Monday, 13 June 2011

East and west

He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. - Psalm 103v10-12
'God has dealt with us according to our sins.' We could just stop there if we wanted. Those words alone should cause us to stop and contemplate their meaning. 'The wages of sin is death.' That is all that we deserve. If God dealt with us according to our sins we would long ago be dead and burning in the pits of hell. That is how ugly sin is – that is the consequence of sin. That is what we should have.

But He didn't do that. As we know now He provided a payment. Through Jesus Christ the penalty for our sins has been paid.

'As the heavens are higher than the earth...' The heavens go on for infinity, there is no end to them. That is how great God's mercy are, there is no end to them. They just keep on keeping on.

How far are our sins separated? 'As far as the east is from the west, that's how far God has separated our sins from us. I don't think it is a mistake or by coincidence that God used east-west instead of north-south.

If I we are pilot and could get a flight plan to fly due north for an unrestricted time I would head out of Dublin. I would soon be headed across the Northern Ireland, then some of the islands of Scotland. Then I would be on the open sea. I would cross the Arctic Circle, and depending on the time of year and iced flow I would fly over some measure of ice until I reached the North Pole. Then I would be stuck. I could no longer fly north. No matter what direction I went I would have to fly south. 'North' would have run out.

But if I came back home and filed a flight plan to fly east as far as I could it would be a different story. I would cross the Irish Sea into the UK. I would cut across Poland and Belarus, then I would spend a long time flying across Russia. I would cross the Pacific, possibly crossing the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, then spend some time flying over Canada. Once I crossed the Atlantic I would again be over Ireland, and then Dublin again. No matter how far I flew eat I would never run out of east.

That is how far God has separated our sins from us. God's mercy is infinite and He separates our sins by infinity.

What a merciful God we have. 

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