Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. Micah 7:18 NIV
Boston claims to have the oldest subway system in the United States, with the first station, Tremont, opening around 1897. Since then, the rail system has grown into the green, red, orange, and blue we have today. Unfortunately, with increasing frequency, we hear of safety incidents on the MBTA, which have caused injuries and deaths. This spring, the Federal Transit Administration investigated the increasing issues. The 90-page report identified 20 points, most concerning maintenance and staffing. They also noted that the MBTA focused more on future projects than on day-to-day operations and safety.
In Micah's day, Israel was like a poorly maintained rail line. Things may go along smoothly for a while, with things being ignored, but eventually, an incident will happen–the train will derail. Micah saw the inevitable, Israel had sinned against God, ignoring his commandments, and as a price, they would be carried off into bondage. But, he also saw what God would do: forgive and help them right the train and mend the rails.
At some point, like Israel, we have all gone off the rails. Looking at the events leading up to the incident, we can appreciate that the issue was ours. Somewhere along the line, we ignored the day-to-day maintenance of our souls, distracted by our future human plans. The good news, though, is God "delights in showing mercy" God wants to forgive us, but we must desire a change from what had become our standard operating procedures. We can't right the train and go back to business as usual, or it's only a matter of time before we derail again.
God of mercy, we thank you that you are ever ready to forgive. We acknowledge we have let our human plans take priority over our daily spiritual maintenance. We come humbly in our admission of guilt, seeking forgiveness. Heal us again, Lord, and guide us on the path of righteousness. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.