Upon your first glance at the title of this blog, you might be thinking about another kind of “hurling,” like the time when the great fish vomited the prophet Jonah from its belly onto the shoreline. I think we can leave that topic alone! In today’s blog, I’d like to discuss holy hurling: one of the most magnificent pictures of the love, grace, and mercy of our heavenly Father, which is provided for us by the prophet Micah.
You will hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19)
Micah’s magnificent metaphor is a tremendous source of comfort and hope to all Christians. We can all picture someone tossing something over the side of a boat into the depths of the sea, such as a net or an anchor. For me, it was my car keys; the hook on the end of my fishing line snagged them just right as I was casting into the sea. I will never forget watching them slowly descend toward the bottom of the sea and wondering sourly how I would get home that day.
But Micah’s picture is quite different and much more dramatic. Our God “hurled” our sins—all our sins—overboard into the depths of the sea. Not dropped . . . not tossed . . . not pitched . . . but “HURLED” overboard, never to be seen or heard from again. God’s justice was satisfied on the cross by His precious Son, so God finds great delight in putting away our sins forever. David rejoiced that “As far as the east is from the west, so far does [God] remove our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
Jerry Bridges paints a wonderful picture of God’s holy hurling in The Gospel for Real Life.
God is not a reluctant forgiver. He is a joyous one. His justice having been satisfied and His wrath having been exhausted, He is now eager to extend His forgiveness to all who trust in His son as their propitiatory sacrifice.
Because Jesus paid the penalty for all our sins—past, present, and future—God is pictured in a posture of “HOLY HURLING”—forcefully expelling every single transgression to the bottom of the sea . . . all forgiven, all forgotten. Not because of anything we do, but because of everything Jesus has done on our behalf.
Corrie ten Boom, that remarkable Christian survivor of the Holocaust, put the exclamation mark to Micah’s declaration of what God, in Christ, has done for us by casting our sins into the depths of the sea. She wrote, “And then God put up a sign saying, ‘No fishing allowed.’” God is no longer our Judge. He judged Jesus for our sins and poured out His wrath on Him. Clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ, we no longer stand guilty before a Holy God in His heavenly courtroom.
It is Satan, our enemy, the accuser, who wants us to keep dredging up old sins so we can live under the weight of guilt and shame. And if he can’t get us to do that—if we heed the “No fishing allowed” sign erected by Scripture—Satan will do everything in his power to incite us to dredge up old sins of others. Does any of this resonate with you?
The more we live in the truths of the Gospel, the better we can see and embrace the holy hurling of our heavenly Father. The next time you are tempted to live in the paralyzing guilt and shame of past sins, picture your God hurling them overboard and watch them plunging into the bottom of the sea, never to bob to the surface again. Christian, your sins are forgiven . . . forgotten . . . and you are never forsaken. What a friend we have in Jesus!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!