My studies this term include Old Testament prophets like Joel and Obadiah, Amos and Hosea, Micah and Isaiah. I’m learning things like the progressive nature of prophecy, the test of a true prophet, the Hebrew literary style called a chiasm, the theology of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.
As I continue to learn from and study the OT I just can’t get over the grace of God. While the heart of the prophetic message centers about Israel’s idolatry and faithlessness to the Mosaic Covenant, their religious formalism, and social injustice, the warnings always include future hope and restoration.
Israel is described as stubborn, stiff-necked, and hard-hearted, and as a nation never turns back to God.
God, however, remains faithful to His Covenant. He remains faithful to His word and His promises. It’s remarkable to watch history unfold through the Old Testament and to see the thread of promise that points to Jesus Christ – whose death paid the price for sin, whose resurrection ensures new life and complete restoration – for Israel and for us.
Micah 7:18-19 speaks, beautifully, about God’s forgiveness and points to the hope such forgiveness brings. God pardons idolatry, faithlessness, injustice and casts sin into the depth of the sea, throws it as far as the east is from the west, forgives and forgets, makes all things new, and restores. Not only in the now, but also in the not yet.
Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity
And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?
He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in unchanging love.
He will again have compassion on us;
He will tread our iniquities under foot.
Yes, You will cast all their sins
Into the depths of the sea.