God did forgive the people. In the last verse of this book, Micah spoke with confident hope that God would show faithfulness to the people, unswerving loyalty, because this is not only God’s nature but also the nature of God’s love for God’s own.
From the human standpoint, we become Jesus’ sheep by believing, BUT from God’s standpoint, we believe because we are Jesus’ sheep.
You would think we would embrace grace wholeheartedly, we would be mad in love with grace. But, we are not. We have made a life that works in the world we know. Grace disrupts all that, and we can be just as prone to resist and reject as to revel and receive.
There are so very many people who are hurting, who are also burdened with troubles others can see, and who are judged for it. Or who become topics for discussion about statistics, about trends and reasons and solutions. But when Jesus sees suffering, he sees a person who needs love and care, a person who needs help.
Has there ever been a time when you found yourself in a group of people enjoying themselves and you felt utterly alone? Maybe unseen, certainly not noticed, no one knew what you were feeling, there was no one to relate to. You go to a party, but for you it’s a test of endurance, not the fun it’s billed to be.
Many treat the book of Jonah as allegory, an attempt to process the nature of God, God’s purposes for the whole earth, God’s plan for God’s people, and to grapple with living in the promised land under foreign control.
Ten days after the Feast of Trumpets came Yom Kippur, which was a time of self-examination and repentance and forgiveness. centuries later, Christians would see Jesus as both sacrifice and high priest
Just as Jesus was one with the Father’s will and God’s power, so you and I, the more we willingly meld our wills with the Lord’s, will receive God’s vision, all the things God has planned for us, and the power to do it all.
The rabbinic tradition said, “God still does two works on the Sabbath: He creates and He judges.” And, the Psalm clearly said the Lord never rests but is always watching over and caring for God’s creation. Jesus was on solid theological ground, so what made the religious rulers so beyond enraged they were prepared to commit murder?
Relief may feel like satisfaction for a while. But true satisfaction, the deep and lasting kind, can only come through faith in Jesus, personally relating to Jesus and responding to him in faith, living it out because you believe.