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We do not understand the true nature and depth of the love of the Father, and thus we miss sweet communion with the Father:

8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.

10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:8–14 (ESV)

This is the Father whom we have in Christ. In The Treasury of David, Spurgeon provides the quotation of John Goodwin on this passage:

Plenteous in mercy. It is a thing marvellously satisfactory and pleasing to the heart of a man to be still taking from a great heap; and upon this ground are those proverbial sayings, There is no fishing like to fishing in the sea, no service like the service of a king: because in one there is the greatest plenty and abundance of that kind of pleasure that fishers look after; and for them that serve, and must live by their service, there is none like that of princes, because they have abundance of reward and of opportunity whereby to recompense the services of those that do wait and attend upon them… And upon the same ground it is that the Scriptures, in several places do not only assert and testify that God is “merciful” and “gracious, “but abundant in mercy and full of grace; and not simply that there is redemption in him, but plenteousness of redemption, Ps 86:5 130:7; Isa 55:7, “Let the wicked forsake his way, “etc.; “Let him return unto the Lord and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” The commodity which we stand in need of is mercy and the pardon of our sins, because we have been unholy and ungodly creatures; this commodity is abundantly in God. There it is treasured up as waters are in the store-house of the sea; there is no end of the treasures of his grace, mercy, pardon, and compassion. There is no man, being in want, but had rather go to a rich man’s door to be relieved, than to the door of a poor man, if he kuoweth the rich man to be as liberal and as bountifully disposed as the poor man can be. John Goodwin, on, “Being filled with the Spirit.”

Micah 7:18 further tells us of the Father:

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.

Calvin, writing of this passage, explains that we can never know God rightly and thus we cannot flourish in our worship until we understand the depth and breadth of the mercy of Father:

This passage teaches us, as I have already reminded you, that the glory of God principally shines in this, — that he is reconcilable, and that he forgives our sins. God indeed manifests his glory both by his power and his wisdom, and by all the judgments which he daily executes; his glory, at the same time, shines forth chiefly in this, — that he is propitious to sinners, and suffers himself to be pacified; yea, that he not only allows miserable sinners to be reconciled to him, but that he also of his own will invites and anticipates them. Hence then it is evident, that he is the true God. That religion then may have firm roots in our hearts, this must be the first thing in our faith, — that God will ever be reconciled to us; for except we be fully persuaded as to his mercy, no true religion will ever flourish in us, whatever pretensions we may make; for what is said in Psalm 130 is ever true,‘With thee is propitiation, that thou mayest be feared.’Hence the fear of God, and the true worship of him, depend on a perception of his goodness and favor; for we cannot from the heart worship God, and there will be, as I have already said, no genuine religion in us, except this persuasion be really and deeply seated in our hearts, — that he is ever ready to forgive, whenever we flee to him.


In the New American Commentary, Barker notes the emphasize which this passage places upon the depth and nature of the God’s mercy:

7:18 The type of rhetorical question beginning this verse is used in order to express a “forcible denial.” So the reply is “No one.” The question is a way of affirming God’s incomparability.77 Here he is incomparable particularly in his forgiving love and grace. Mays points out that this book, “which begins with a portrayal of YHWH’s advent in wrath, concludes with praise of his mercy.”78 To emphasize the point, three different Hebrew words for sin are used and four verbs that indicate forgiveness (“pardons … forgives … tread … hurl”). More literal renderings of the verbs would yield “takes away … passes over (cf. Exod 12:12–13; 1 Cor 5:7) … subdue … hurl.” “Sin” is the same Hebrew root that occurs in “iniquities” (v. 19) and should have been translated “iniquity” here for consistency within the same unit. The Hebrew term connotes what is twisted, crooked, or perverse. For “transgression” see comments on 1:5. Waltke notes: “The crucial vocabulary of Micah 7:18 is used in connection with the Suffering Servant of Yahweh in Isaiah 53: nāśāʾ (to bear; v. 12), ʿāwōn (iniquity; vv. 6, 11), pešaʿ (transgression; vv. 8, 12)—all in connection with Yahweh’s pleasure (ḥāpēṣ; v. 10).”79

The people he thus forgives are the “remnant of his inheritance.”80 Rather than staying angry forever (see Pss 30:5; 103:8–18) the Lord instead delights to show “mercy” (more lit. “faithful covenant love,” Hb. ḥesed; see comments on 6:8 and note). Samuel Davies nicely captures the sentiments of this verse in his hymn, “Great God of Wonders”:

    Great God of wonders! all Thy ways

    Are matchless, God-like and divine;

    But the fair glories of Thy grace

    More God-like and unrivaled shine.


    In wonder lost, with trembling joy,

    We take the pardon of our God:

    Pardon for crimes of deepest dye,

    A pardon bought with Jesus’ blood.


    O may this strange, this matchless grace,

    This God-like miracle of love,

    Fill the whole earth with grateful praise,

    And all th’angelic choirs above.


    Who is a pard’ning God like Thee?

    Or who has grace so rich and free?[1]

[1] Kenneth L. Barker, vol. 20, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 133-34.