If God delights in showing mercy and mercy triumphs over judgement, then God delights in overturning judgement.

Recently, our church has been singing this song by Amanda Cook called “Mercy“. In this song, she sings the scripture Micah 7:18. These lyrics started my brain on a journey to my heart.

Filters

Who is a God like You, who forgives wickedness And passes over the rebellious acts of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He [constantly] delights in mercy and lovingkindness.

Micah 7:18 AMP

I’m not sure how many times I can count that I’ve heard this scripture. But, I’m not sure that until recently I’ve heard it as God intended. Why? Filters. Not the good kind of filter like a Brita© that removes impurities, but the kinds a lighting director for a film would put on lights to change the color or direction. I would read/hear that scripture and filter it like,

“Who is a God like You, who hold wickedness against people and will not relent over the rebellious act of the remant of His possession? He does retain His anger forever, Because He delights in judgement.”

Micah 7:18 WFV (Wrong Filtered Version)

This is not ok thinking.
This is wholly unhealthy.
This is wrong.

The truth is I hoped the filter was skewing my interpretation of the scripture. But I didn’t know how to remove it. So, I left it alone and just decided to deal with it.

From Slavery to Promise

Much like the children of Israel, who were miraculously liberated from Egypt yet had to endure the journey to Canaan, so was my brain to remove these filters. Israel had to learn to depend solely on the love and care of this God they’d heard about for centuries. Where they were going they could no longer depend on the slight benevolence of Pharaoh. To say the wilderness proved to be tough for them is being nice. What does the wilderness do?  It removed their “Pharaoh Filter.” I’m not sure where I’ve heard the term “Pharoah Filter”, but I”m pretty sure it’s not original. This is the filter that skews everything we receive and hear from our Authority. It looks for the hidden motive or agenda behind everything. It can’t believe that our Authority actually means what they say. It says that our Authority wouldn’t have our best in their intentions for us, they only want to use us for their purposes (think pyramids).

Just like Pharaoh didn’t want the Israelites to leave because he would lose his workforce, man-made religion doesn’t want people to actually be free because it would lose its slaves for whatever work it chooses as necessary.

Let me be clear: religion, as defined in the Bible, is awesome and commended. Man-made religion is sucky and to be condemned.

Milk and Honey

The children of promised lived in slavery with the hope of one day getting to the Promised Land. For most, they never saw this promise. They died in the slavery. What was God’s intention for them? Milk and Honey. What was their current situation? Poor Man’s Bread and Bitter Herbs. God’s intention for you is not the wilderness. You may have to pass through the wilderness to get to the promise He’s given you, but you don’t have to stay there. You don’t even have to be in the wilderness long. His intention for you is to live in the land of promise.

The land that flows with sweet things.
The land that is not constricted.
The land that is spacious.

Why “milk and honey?” Milk can represent richness and honey can represent sweetness. He wants us to live in a land and have a life that is rich and sweet. Not only for ourselves but for everyone we come into contact with.

So, how are we supposed to function as He intended while dealing with these filters?

We can’t.

That’s why we must let God be God and do what only God can do – love us into wholeness.

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