Therefore I will look to the LORD;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
My God will hear me.
Do not rejoice over me, my enemy;
When I fall, I will arise;
When I sit in darkness,
The LORD will be a light to me.
I will bear the indignation of the LORD,
Because I have sinned against Him,
Until He pleads my case
And executes justice for me.
He will bring me forth to the light;
I will see His righteousness.
Then she who is my enemy will see,
And shame will cover her who said to me,
“Where is the LORD your God?”
My eyes will see her;
Now she will be trampled down
Like mud in the streets. Micah 7:7-10
If you are anything like me, you had at least one person flit through your mind as you read this passage. If you’re exactly like me, you punctuated that mental image with a few, well-placed, “Yeah, that’s rights” or “Go get ’em, Gods.”
Maybe you’ve never been the subject of malicious gossip, felt betrayed by a friend, been misunderstood, been unjustly fired from a job, had to take the punishment of another, or any of a myriad of other injustices that can crop up in life. Or maybe you’re like my precious husband, who can assess the situation, hand it to the Lord and leave it behind him. How I wish I were more like him.
If the above paragraph applies to you, you can just skip today’s thoughts; they won’t be of any use to you. However, if you are like me and have struggled with hurt-based bitterness, unforgiveness, or even rage that seems to appear from nowhere, you will understand why I want to just shut the book after verse 10 and not finish the chapter.
Who is a God like You,
And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?
He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in mercy.
He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities.
You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea.
You will give truth to Jacob
And mercy to Abraham,
Which You have sworn to our fathers
From days of old. Micah 7:18-20
At this point, my internal trial-lawyer takes the podium in my mind. “No, God! No! Let’s go back to the shame, mud and trampling in the streets! The last thing I want to think about is Your mercy going to them.”
Never mind the mercy that has come to me.
I have long said I identify best with the older brother of the prodigal son, the rich young ruler who “kept all these things from my youth”, or the laborers who worked all day only to be paid the same that those who worked an hour received. I believe that God is a God of justice, and half the time, if I’m really honest, I’m not interested in hearing about His mercy because I don’t fully see how much I need it.
I live under the double-edged sword of the “good girl”–never had premarital sex, never smoked, never did drugs, never drank, always went to church, always tried to walk with God… We are a formidable group, we “good girls.” Most of the time, we live behind an impenetrable wall of self-satisfied works-based theology; and often it’s hard for us to appreciate the cost of the cross because we don’t truly see our need for it.
The surest cure for me from good-girl smugness is to run as hard as I can into the book of Romans. It is hard to stare at the sins of another when you fill your mind with the standard of Christ for your life; and He said through His servants:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.” Rom. 10:10-12
Let us choose today to be grateful when God chooses to show mercy to those who we believe are our enemies. His continued grace to them is a sure sign that He has not run out of mercy for us.