Gun Shy to God's Law
from Hunter Sipe, Family Minister
Judgement abounds. Like Marvin the Martian, I am often spiritually walking around asking "Where's the kaboom? Where's the earth shattering kaboom?" What kaboom, you ask? The kaboom of the judgement of God! I read through the words of the prophet Micah and ask "where's the kaboom" of the wrath of God against my sin?
Micah is prophesying the judgment of God against His people who were rebellious, idolatrous, violent and greedy:
“For behold, the LORD is coming out of his place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains will melt under him, and the valleys will split open, like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place. All this is for the transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel...” - Micah 1:3-5
I read these words and wince. Wincing seems silly because I know the truths of the Gospel. I know that because of Jesus' work on the cross, "there is therefore now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus." Yet somehow, my rebellion seems even more real! My greed and idolatry are right in front of my face! I mean, it was only yesterday when I secretly confessed my hatred for someone! It was just the other day when I was complaining about my salary. It was just last week when I refused to care about a church members real need.
Reading about God's judgment against the sin of Israel makes me wince because I find myself guilty of the very same sins. It's almost as if Micah is writing to me instead of Israel. That's why the Law of God makes me gun-shy. The Law of God works like a mirror and takes a description of someone else's sin and reflects its' condemnation on my own heart. Reading the Law makes me wonder if it really is finished. Guilt over my own sin makes me doubt God's promises in the Gospel. I wince in fear. "Where's the kaboom?"
It is at these moments where our hearts need something outside of us to trust in, to hope in, and to rest in. In these moments, our hearts need to hear the Word of the Gospel: dear friend, the kaboom has already been sounded. The boom of the Law for your sins fell on Christ at the cross. He took it all - all the wrath, all of the judgement, all of the pain, all of the rejection, all of the fury, all of the anger, all of the punishment - all of it! You wince because you think it's all coming, but the reality is that it will never come for you because there's nothing left. The cup of wrath has been poured out. Judgment has been spent. Wrath has been satisfied. It is finished!
Micah finishes his prophecy with immensely powerful words about God in relation to our sin. Hear the word of the Gospel:
18 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.
19 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.
20 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
In Christ, these words are true for you. Your sin is gone - all of it! His love is yours. There's no more kaboom, only compassion. Amen.