Intro. The previous chapter began with the controversy God had with Israel. God asked them to prefer their charges against Him, what had He done that they should so turn against Him. He had showed them what was good, and what He required of them. To do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with their God. But they were cheating each other, deceitful, liars, filled with violence. They were worshipping other gods. For these things God was going to punish them. The present chapter begins with a woe for the good men had perished out of the land, it was as though the most corrupt men had gained power and control. There had come a break-down of the family unit, and his only hope was in the Lord.
I. WHO IS A GOD LIKE THEE?
A. That pardons iniquity.
1. This is unheard of in the gods of the pagans.
a. They for the most part are vengeful, utterly destroying those who curry their disfavor.
b. Even the pagan gods of love are selfish and sensual.
c. This is because when men make gods they make them like themselves.
1. It is not our nature to pardon.
2. We want to get even.
2. Isaiah had declared concerning God.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
B. That passes over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage.
1. Throughout the Bible there is a reference to the faithful remnant.
2. There has always been those who remained true to God in the midst of the corrupt society. Those who held out for righteousness and purity.
3. If your heart is truly toward God, it does not mean that you are perfect. You desire to be perfect, the spirit is willing.
4. You are the person David is referring to when he said, "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity."
5. The prophet Balaam said concerning God's looking at Israel. "He had not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath He seen perverseness in Israel."
C. He doesn't remain angry forever.
1. There are times when it appears that God might be angry.
2. We then have to describe the actions of God with human terms.
3. When God judges it would seem that He is angry.
4. He judges only to root out the evil, that He might preserve the good.
D. He delights in mercy.
1. The psalmist tell us.
The LORD [is] merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
The LORD [is] gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
2. God delights in showing mercy, he told Ezekiel
Say unto them, [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
E. He will have compassion upon us. He is a compassionate loving God.
1. We have already shown how the pagan gods of love are sensual and selfish.
2. The love that God has for us is. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son."
3. There are a lot of things that pass for love in our world today, but they are not true love.
a. There is a weak syrupy kind of gushing that passes itself off as love.
b. There is the sex act. "Let's make love." This can be a high expression of love in marriage, but for the most part today, has no relationship with true love but is impure lust.
4. Love is one of the chief characteristics of God. "God is love."
F. He will subdue our iniquities.
1. We are not able to conquer our own lusts.
2. We are not able to free ourselves from the power that sin holds over our lives.
3. The scripture speaks of the bondage of corruption.
4. What I cannot do for myself, God will do for me.
a. I can offer to you myriads of testimonies of those who were bound by habits that were destroying their lives, testimonies of people who found the power of God to subdue their iniquities.
b. We have several people here who at one time were alcoholics but are now set free from the destructive power of that addiction. They have been pardoned, their lives restored as God has broken the chains that once bound them.
5. Who is a God that can set a man free whose life has become imprisoned by his passions?
6. He will conquer those things that have been conquering your life. "Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed."
7. Paul tells of his call to the ministry by Jesus to bring people from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God.
8. There is only one thing that is stronger than the hold that Satan has on your life, and that is the power of God.
a. People struggle for years trying to free themselves from the habits that are destroying their lives.
b. They buy into a multitude of programs that promise them help.
c. Only Jesus Christ can set you truly free.
G. He will cast all our sins in the depths of the sea.
1. I trust that He has buried mine in the Marinanna trench off of the Philippines for that is about 6 miles deep.
2. The Bible speaks of separating our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west. Ps.103:12
II. HE IS THE GOD I DESIRE TO SERVE.
A. He is the kind of God I need.
2. Passing over my weaknesses
3. Withholding His anger
6. Conquering the power of sin
7. Casting my sin in the depths of the sea.
B. He is the God you need too.