There are two implication here; first the universal plan of redemption through Christ and secondly the individual plan for only the redeemed can live a holy and blameless life.

Verse 5 makes it clear, he predestined us[b]for adoption to himself. This is an emphatic or definitive statement. Who is it God predestined, who are the us? Again context, context, context; Paul under inspiration of the Holy Spirit is writing to the church (believers). The us is all redeemed believers. 

What is it He redeemed us to? Being called sons {of the most High God} through Jesus Christ. Our redemption through Christ is so we can be part of the family of God, His adopted children. 

There is no other way, as Paul writes this is all according to the purpose of his will. It is about God and Him alone not about us.

Here is a link to one of the parts in a series on the Order of Salvation, Ordo Salutis, a few years back the further explains this.

Extract from Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary

In those verses he begins with ascribing to God the Father, his personal acts of grace and love in choosing the Church in Christ, predestinating the persons of the Church to the adoption of children by Christ, and accepting the Church in Christ to the praise of the glory of his grace. And, as those three glorious acts of God the Father, are all said to be the result of his own good pleasure and will, so are they declared to be before the foundation of the world. As these sovereign acts of God the Father, though here compressed within a little compass, contain in their bosom immense designs, and are, indeed, the very charter of grace, I beg the Reader to pause over them a few moments, and consider each of them a little more particularly, as calling up the most awakened feelings of the soul, in love and praise.

The first which is spoken of is, that God hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Hence, it must undeniably follow, that when Christ, as Christ, that is, God and man in one Person, had, at the call of Jehovah, come up to the divine view, as the Head and Husband of his Church from everlasting. Psalms 110:4Hebrews 5:4-5Psalms 89:19. this help-meet for him was chosen in him. It was not good in Jehovah’s sight, that the God-man should be alone. Genesis 2:18. The Lord, therefore, chose the Church as a Bride for him, to be his companion, unto whom he might impart all communicable grace here, in the time-state of her nature, and all communicable glory, in the eternal state hereafter; and all to Christ’s glory, that He might be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.

And I beg the Reader to remark with me, the blessedness of what the Apostle saith, concerning this choice that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love. This is the first and original view God had of the Church when chosen, holy, and without blame in Christ. This is the first and last view God hath always of the Church in Christ. In Christ there can be no change. For, though in the after-state which took place at the fall in the Adam – transgression, the Church became polluted in herself and her fallen nature; yet, the time-state of sin cannot do away the Lord’s purposes of eternity. No sin in Adam can destroy the holiness in Christ. It is in Christ the Church is chosen, and in him chosen to be holy, and without blame before God in love. And by the undertaking which Christ hath accomplished in himself; and by his one offering of himself, once offered, he hath redeemed, his Church from all iniquity, and perfected forever them that are sanctified. And, as this was all along among the first designs of God, however last to be executed; so, the Church, when finally brought home by Christ, will still be found in Christ, holy and without blame, before God in love; and JESUS will present her to himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but holy, and without blemish. Ephesians 5:27.

When the Reader hath duly pondered this unspeakable mercy, let him pass on to the second manifestation of God the Father’s love, which the Apostle hath recorded in this chapter, when he saith, having predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. Here is another distinguishing blessing hanging in one rich cluster of God’s love, upon the same divine branch. Predestination differs somewhat from choosing, because, while the former act of choosing determines the Person, the latter of predestinating appoints the means. And the determination here spoken of, to Sonship in Christ, makes the means everlastingly certain and sure. For, saith the same Apostle elsewhere, if children then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. Romans 8:17. The beloved Apostle was so struck with the contemplation of this view, that, unable to contain himself, he cried out, Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God! 1 John 3:1.

And I beg the Reader yet further to observe, that this predestination to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ, is blessedly said to be to himself. But who shall explain the full extent of this meaning? To himself! Is it, (I humbly ask the question, but presume not to answer,) is it to Jehovah, in his threefold character of Person, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as in reference to each and to all, similar to that mysterious, but soul-comforting truth, where it is said, God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself! 2 Corinthians 5:19. Or is it in a personal way, specially spoken, as by the Father? Reader! ponder the weighty words, for they are most blessed. To himself! Not to happiness only, simply in itself. Not to blessing’s only in time, or blessings in eternity. Not to all the creation of God, with all that an eternal world can furnish. Not to these, but to God himself. Oh! the wonderful grace contained in the expression: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will! Sweetly the LORD speaks on this ground in several Scriptures: This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. Isaiah 43:21. So again: Know that Jehovah hath set apart him that is godly for himself; Psalms 4:3. So once more: For Jehovah hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar pleasure. Psalms 135:4. Reader! I do but glance at those rich things. To unfold them to the full is impossible!

Who is a God Like Unto Thee

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Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage?(*) He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

 – Micah 7:18-19 (KJV)

(*) At first glance many will just read over this (and much of the Old Covenant/Testament with little thought other than ‘that’s nice’ or ‘I knew that’ or some such thing. But pause a moment to really thing about what is written here in these two verses.

God pardons, that is as He did not see it, completely ignoring it forgiving it having compassion upon those who have transgressed (sinned against Him). There are few questions that arise from these passages of scripture; 1) Who is it that God forgives and has compassion for and 2) Why does God choose to does this. 

First; this is clearly aimed at God’s chosen people,the remnant of his heritage”, His elect. The bible in Verses like Isaiah 1:18, Acts 3:19 and 1 John 1:9 make it clear that only those who repent and ask for forgiveness will receive it. The unregenerate, unbelieving do not see their sinful ways and will never do this. 

Second: God is both a just and merciful God. He does not simply overlook our sin for all transgression must be punished Num 14:18Romans 3:22-26 (AMP). So why does God forgive any sin, because he delighteth in mercy.” Think on that a moment and realize once again there is nothing you can do it is all about God and God alone, Sola Deo Gloria!

Third: I forgot to mention the implied third question these verses leave us with. If God only pardons His elect that is His chosen people what happens to the remainder of folks?  Romans 1:18-32 makes it clear man is without excuse and .v32 “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”   -Mike