If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: 2 Chronicles 1, 1 John 1, Micah 7, Luke 16. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can’t do all the readings today, read Micah 7.
Unbelievers who read the Old Testament commonly complain that “the God of the Old Testament” is a God of anger, wrath, and vengeance. Of course he is, because he is a holy God and there is a mountain of wickedness in this world where we live. But God’s anger, wrath, and vengeance are not even close to being a full description of God--whether in the Old Testament or New. The false gods that nations outside of Israel worshipped were far more angry and vindictive than the Old Testament’s revelation of Israel’s God. Israel’s God promised peace, love, and prosperity for obedience but the idols of this world demand appeasement only. In other words, people worshipped these gods not out of love and thanks but in fear of the negative consequences they promised to bring.
Even today where most “gods” have been replaced by abstract spiritual forces like the concept of karma, people act in fear (“karma is a [bleep]!”) not out of thanks and love. Although Micah described in our passage God’s judgment falling on Israel, he re-affirmed the important promises of God’s love to his now-forsaken people: “Who is a God like 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. You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our ancestors in days long ago” (vv. 18-20). It is so important to remember these truths, especially when we suffer under the consequences of our own sin or under the discipline of the Lord. His promise of love and forgiveness is waiting for us. Will we turn in faith to claim these promises or wallow in our own self-pity and doubt?
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we’ll talk scripture again tomorrow.