18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
19 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.
20 Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.
The question which Micah is asking is: who is a Mighty God like you? To the reader, the answer may seem to be that there are many gods like Yahweh - many “Divine Warriors,” such as Baal. But what sets Israel’s God apart from the idols of the world? His compassions makes Him different from all other gods. He is mighty in strength and furious with sin - holy in His righteousness, demanding complete surrender, but unlike any other god, He is at the same time, holy in His love.
He pardons iniquity. The word used here is “nasa, nasah.” God would not only forgive sins, but He would also suffer, bear, and carry, as well as burn and cast away our offenses, as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12). Although He was the One offended, He was the One who paid. Although He was the One angered, He was the satisfaction of His own anger. He was the propitiation of sins. As Michael F. Bird said, "...the initiative and provision for the atonement of sin comes from the very God offended by the sin." His blood covered the sin of humanity and He became the Lamb which passed-over the transgressions of His people.
Yahweh is not a purely angry God and He is not a purely merciful God. He is the perfect combination. He is not passive and He is not oppressive. He will punish evil, but He will do so in a way that allows mercy to be shown. In this way, He is holy, holy, holy - the God of His covenant People.
Genesis 17:4-7 records this promise that God made to Abraham: 4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
No matter what God’s People do, they cannot cause Him to stop loving them. His covenant with Abraham was unilateral. God made it Himself and He will be faithful to keep it. Abraham and His descendants can’t do anything to put it to an end. It is unconditional. God experiences righteous anger when people sin, and He disciplines His children in order to restore them to a right relationship with Himself, but His anger does not last. Love prevails.