Quick question: when was the last time you heard a sermon from the little book of Micah? Or from any of the minor prophets? Just wondering.
I was reading Micah this afternoon in my quest to read through the Bible in a year (this year, I’m reading from the New English Bible). I’ll admit that most of what I read today wasn’t the most happy-go-lucky sort. After all, God was speaking through these prophets to a wayward and rebellious nation who refused to repent and come back to the God who had brought them out of Egypt and through the wilderness to their promised land (not that there are any parallels to this country, right?) But not all of it was dark and gloomy.
Here’s one section I read that I hope will uplift and encourage you as it did me.
“Where is the god who can compare with you—
wiping the slate clean of guilt,
Turning a blind eye, a deaf ear,
to the past sins of your purged and precious people?
You don’t nurse your anger and don’t stay angry long,
for mercy is your specialty. That’s what you love most.
And compassion is on its way to us.
You’ll stamp out our wrongdoing.
You’ll sink our sins
to the bottom of the ocean.
You’ll stay true to your word to Father Jacob
and continue the compassion you showed Grandfather Abraham—
Everything you promised our ancestors
from a long time ago” (Micah 7:18-20).
Note: I quoted from The Message a) because Bible Gateway doesn’t have the New English Bible as a translation and I was too lazy to type the whole thing and b) because Eugene Peterson’s rendering is pretty powerful in and of itself.