September 29, 2021
“Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression….?” (Micah 7:18)
This text, along with many others, serves as the source for a number of songs that we sing about the uniqueness and exclusivity of God. But the question that Micah asks is really worth taking the time to consider. So, let’s do it.
I was listening to some longtime friends reminisce about some things, when one of them wanted to tell an embarrassing story about a member in the group. The story teller relished in the account because it made him laugh, but I could tell that the person whom the story was about had heard this repeated multiple times and was just really hoping that people would stop telling this. I could imagine him wondering if he was going to spend the rest of his life hearing about this.
As a parent, we try to encourage our children by telling them that everyone makes mistakes. But our words carry very little weight in comparison to the stage on which they live. Kids live surrounded by thousands of video cameras which potentially capture every flaw or miscue, and in mere seconds someone can post those failures on the global platform of social media for everyone to see again and again and again and again.
For years, Boston Red Sox fans would replay the error of Bill Buckner in game six of the 1986 World Series against the Mets. His treatment by the fans was horrendous (he received death threats) as they essentially blamed him for the entire breakdown that led to the Mets winning the series. Fans of opposing teams joined in the mocking, taunting Bill whenever he came to bat.
Can you imagine being reminded of your failures every single day? Can you imagine living with images of your mistakes being replayed over and over and over? It happens – a lot! I believe that one of the contributing factors to kids living with high levels of anxiety is this very issue. If I make a mistake, I will forever be shackled to it and by it. The people of our world reflect the gods of this world and the gods of this world do not forgive. Micah’s question is worth taking the time to consider because there is no God like God who pardons iniquity and passes over transgression. Who God is, motivates what God does. The God who pardons iniquity provided the means for that pardon through the costly death of his Son. Your world may try to keep reminding you of failure. Your own heart may try to condemn you. But, the one, true, and living God is not that way. The end of that verse says,
“He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.”
Grace and peace,
P.S. By the way, after the Red Sox won the 2007 World Series, Buckner came back to Boston to see the World Series banner unfurled where he received a 2-minute standing ovation. He said, “I really had to forgive, not the fans of Boston, per se, but I would have to say in my heart I had to forgive the media for what they put me and my family through. So, you know, I’ve done that and I’m over that.” Wow! How could Bill be so willing to forgive? Well, it wouldn’t surprise you to know that Bill was a committed follower of Christ.
Sunday’s text: Daniel 1:1-21