Monday, July 29
Scripture: Isaiah 57-59, Psalm 103, 2 Peter 3
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.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The psalmist make three beautiful comparisons: “As…so…”
First, the greatness of God’s love. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love. How high are the heavens above the earth? Billions of lightyears! God’s love is beyond measure. See Ephesians 3:17-19.
Second, the width of God’s forgiveness. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our sins from us. You can go north and eventually you’ll start going south—north and south meet at the poles and so are about 12,500 miles apart. But east and west never meet. You can east forever and you’ll always be going east; same with west. God has removed our sins from us—forever.
Third, the model of God’s compassion. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on us. Most fathers (excepting sociopaths) naturally feel compassion for their children and understand their weakness and go to great lengths to protect them. The very next verse says that God knows we are dust. I told a story this weekend about Anthony’s father not punishing him for a childhood mistake. Just like Anthony’s father understood his childish weakness and refused to punish him, so God understands our frailty and has mercy on us.
The psalmist obviously spent some time meditating on God’s nature, and came up with these three inspiring comparisons. It would be worth our while to memorize these verses and meditate on the great dimensions of God’s love, forgiveness and compassion. We tend to measure God using ourselves as the standard, but God is so much greater than what we think or imagine. Better to meditate on His greatness and aspire to rise to that, than to reduce him to our stature and be complacent.
Prayer: Lord, You are greater than my biggest thoughts. Help me to always dream of you in big ways…as you really are!