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December 6, 2015

"OUR INCOMPARABLE GOD"

TEXT: Micah 7: 18-20
READING:
 Psalm 71: 1-24

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SUBJ: The wonder found in the heart of believers when they think upon holiness of God and His ability to forgive and to deliver from sin and its power over them.

AIM: That we might ever remember that we are the beneficiaries of the mercy and that He has saved us in a manner unlike anything that man can even imagine.

INTR: The Prophet Micah has long been a favorite of mine in that he manifests such a desire for return and revival and has the Lord and His person as the objective to be sought.
1. His lamentation at the beginning of this chapter says much concerning the man and his burden as he expresses desire for Gospel freshness in identity and true worship.
2. In verse 2, he witnessed the decline of men of integrity, spiritual strength and standing with the Lord.
3. Yet, his confidence in the Lord did not waiver as he declared that he would “look unto the Lord;” he would wait for the “God of my salvation;” and was assured that he would be heard by the same. (See verse 7).

THESIS: Our great God is to be distinguished in many ways from all the idols of this world and certainly from the one who is called the “god of this world.” But, it is in the matter of pardon and redemption that He has no comparison and that extends to His willingness to forgive, the manner in which He applies it and the faithfulness He exhibits in His Word.

I. His incomparable will (v.18)
1. The lamentation previously mentioned says much as to the nature of the times of the prophet and he realized that judgment was imminent. We are thus caused to note that precious manifestations of faith come at the most unlikely times according to human reason.
2. While the prophet, no doubt, desired revival he did not despair of redemption.
3. There are many thoughts that would lead us to consider God as incomparable:
1) Consider the demand: To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Isaiah 40:25. This was said in the midst of a declaration of absolute sovereignty.
2) His own assertion as to faithfulness: For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Malachi 3:6.
4. The amazing fact that appears to the redeemed is that One so Holy and lifted up can forgive sins (and here we are made to reflect on the unforgiving nature of the heathen religions).
1) Iniquity pardoned (to lift or to bear away) – we know it is true, but do we understand and marvel at the connection to the divine sense of justice.
2) That He passes by (and here we are reminded of the Passover)
3) That, distinctively different from men, His anger is not retained (Micah’s understanding of the role of the substitute).
4) That He is able to delight in mercy and certainly does!
5. The simple definition of divine justification should leave us amazed. (Consider the stigma placed on an ex-convict).

II. His incomparable acts (v. 19)
1. He will turn again
1) The thought is that He could and certainly in a manner has turned from His people
2) But turning again is to return to a starting point and so we understand restoration and redemption as an act of God turning to save His people from their sins.
2. He will have compassion
1) That is manifest love, care and identity
2) “This is the heart of salvation by the suffering Servant-Messiah.” W. E. Vine
3. He will and has actively engage in subduing our iniquities
1) First in bearing them in His body on the tree
2) Secondly, by the work of regeneration He has enabled a spiritual separation from them so as to not be ruled thereby.
3) Thirdly, He has, by placing the divine nature in us, engendered hatred for sin in His people.
4. The casting of our sins into the sea of “divine forgetfulness.”
1) He has separated our sins from us in the sense of removing the condemnation and
2) He has removed them from us in the sense of no longer seeing us as culpable and guilty and corrupted. 10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Psalms 103:10-12.

III. His incomparable faithfulness (v. 20)
1. We remember the promise made to Abraham and confirmed to Isaac and to Jacob: 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. Genesis 22:16-18.
2. Micah does not doubt the faithfulness of the Lord and neither should we.
1) In spite of the trends we see
2) In spite of the lack of spirituality in out Land.
3. See 11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:11-13.