10 He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 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. (Psalm 103:10-12 NIV)
Psalm 103 is like a warm blanket on a cold winter night to me. When I have failed again and again I turn to Psalm 103. When I’ve resolved once again to really get serious about my walk with the Lord, only to find myself crying out for forgiveness all over again, I turn to Psalm 103. When I’ve said, “I will NEVER do THAT again,” but find myself bogged down by my sin once again, I turn to Psalm 103.
I live in a society that is governed by laws. If I break one of societies laws then I am going to have to pay for my “sins.” The goal of any just society is that, when someone breaks a law, the punishment fits the crime. The sad thing is that even when someone pays their debt to society they are oftentimes marked by their crime and we never let them forget it. I have friends who committed a felony at some point in their past. They learned from their mistakes, paid their debt to society, changed their ways, and yet they still have that stigma lurking over their head. They are reminded every time they go to apply for a job that they are a convicted felon.
You don’t have to be a convicted felon to know that some people will use your sins against you for the rest of your life. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life. I’ve hurt people. Lied instead of telling the truth. Slandered others to try and make me look better. I’ve cheated, taken shortcuts, simply because I was too lazy to put in the work. The list of my crimes could fill the Library of Congress. If people knew every sin I’ve ever committed I wouldn’t have a friend in the world…but I have a Friend in Heaven.
David, in Psalm 103, let’s me know that God does not treat me as my sins deserve or repay me according to my iniquities. That stirs a question in my mind: “How can people who are just as broken and messed up as you and me demand that we “pay” for our sins and then never let us forget what we have done while a Perfectly Righteous and Holy God forgives us and removes our transgressions from us? The answer? Well, it is found in verse 11. “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him;” My aim, my desire, is to more fully know this Holy and Righteous God who has every reason to never forgive me for what I’ve done, and yet He chooses to love me, forgive me, and wipe my record clean. What is my response to His incredible acts of forgiveness and love? I will “fear” Him, revere Him, and humble myself before His glory and majesty for all of my days.
My prayer today, Lord, is that You will remind me that Your desire is to remove my transgressions from me and not hold them over my head. Remind me of Your glorious forgiveness and keep me bowed before You in absolute reverence and praise all of my days.