Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? (Micah 7:18)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God is unique. Well, of course He is! There is no other God except the Triune God who made the heavens and the earth and redeemed the world by the death and resurrection of the Son. But God is not like the “gods” we invent for ourselves.
Our “gods” are bargaining gods. Dealing with them is like negotiating for a raise or a Persian rug in a street market. Our gods demand payment, bribes, retribution. If you do well, they might reward you; if you don’t do well, they will punish you. You have to climb the holiness ladder up to them. You have to rise up to meet their standards. You have to keep your end of the deal, and maybe they will keep their end. You have to impress them with your creeds, your worship, your keeping of commandments.
Not so the true God. He pardons iniquity; He passes over transgression. He delights in covenant love—love to the loveless because He promised to love. He is compassionate, slow to anger, quick to forgive. He doesn’t trample His worshippers; He tramples their sin and casts it into the deep. He is the God who keeps His promises even though His worshippers are promise-breakers.
He is the God who becomes Man, the Creator who becomes the creature in order to save His creation. He is the God who lies swaddled in a manger, who grows up humbly as the son of a carpenter in Nazareth, who is baptized as a sinner, who suffers, bleeds, and dies so that sinners might be justified.
We would never invent such “gods” for ourselves. The religions we invent are always about sinners trying to appease some angry god because that’s how we are when people sin against us. We want our “pound of flesh.” We want justice. We want retribution and repayment.
Who is a God like the Lord, our God? There is none but Him: the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. We know Him through the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the merciful, compassionate, forgiving God in the Flesh. Thanks be to God! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.