“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)
How far is “the east” from “the west?”
Well, pretty far. We all know that if you start walking due east and keep going, eventually you come full circle to your point of origin, because the earth is a globe. The psalmist did not know this, though. It’s not that he was not as smart as we are; he just did not have as much information as we have today. He had never heard of “earth science.” In his understanding, you could walk east and never find the end. To him “the east” was infinite, and so was the west. He did not think circular but linear. So in his view, if you walk east and keep going, you just keep going infinitely.
The psalmist helps us see that with God forgiveness is total and absolute. When God forgives, it never comes back. This is true because, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him.” (v11)
May we be reminded today that our heavenly Father is compassionate toward us as His children, that He know we are “dust,” and that when He forgives us it is total. His forgiveness is linear, not circular.
The proper response to this is gratitude and praise. And there is one more response that is equally appropriate: just as He forgives us, we must forgive one another, compelled by love. Forgive linear, not circular.
Lord, Help us today to practice linear forgiveness and unending compassion toward others because of the example we see in You. Amen.