Psalm 103:11-12 (from NIV)
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As I was reading through Psalm 103, these two verses struck my head. The psalmist described God’s love being as high as above the heavens are above the earth. The Hebrew word shamayim (heavens) in the OT normally refers to the realm in which God himself abides. It is not a place that any man on his own can ever reach or see. I asked myself, “Then, how high would the heavens be above the earth?” All of sudden, I was stunned. The answer was simply, “I don’t know, and no one does.” No one can measure because it is beyond our reach, and that is how great the love of God for those who fear him.
and for those who fear him, God demonstrated this incredible love for them by removing their transgressions as far as the east is from the west. Did you hear that? I mean .. the east and the west .. they are completely separate. No matter what we do through our human technology and science or how hard we try through all means, we will never see the east and the west being upon each other. They will remain as far as they are now – the east and the west. God removed our transgressions from us to the extent that transgressions would never be found with us.
Yet, according to the psalmist, this love that removes our transgressions is not for everyone, but for those who fear him. They are the ones who love and honor him. They are the ones who know who he is and who they are. They are the ones who acknowledge the Lordship of God and accept Jesus as their Savior because Jesus Christ is the only One through whom anyone can truly see and know God. Only in Christ Jesus, we are no longer sinful but righteous because Jesus Christ, through his suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection, paid for all the iniquities and transgressions.
I was so thankful at the moment I realized how much I am loved by my God the Father in heaven. The love of God that has been poured upon me through my lover Jesus Christ is immeasurable and “completely” cleansed me from my sins. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed my sins from me through Christ.
What’s more amazing about this love of God is that the whole thing started by Him! Some might ask, “well, doesn’t he love those who fear him because they fear him? Doesn’t it make the people the initiators?” and I would reply, “No. God is the initiator.” The Bible affirms that we are from dust (Gen. 2:7, 3:19; Eccl. 3:20; 1 Cor. 15:47-49; also, this psalm itself in verse 14).
The psalmist said, as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; For he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. God created us, and this means that he owns us. Before God gave us life, we were nothing but dust. To me this very fact says that God from the first place does not have any reason to “love” his creatures, and more so if they do not appreciate Him being the Creator but only act against Him. Yet, because God himself is love, He loves us. Our fear of God, from God’s sight, is almost “nothing” (because we are nothing but dust), yet God chose to see it as worthy of his “LOVE”. It is completely his choice to love us when he could just do not care about rebellious creatures of his own. If he desired to turn us back to dust, we would not have any right to even complain. This makes everything He has done for me an act of His amazing love that He chose to start. Plus, unless God reveals this mystery of his love for humanity, no one can ever get to know it. Seriously, who would understand the kind of love when it says He loves us because we are “nothing but dust”?
It was a refreshing moment for me. It is “always” exciting to be reminded of God’s love, so I wanted to share this psalm with everyone I contact with. I hope this word would enrich the life of anyone who reads it with this “O So Amazing Love” of our Father in heaven. He loves me and you greatly, so let’s live today as someone being so greatly loved!