Today, I finish my month-long study of Micah. It’s been a rich treat. Tomorrow, I’ll head back into the New Testament to study 1 Corinthians.
As I studied Micah 7, verses 18-19 really spoke to me:
Who is a God like you, (The Message writes this: Where is the god who can compare with you—)
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
I think it’s so easy to take for granted God’s fabulous attributes. Micah was talking to the Israelites who were being judged for worshiping other gods. Those fake gods weren’t like God, who is forgiving, etc. Those fake gods, having been devised and created by people, were mean, unknowable, didn’t forgive and were undependable. You never knew whether you had satisfied and pleased them or not.
But our God, the true God, isn’t like that. We can be assured of His forgiveness, mercy, and compassion. Yet we allow false gods of perfectionism, materialism, anger strategies, and a host of other strategies (like bitterness, resentment, hate, contempt, people pleasing) control us. Those false gods aren’t nice and we never feel satisfied or understood. Why would we want gods like that, anyway? Because we create them– because we can control them.
But God isn’t quite as controllable. I was just reminded of my sister, Karen’s wisdom about God’s true workings and nature. Some time ago, I realized God didn’t want me to be “off sugar.” And I tried to figure out how to manage my sugar addiction if I allowed myself to have it again. I told her, “Well, maybe I’ll only allow myself to have sugar twice a week.”
She gently replied, “Well, maybe rather than trying to control the situation, you could minute by minute ask God what He wants you to do.”
Duh! Of course. I saw my god of control popping up in me pre-deciding how I would manage my sugar. That’s worshiping a false god.
But our true God is forgiving, understanding, and empowering. And if I eat too much sugar, He is ready and willing to forgive me and empower me for the next temptation.
(By the way, I haven’t been very successful at asking Him to be in charge of my sugar eating. That’s really tough for me.)
So, let’s make a fresh commitment not to take for granted our wonderful God and all His tremendous qualities. We won’t find any god like him. And we don’t want any god except Him!