As far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12, ESV)
Psalm 103 is beautiful! In the first few verses, King David commands his mind, will, and emotions to bless God. He says to himself, “Thoughts, I want you to bless God. Emotions, bless God. Desires, bless God.” Then he moves on to blessing the name of God, and he remembers that God forgives, heals, redeems, and crowns us with love and mercy. David proclaims how God wraps us with goodness, renews our youth, and helps the victim to stand back up again. Then in verse 10 he looks up to God and declares that God doesn’t hold grudges or extorts payment from us for our sins.
In our verse for today, King David says the unimaginable: God removes our sin as far as the east is from the west. Wow! How far is that? If I go to all the way to the east, there is no end to it, just more east. If I go all the way to the west, the same thing happens; going west is endless. On the other hand, if I am going north, eventually I will reach the North Pole and begin heading south. Or if I go all the way to Antarctica, I will run out of south! It’s hard to think of a better way than David has said it: God has removed our sin to an infinitely far distance.
How far does yourforgiveness reach? Do you have a north-south forgiveness or an east-west forgiveness? Think of a relationship that you are currently struggling with. In this relationship, do you have limited forgiveness? Limited grace and mercy?
Having forgiveness that is unlimited doesn’t remove justice—no need to worry about that. True forgiveness acknowledges the reality of sin and proves that justice is needed. As you think about forgiving this person without limits, you may argue, But if I entrust this to God, he will just forgive the person!Be assured that God will not wink at sin or excuse it. He had to pay the highest price—his Son Jesus—to pay for our sins. God loves justice and all his ways are just.
I will proclaim the name of the Lord; how glorious is our God!
He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair.
He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!
(Deuteronomy 32:3-4, NLT)
God, I bless you. Help me to forgive others as you have forgiven me. Help me to trust you in all matters and to believe that you are just…. Continue praying.