You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea – Micah 7.19From Dave Atkinson:
I love the sea – and I’ve really missed it during the Covid restrictions. It is the part of creation where I always feel close to God. The power of its waves, the beauty of its expanse, the complexities of its tides and currents. I stand in wonder of the sea but, so much more, I stand in awe of the God who created the sea and who alone is able to control it.
At the other extreme, I just like hurling stones into the sea! What is it that makes that so satisfying? One minute the stone is in my hand and the next its gone – out of sight. So simple and yet so satisfying.
When I read this verse from Micah, a verse I hadn’t known previously, I knew that hurling stones into the sea would, however satisfying it had been in the past would, from now on, take on a whole new dimension. Not only will I stand in awe of God as I look at the sea. But I intend to thank and praise him for his forgiveness as each stone I hurl disappears into the depths.
The Bible has several ways of emphasising that when God forgives sins (including those termed iniquities and transgressions for example) he puts them out of sight and out of mind.
In Jeremiah 31.34 (and quoted in Hebrews 8.12) for instance, God says “I will remember their sins no more.” Psalm 103 says that in his compassion, grace and abounding love, God does not treat us as our sins deserve and his forgiveness is such that; “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
Reading Micah 7.19 has helped me gain a deeper appreciation of these truths. When I come to him in repentance for whatever I’ve messed up, the Lord crushes the power and guilt of that sin underfoot, before hurling it into the depths of the sea.
One of the things that struck me as I thought about this is that I would never wade into the sea to retrieve, or dredge up, the stone I’ve just hurled in. I should do the same in accepting the complete forgiveness that Jesus bought for me when he took on all my sin on the cross.
I have this picture in my mind that Jesus, who walked on the sea and who rebuked the waves into calmness, is standing on the beach and, with his nail scarred hands, is hurling my sins out to sea.
And in the words of the song: My Jesus my Saviour, Lord there is none like you…the seas will roar at the sound of your name!