As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. – Psalm 103:12
1 A psalm of David. Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
6 The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
7 He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel.
8 The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
13 The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.
What is the distance from South Pole to North Pole? Although planet Earth appears to be a perfect sphere, it is not. The earth is a bit wider than it is tall.
The circumference from South Pole to North Pole is 24,859 miles. While the circumference taken at the equator is a bit larger, 24,902 miles. As a result of modern science and mathematics we are able to calculate these measurements. If someone were to travel North, eventually they would arrive at the North Pole. If they proceeded further, they would no longer be going North but South.
What is the distance from the “East Pole” to the “West Pole?” In that neither of these poles exist, this question is a non sequitur. If you were at the equator and headed east, you would never reach the “West Pole.” You would just travel indefinitely in an eastward direction. The same is true if you headed west, you would never reach the “East Pole.” Travel in either direction, as no terminus.
How far is the East from the West? It simply cannot be measured. It is an infinite distance. We can travel East or West indefinitely. That is the point. How far has the Father removed our sins from us? A vast distance with no end in sight. When the Father removes our transgressions from us, the separation is permanent, never to be revisited.
Of course our understanding of the shape of the earth and its circumference is the result of modern science. How could David understand about the East and the West before there was modern science? This is one of those remarkable instances where the Bible speaks truly, long before mankind had the technology to discover that it was scientifically accurate.
REFLECT & PRAY
The Father’s love and forgiveness are infinite and complete. The Father has freed each of His children from the haunting power of our past wrongdoings. He has forgiven us all of our trespasses.
Father thank you that because of the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, all of my sins have been removed and that my conscience can be truly cleansed.
Psalms 103:12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
At the time when David wrote this Psalm, modern science was unknown. So what exactly was he trying to say? “God did not say he forgives our sins as far as the North is from the South but as far as the East is from the West, namely infinitely” (Constable). our sins have been removed from us and placed infinite distance away!
If this is so, why do they seem to linger around? Could it be because we are simply unaware of what the Father has marvelously accomplished for us? The Scriptures always speak the truth. Therefore our sins are indeed gone for good. They are no longer a factor in our eternal relationship with the Father God. It is incumbent upon us to simply grasp this fact and believe that it is true. But perhaps there is another step that we must practice?
We must apply what we know. The enemy keeps bringing up our past and bringing to mind our past sins. Rather than focusing on the past, we must resist it. It is not simply a once and for all act but a process. The Father has given us a fantastic promise. He not only forgives our sins, but He will also purge and cleanse our conscience. Our conscious awareness of them will simply fade away in time.
13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh,
14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Memorize Hebrews 9:14 and consciously recite it when past sins come to mind. Eventually, the memories will fade, and our consciences will be cleansed.
This beautiful Psalm reveals the heart of the Father God and His loving and gracious attitude towards His children. It describes our relationship with the Father through the use of word pictures and spatial terms. Our heavenly Father is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He does not accuse us nor does He punish us. He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. His unfailing love for us is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins from us as far as the East is from the West. He is tender and approachable. He is indeed not only like a father; He is the Father to His children.