Speaking about God’s mercy, the prophet Micah says, “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).
Scientists say the deepest part of the ocean is over 39,000 feet down, which is about eight miles. That’s a long way down.
There are two times, especially when this passage comes to mind. One is when I am by the ocean. As I stand on a beach or if I look down on it from a plane, I imagine trying to find something in it. We all have seen movies or heard stories of the difficulty of finding survivors of shipwrecks floating on the surface. That’s difficult enough. But trying to find something underwater – trying to find something lying in the depths – that’s nearly impossible.
The other time I think of this passage occurs much more frequently. It is when the seriousness and ugliness of my sin stop me in my tracks. When I see the ease with which I can speak cutting and unkind words. When, without any effort, I pursue a selfish course of action. When my prayers are rushed and shallow. When I see pride, envy, greed, lust, or other things residing in the deep caverns of my heart. When I see how consistently I fall so short. At such times, it is a comfort to picture the vast oceans – to think about eight miles of water covering my sins.
Although God could easily find sins eight miles down, he uses this imagery to support the biblical truth that sins forgiven by him are forgotten by him. What a relief this is! What a joy this is! Talk about a heavy weight being lifted off – never to be put on again!
Thank you, Lord, for giving such total relief from pressing guilt. Thank you, Lord, for drowning sins in the depths of the sea – never to be dredged up again.
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