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.” (Micah 7:19, ESV)

The word that we translate “compassion” here means: “have compassion on, show mercy, take pity on, show love, i.e., have feelings and actions of kindness and concern for one in difficulty, regardless of one’s state of guilt for an offense, usually based in a relationship or association” [Dictionary of Biblical Languages Hebrew].

This is a beautiful definition.  Notice that the action is not based on the one receiving compassion being worthy of receiving it, this compassion is given despite [or more accurately “in light of”] our guilt and sin.  Compassion is a good word, but there is not a word that really grasps the truth  because we usually have compassion on the deserving, not the undeserving as here.

Notice also the relational nature of this word, compassion is given “usually based in a relationship or association.”  This is a crucial distinction because of the nature of the covenant that God has made with Israel.  His word and promise are the things that drive his compassion towards Israel.  She has sinned, he will have compassion. Her iniquities are great, he will trample them underfoot and cast every sin “into the depths of the sea.”

If God did that for his people under the Old Covenant, is he any less likely to do it for his people under the New Covenant?

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, ESV)

There is a New Covenant now, the Old Covenant has become obsolete, God, however, has not changed.  His mercies are still new, his compassion and grace always fresh and available.

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