Once again You will have compassion

Today’s readings: Micah 5:1-7:20, Revelation 7:1-17, Psalm 135:1-21, Proverbs 30:5-6

Micah follows a familiar pattern in his writing – condemnation for sin, calling out the leaders (priests, prophets and kings) for their unrighteous behavior, and a promise of hope and restoration. There is a famous passage that point toward the Messiah in Micah 5.

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    are only a small village among all the people of Judah.
Yet a ruler of Israel,
    whose origins are in the distant past,
    will come from you on my behalf.

There is also the famous passage in Micah 6 about God’s requirements, concluding with an exhortation to walk humbly before God.

What can we bring to the Lord?
    Should we bring him burnt offerings?
Should we bow before God Most High
    with offerings of yearling calves?
Should we offer him thousands of rams
    and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children
    to pay for our sins?

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
    and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
    and to walk humbly with your God.

However the passage that struck me most in today’s reading was toward the end of chapter 7.

18 Where is another God like you,
    who pardons the guilt of the remnant,
    overlooking the sins of his special people?
You will not stay angry with your people forever,
    because you delight in showing unfailing love.
19 Once again you will have compassion on us.
    You will trample our sins under your feet
    and throw them into the depths of the ocean!
20 You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love
    as you promised to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago.

Micah speaks of God’s uniqueness, His willingness to forgive, His desire to love and show compassion despite the failings of His people. He continues, determined to love us if we will only turn to Him.

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