As far as the east is from the west

The book of Psalms is a wonderful book. Reading from it recently I came across this passage (Ps 103:6–19):

The Lord works righteousness     and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses,     his acts to the people of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious,     slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide,     nor will he keep his anger for ever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,     nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,     so great is his steadfast love towards those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west,     so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children,     so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. 14 For he knows our frame;     he remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass;     he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,     and its place knows it no more. 17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,     and his righteousness to children’s children, 18 to those who keep his covenant     and remember to do his commandments. 19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,     and his kingdom rules over all.

Verses 11 and 12 are significant.

v. 11- The atmosphere of the earth is 300 miles thick (though most is within 10 miles). God’s steadfast love is even greater than this!

v. 12- The circumference of the earth is 24,901 miles. However, there is no actual distance between the east and the west, they never meet! God’s ability to forgive is immense.

Contrary to much popular belief, however, that teaches God’s love, and especially His forgiveness is given to all indiscriminately, that is not what the Psalm says. Notice the end of v. 11 (and 12, 17) that says “on those who fear Him.” On those who know the greatness of the Lord (v. 19) and truly acknowledge their sin before Him (v. 10) and stand in reverence and awe before such a God, pleading not their own cause as if they were innocent but trusting in the blood of the New Covenant (Jesus) (v. 18) alone to save them, to that person—the humble believer—the Lord will show the steadfast love and forgiveness the Psalm describes.

The Gospel message is inclusive (available for all) but forgiveness belongs exclusively to those who trust in Jesus (Acts 4:12). Have you placed your trust in Him?

The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings,

Pastor Chris