As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12
The little red rectangular box was magical. As a kid, I could play with it for hours. When I turned one knob on the box, I could create a horizontal line on its screen. Turn the other knob and voila—a vertical line. When I turned the knobs together, I could make diagonal lines, circles, and creative designs. But the real magic came when I turned my Etch A Sketch toy upside down, shook it a little and turned it right side up. A blank screen appeared, offering me the opportunity to create a new design.
God’s forgiveness works much like that Etch A Sketch. He wipes away our sins, creating a clean canvas for us. Even if we remember wrongs we committed, God chooses to forgive and forget. He’s wiped them out and doesn’t hold our sins against us. He doesn’t treat us according to our sinful actions (Psalm 103:10) but extends grace through forgiveness. We have a clean slate—a new life awaiting us when we seek God’s forgiveness. We can be rid of guilt and shame because of His amazing gift to us.
The psalmist reminds us that our sins have been separated from us as far as the east is separated from the west (v. 12). That’s as far away as you can get! In God’s eyes, our sins no longer cling to us like a scarlet letter or a bad drawing. That’s reason to rejoice and to thank God for His amazing grace and mercy.
Why do you think God chooses to not treat you as your actions might deserve? How can you thank Him for separating your sins from you?
Loving God, thank You for forgiveness. Remind me that You no longer remember my sins.
Read The Forgiveness of God.
Book Four of the Psalms (Psalms 90–106), is the shortest of the five collections in the Hebrew Psalter. In Books One–Three, the primary focus is on David’s experiences as presented through songs and prayers (though other psalmists—such as the Sons of Korah and Asaph—also appear). Nevertheless, the focus is on David and his journey of faith with all the highs and lows and successes and failures that are part of his story. Book Four responds primarily to the failures of David’s rule and lineage by reasserting that God is the one true King that Israel needs. As such, the prayers and songs of this Book focus on God’s faithfulness and goodness and the hope Israel could experience because of who their God truly is. Book Five (Psalms 107–150) calls the people to faithfulness, then closes with a flourish of hallelujah (“praise”) songs in Psalms 146–150.