Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
and passing over transgression
for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not retain his anger forever,
because he delights in steadfast love.
He will again have compassion on us;
he will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.
You will show faithfulness to Jacob
and steadfast love to Abraham,
as you have sworn to our fathers
from the days of old. Micah 7:18-20 ESV
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. Psalm 103:8-13 ESV
In the Pacific Ocean, far at the bottom of the ocean floor, there is a deep trench called the Mariana Trench. Far down in the Mariana Trench there are vents bubbling out sulfur and carbon dioxide, volcanoes spewing mud, and living creatures such as shrimp-like amphipods and small sea cucumbers. At the southern end of the trench is an area called the Challenger Deep, which is the deepest point in the ocean. It’s hard to get an exact measure of the deepest point, but it’s more than 36,000 feet below sea level. In 1960 Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard went to the bottom of the Challenger Deep in a deep boat called a bathyscaphe. A deep-sea explorer named James Cameron went to the bottom of the Challenger Deep in a submersible in 2012. But for most of the people in the world, going to the deepest part of the ocean is a faraway dream.
At the end of his book, Micah praised God for the love and forgiveness he shows his people. He said that God has compassion on his people and doesn’t remember their sins forever. He used the picture of God throwing their sins far away into the depths of the sea. He does this because his love never changes, and he always keeps his promises. He promised Abraham and Jacob and the people of Israel of old that he would love them, and he continued to keep that promise.
God worked through his chosen people to bring the promised Savior into the world, and it’s through Jesus that he keeps his promise to show love to all people. Jesus went to the cross to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world, and because of Jesus, God forgives our sins. God throws our sins farther away from us than the deepest part of the ocean, where no submersible or bathyscaphe could ever bring them back to hurt us. Because of Jesus we have God’s love forever, and we will live with him always in his heavenly kingdom.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the love you showed us through Jesus, and the forgiveness he won for us on the cross. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.