“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passseth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. 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 7:18-19).
How is our Lord distinguished from all the other gods worshipped throughout the world? Of course, we know our God is above all others, set apart in every way. But one clear way we know the Lord to be distinguished from others is by his name: the God who pardons. Scripture reveals our Lord as the God who forgives, the only God who has the power to pardon sin. “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity?” (Micah 7:18).
We see this name of God confirmed throughout the Scriptures.
- Nehemiah declared, “Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not” (Nehemiah 9:17). The proper translation of the phrase “a God ready to pardon” is “a God of propitiation” or “a God of forgiveness.”
- Moses asked the Lord for a revelation of his glory. He wasn’t allowed to see God’s face, but the Lord did reveal his glory to Moses through a revelation of his name. What was the name of God that was revealed to Moses? “The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin” (Exodus 34:6–7).
- David gives us the same Hebrew description of God. He writes, “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee” (Psalm 86:5). David penned these words out of his own difficult personal experience.