09/19/10 He IS!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, September 20, 2010 Under: Sermon
Text: Micah 7:18-20 (HCSB)

18) Who is a God like You, removing iniquity and passing over rebellion for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not hold on to His anger forever, because He delights in faithful love. 19) He will again have compassion on us; He will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. 20) You will show loyalty to Jacob and faithful love to Abraham, as You swore to our fathers from days long ago.”

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” 1 John 1:7

SIN: In the Hebrew (aw-vone)

Intro: Who is like you? He is unique! This letter is Micah’s affirmation that god is unique

The author concluded his book by reminding himself and his readers about the goodness and uniqueness of their God. Micah’s final words of praise show that he had great faith in God’s eventual out-working of His plans for His covenant people. Today orthodox Jews read these verses in their synagogues on the Day of Atonement, after they read the Book of Jonah. The rhetorical question, ‘Who is a God like You?’ May be a word-play on Micah’s name which means, “Who is like Yahweh?“ The obvious answer is that no one is like the Lord. The remainder of Micah 7:18-20 describes what He is like. God’s acts on behalf of His people prove that He is completely trustworthy and merciful.

'My very bones will say, “Lord, who is like You, rescuing the poor from one too strong for him, the poor or the needy from one who robs him?” Psalm 35:10 (HCSB)

“Your righteousness reaches heaven, God, You who have done great things; God, who is like You?” Psalm 71:19 (HCSB)

“God, Your way is holy. What god is great like God?” Psalm 77:13 (HCSB)

“For who in the skies can compare with the Lord? Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord?” Psalm 89:6 (HCSB)

Micah ends his book with a fourfold description of the awesome God of Israel:

Micah’s first description of God:

1. He is unique: vs. 18a “Who is a God like You, removing iniquity.”

He does away with sin. If that isn’t unique I really do not know what is! Praise God for He removes sin.

Three Old Testament words for sin are used in Micah 7:18-19: sin(s), transgression, and iniquities.

“Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit.” John 15:2 (HCSB)

The Lord does judge sin. But even in judgment, He has the salvation of His people in mind. The Lord executes justice for the good of His people. As Scripture says: “For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” This can be seen clearly throughout these verses. Although judgment was to fall upon Israel
, the Lord promised to deliver and save His people. When God’s Kingdom comes, the true believers of Israel will see the light of His salvation. The Lord will deliver His people from their enemies. The nation of Israel will be restored and rebuilt and honored by all people of the world. Even more astounding, the Lord will forgive His people’s sin and iniquity, and He will care for them as a loving shepherd. These awesome promises gave invigorating hope to Micah and the people. Moreover, they offer hope to all societies and people of the world.

“He will not always accuse [us] or be angry forever.” Psalm 103:9 (HCSB)

HE IS UNIQUE!

Micah’s second description of God:

2. He is merciful: vs. 18b “He does not hold on to His anger forever, because He delights in faithful love.”

The prophet had great hope in the Lord; therefore, he prayed and waited for God’s salvation. Speaking on behalf of the people, Micah pleaded with the Lord. He and the people would watch and wait on God. Salvation could come only from the Lord and Micah knew this. Only the mercy of God could save them. The people themselves could do nothing, for they had become too sinful and hard-hearted, too rebellious against the Lord. There seemed to be no turning back from their sin at this point; they had gone too far. If the people’s hearts were to be turned back to the Lord, it would have to be the Lord who acted. This was exactly what the prophet cried out for. He fervently prayed for the Lord’s salvation. And as he prayed, Micah expressed complete confidence in God’s ability and desire to save His people. He proclaimed without reservation that “my God will hear me.”

God will have mercy and compassion on His people. The promise of God’s mercy reassured the prophet of God’s love and faithfulness. The Lord’s mercy encompassed His loving-kindness, His undeserved favor, also embodied God’s faithfulness to His covenant promises, His eternal and Holy Word. God’s Word and promises are firmly established forever. God promised to be loyal to His people, even when they were not. For His own Name’s sake, He will have compassion on them, and He will establish and bless them forever. The Lord’s Holy Word will not be broken; what God says will surely happen; and what He promises will come to pass. Therefore, every true believer is guaranteed God’s forgiveness. All who trust in the Lord will be forgiven – thanks to His undying mercy, His amazing grace, and His compassion.

68) Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited and provided redemption for His people. 69) He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, 70) just as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets in ancient times; 71) salvation from our enemies and from the clutches of those who hate us. 72) He has dealt mercifully with our fathers and remembered His holy covenant – 73) the oath that He swore to our father Abraham. He has given us the privilege, 74) since we have been rescued from our enemies’ clutches, to serve Him without fear 75) in holiness and righteousness in His presence all our days. Luke 1:68-75 (HCSB)

HE IS MERCIFUL!

Micah’s third description of God:

3. He is compassionate: vs. 19 “He will again have compassion on us; He will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”

Well for us who live in the Outer Banks God will not have to go far to cast all our sins into the depths of the sea, and for some it is good that God doesn’t have to carry all those iniquities that far!

“He redeems your life from the Pit; He crowns you with faithful love and compassion.” Psalm 103:4 (HCSB)

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.” Psalm 103:13 (HCSB) Those who fear Him!

“Your compassions are many, Lord; give me life, according to Your judgments.” Psalm 119:156 (HCSB)

It was His compassion He gave to Peter when he denied his Savior three times, it is the same compassion we receive when we do the same.

HE IS COMPASSIONATE!

Micah’s forth description of God:

4. He is faithful: vs. 20 “You will show loyalty to Jacob and faithful love to Abraham, as You swore to our fathers from days long ago.”

13) The Lord was standing there beside him, saying, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your offspring the land that you are now sleeping on. 14) Your offspring will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out toward the west, the east, the north, and the south. All the peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.” Genesis 28:13-14 (HCSB)

Hey! Just in case you do not realize this we are the offspring, we are kin! The New Testament makes clear who the descendents of Abraham are: all who believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ are heirs to the promise of salvation. Therefore, we who believe have all become children of Abraham and joint-heirs with Christ. The Lord promised that through Abraham the whole world would be blessed, and indeed it has been blessed. The promised seed of Abraham included the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is through Him that we have been saved.

6) Then the Lord passed in front of him and proclaimed: Yahweh—Yahweh is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in faithful love and truth, 7) maintaining faithful love to a thousand [generations], forgiving wrongdoing, rebellion, and sin. But He will not leave [the guilty] unpunished, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ wrongdoing on the children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation. Exodus 34:6-7 (HCSB)

The Lord made an amazing promise to Israel: God’s salvation and His Kingdom would come. This was one of the greatest promises ever given to Israel, as well as to all who trust in the Lord. HE IS FAITHFUL! He can keep a promise.

HE IS FAITHFUL!

Conclusion: Micah declared six things about God: (1) He pardons the sin and transgression of the remnant of His inheritance. (2) He does not stay angry forever and (3) He likes to show mercy. What encouragement these truths would have been for the godly remnant living in Israel's corrupt society.
Confident that (4) the Lord will again have compassion, tender, heartfelt concern; on Israel, Micah knew that (5) God would deal with her sins by, figuratively speaking, treading them under foot (subduing them as if they were enemies) and hurling them into ... the sea (thus completely forgiving them).

Micah knew God would do these things because (6) He is true (faithful) to Jacob and shows mercy to Abraham. God cannot lie; He is true to His Word and loyal to His commitments and His oath. Therefore Micah was trusting in God’s promises to Abraham, which were confirmed to Jacob.

Israel’s peace and prosperity will be realized when the Messiah-King reigns. Christ will exercise justice over His and Israel’s opponents and He will extend grace to His own. This promise gave Micah confidence in his dark days and is also a source of comfort to believers today.

Micah ends his prophetic book with the greatest promise ever given to the human race: the promise of salvation. All those who trust in the Lord will be forgiven their sins. Even more amazing, their sins will be cast into the sea and forgotten forever. The Lord will be merciful and faithful to His people and bless them throughout all eternity. Just as He swore to Abraham and Jacob, just as He promised long ago.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

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