Yesterday, I was talking to a friend of mine who is a police officer as they were preparing to arrest someone. They shared with me that just when they thought they had seen the lowest of humanity, there is something else, or someone else, that sinks even lower.
As I am reading through the Bible, I am currently reading in the Minor Prophets, Micah and Nahum to be specific, I am reminded that wickedness permeated Israel during their time and God called them to take bold stands and speak out against it. For surely the judgement of God is on its way.
However, even in the midst of the prophetic judgements, there stands powerful messages of God's love and compassion. For example: Micah 7:18-20 says, “Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love as you promised to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago.” (NLT-SE).
This reminds me that even in the midst of wickedness, God desperately calls us to himself. He waits patiently and is ready to forgive us our sins. Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds.
Yes, We should be angry at the effects of sin. It ruins lives, families and nations. But we should also be filled with hope - hope in the power of Jesus to change lives and transform nations.
This week, I performed a marriage for a couple that had been divorced. They both came to a place of repentance and God did a major work in their lives. After much prayer, confession, forgiveness, counseling and communication they came back together. What a joy it was to stand in the front of our sanctuary and see their sons beam with joy as they watched their mom and dad renew their covenant relationship. It was so cute to hear them repeat along with their parents, "I, __________, take thee..."
Now that is the power of God in the middle of a sinful world!