Read Micah 7:18–20. What picture of God do we find in this passage?
The last three verses of the book of Micah focus on the relationship of God with His remnant. The text describes beautifully why God is unrivaled. He is incomparable because of His forgiving love and grace. The outstanding characteristic of God, as revealed in Micah (and elsewhere), is His willingness to forgive. Micah emphasizes this point by using various expressions for God’s attributes (vs. 18) and achievements (vss. 19, 20). His attributes and achievements are explained in the language of the Israelite Credo in Exodus 34:6-7, one of the most beloved biblical descriptions of the character of God.
Interestingly, several crucial words in Micah 7:18–20 are also used in the Servant Song in Isaiah 53, pointing to the fact that the means of forgiveness comes from the One who is suffering for the people.
Unfortunately, not everyone will enjoy God’s saving grace. God’s forgiveness is neither cheap nor automatic. It involves loyalty. Those who have experienced His grace respond in kind, such as we see in Micah 6:8, a central text in the book. Just as God “delights in unchanging love,” NASB, He calls His remnant to “love kindness” NASB. His people will imitate God’s character. Their lives will reflect His love, compassion, and kindness.
In the Bible, Micah 7:18–20, with its emphasis on forgiveness, is immediately followed by Nahum 1:2-3, with its emphasis on judgment. This unfolds the two dimensions of God’s dealings with us: forgiving the repentant and punishing the wicked. Both sides belong to God. He is Savior and Judge. These two aspects of God’s character are complementary, not contrary. A compassionate God can also be a just God. Knowing this, we can rest assured in His love, in His forgiveness, and in His ultimate justice.
Read Micah 6:8. What good is a profession of faith without these principles to reveal the reality of that profession? What’s easier, to claim faith in Jesus or to live out that faith, as expressed in Micah 6:8? How can you better do the latter?