Today’s Reading: Micah 7:18-20
Daily Lectionary: Joshua 10:1-25; Acts 11:19-30
Who is a God like you,pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. (Micah 7:18)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Micah is a hard man, a hard prophet. He says some things that are pretty difficult to hear, but of course, that is how the Law always is. Micah is a contemporary of Isaiah. He speaks some of the same words. It’s almost as if the two of them have the same Word to speak, as if they have the same things to say about God and His Christ.
There is quite a lot of reproving that Micah does throughout his ministry and throughout his book. The people have gone astray, lusting after idols and false gods who could never truly bring them joy and comfort. Micah also has a hard word for the shepherds of the people. Although each man is to be held to account for his own sin, the wrath of the Lord for a shepherd who fails to guard and keep his flock will be double. And of course it will, for the Lord sends shepherds to care for His flock, not to lead them astray.
Inevitably the end result is that Israel and Judah will crumble in their sin and idolatry. The Lord will bring upon them the wrath of the nations, first the Assyrians and then the Babylonians. And although all of this will take place, the Gospel still prevails. Micah is the one who shines a light into the manger in Bethlehem and prophesies the birthplace of the Christ. And so, even though the Law is severe, the Gospel still prevails.
Micah wraps up his book of woe and warning with a little bit of Gospel that comforts the conscience. Is there any other God who pardons sin and iniquity, who passes over transgression for the sake of another? No, there is none. Only our God has the language of ” forgiveness” in His vocabulary, winning it for and speaking it to poor miserable sinners who deserve to hear nothing but wrath and condemnation. Ours is the God who is faithful to us, despite our sin and adulterous idolatry. He is the One who keeps His covenant, even after we have broken it, so that our sins might find their way into the depths of the sea. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
By grace I’m saved, grace free and boundless; My soul, believe and doubt it not. Why stagger at this word of promise? Has Scripture ever falsehood taught? No! Then this word must true remain: By grace you too will life obtain. (“By Grace I’m Saved” LSB 566, st.1)
-Rev. Eli Lietzau is pastor of Wheat Ridge Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wheat Ridge, CO.
Audio Reflections speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Come on an adventure with author Eric Eichinger as he unpacks the saga of Jesus’ Hero Journey. You’ll see how aspects of this journey are seen in popular stories, and how God used Jesus to create the most action-packed one with a real Savior for all. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.