Who Is A God Like You?

    Micah concludes his book with the following words: “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.  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.  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)

    The powerful question that Micah poses in the beginning of that text is the same rhetorical question that others before had asked as well.  Moses in Exodus 15:11 would say “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods”  Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?”  A Psalmist in Psalm 89 would say “For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? Who among the heavenly beings is like the LORD, a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around him? O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD, with your faithfulness all around you?”

   I don’t know about you but when I read these statements I can immediately appreciate that they are pointing out God’s awesome power and character.  What I have admittedly not always been able to fully appreciate is the perspective from which they wrote those words.  My entire life I’ve always believed that there is only ONE God.  Religiously speaking I think its safe to say that our country only believes that there is ONE God.  So when I read these statements in scripture comparing God to other gods I can appreciate the truth but it’s almost like… “Well duh…there’s only one true God.”

    Moses wrote those words from the perspective of having grown up in a culture and home where they worshipped many gods.  Micah and Ethan the Ezrahite both wrote those words during times in Israel’s history where even God’s people were worshipping different God’s.  I realized that even though to me their powerful and truthful statements seem like a given to me, to them they were great statements of enlightened faith.  While they may have been taught and/or the world around them was offering worship to different gods to sustain them and protect them, they realized that not only is there only ONE true God but that He protected and provided in ways that surpassed the expectations of the people’s so called gods.

    While religiously speaking we don’t live in a country or society that bows down and worships other gods in the same way as we read of scripture perhaps, the situation is still much the same.  While we may not drive around and see shrines to specific gods and people offering worship to them, people are still worshipping other things than the one true God.  I some ways I think it may be worse that instead of giving the “god” a specific name we’ve disguised the gods as everyday things and don’t even realize it’s an idol.

    What things in our lives compete with our worship to God?  By worship to God I’m not just talking about the collective assembly on the first day of the week but our worship to God each day.  What things take precedent in our everyday lives over our worship to God?  What things do we spend more time giving praise to in comparison to the praise we give God?  What things do we put more emphasis on than we do in our worship to God?  What things do we tend to lean on and depend on for our provisions and needs more than we do God?

    If you’re anything like me you’ll recognize that at times, while we may not think about it in those terms, we find ourselves worshipping our jobs, families, sports, hobbies, etc.  At the end of the day we know more about those things and are more passionate about those things than we are about worshipping and praising God.  While we give lip-service to God for all His blessings at the end of the day we’re more like Jimmy Stewart in It’s A Wonderful Life giving ourselves all the credit for the things we have.

    When I start considering all the things in my life that compete for my worship, praise, time, energy I then see that this everyday life I live in is full of different gods that people bow down to every day.  While there are so many things that we’re taught to depend on and prepare for and find comfort in, comparing those things to our God who faithfully provides, protects, and is steadfast in love towards us, I begin to appreciate more what those writers of old were saying.  When I consider all the times I’ve given more worship and praise to the things of this world rather than to God and yet He is still willing to forgive and comfort I begin to appreciate more what they meant when they penned those words.

    Recognizing our need to put away the idols in this present day life and desiring to live uprightly before the ONE true God it often leaves us asking the question “How do I do that?”  Micah answered that question in chapter 6 when he said this: “With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

    There truly is no other God than our God and no other god is able to do the awesome things that our God has, can, and will do.  May my worship to him today, this week, and everyday I’m given be worship that is due to His name.