UNDERSTAND the ATTRIBUTES of GOD - our HEAVENLY FATHER
September 27 Bible Reading: Micah Chapters 4-7
"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)
As Micah brings his prophecy to a close, he begins a hymn of praise in which he praises God for His watchful protection over His people (v. 8). As Micah looks into the future, he can foresee a time of restoration when the ruined city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt (vv. 11–12) and Jehovah will bring the Israelites together just as a shepherd gathers his sheep together (v. 14). Then Micah closes his prophecy with a final song of praise to God, extolling His mercy, forgiveness, compassion, faithfulness, and steadfast love.
Micah, whose name means “Who is like the Lord” (1:1), perhaps employs wordplay on his own name to emphasize God’s pardoning grace (Exo. 34:6–9). It is not the greatness of God’s power that these texts emphasize, but His immense compassion and His will to forgive and forget sin in covenant faithfulness to all generations: "Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments" (Deut. 7:9).
Micah speaks of the incomparability of God (see Isa. 40:25), and the finality with which God deals with the sins of His people (Ps. 103:12; Isa. 38:17; 44:22; Jer. 31:34; Acts 3:19; Heb. 8:12). The forgiveness and pardon of a merciful and gracious God toward a sinful humankind is declared by the Scriptures to be based on the redemptive work of the Savior who “bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (Isa. 53:3–12; Matt. 8:17; Acts 8:32–37; Rom. 3:23–25; 1 Pet. 2:21–25). The three main attributes of God that Micah points out are His forgiveness (vs. 18), His mercy/compassion (vs. 19), and His covenant faithfulness (vs. 20). God would be true to Jacob and faithful to the promises made to Abraham regarding their descendants as the people of God. This is the basis of the hope of the church today as well (Rom. 4:17; Gal. 3:7–9, 29).
The prophecy of Micah concludes as it was begun, with a reference to the word of Jehovah. In the beginning it was a word that came from Jehovah concerning impending doom for Israel, and in the end it is a word that Jehovah had given to Abraham before the nation of Israel was formed and which He will unconditionally keep for eternity.
Let us understand the wonderful attributes of God our heavenly Father today, and try to imitate Him in our daily living – in our attitude, words and action. In the words of Jesus Christ: "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matt. 5:48)