He will again have compassion on us;

he will tread our iniquities underfoot.

You will cast all our sins

into the depths of the sea.

Micah 7: 19

 

Micah’s God has demonstrated the fact that He will save His people from the enemies that surround them. The Lord has continued to both protect and to set them free from any all of the armies and nations that have risen up against them. Yet, that is never enough to truly free them, for sin still holds people captive. Sin continues to hold us captive to this day, and its evil arms of allure and deception grasp our hearts and enfold our minds so that we do not see clearly and act righteously. Yet, God is here with us, and He takes action that sets us free from it all. Micah lived over 700 years before Jesus; yet, he was aware of God’s already well-developed desire to redeem people from our rebellious ways and sinful state of separation from our Lord. God’s heart is set on relationship with us, and He is relentless in His pursuit of us.

 

This relentless seeking after us is where the Lord’s compassion comes into play. He does not give us what our thoughts and our actions deserve. Instead, God gave us Jesus Christ so that the eternal score that came into existence with Adam and Eve was settled permanently. In Christ we know God’s redemption from the sin that attempts to drag us down into a life that is a living death and beyond that life into eternity apart from God’s peace and glory. Christ takes on the burden of our sin as He has paid our penalty for it. He takes all that is contrary to God that is within our natural beings and crushes it under His mighty feet of love and grace. Christ has the capacity and the ability to remove every sinful aspect from us, and His Spirit works within us to transform the new person that we become into one whose heart and mind are ever more oriented toward our Lord.

 

It seems to me that when Micah talks about the Lord’s defeat of our sin that he then uses a metaphorical statement about what God does with our memory of that sinfulness. There is simply no place that Micah could have conceived of that was less accessible than was the depths of the sea. If something was thrown there, no one could retrieve it, and this was true regardless of how many resources the person had or how diligent that person was. We do struggle with giving up those things that helped to define us before we entered into a relationship with Christ. Even as the Lord defeats the sin that separates us from God, we often continue to impair our full engagement in that new life by the way that aspects of the old one enter into our days. Micah is reminding us that our Lord does have the power and the will to take all of this old life baggage, and as we surrender it to Him, His Spirit works within us to change us and to conform us to Christ’s way of thinking about and of responding to whatever comes our way during the course of life.

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