Journey with Daniel
“Psalm 103”Categories: Seeing God Through the Psalms
“As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” (Psalms 103:12-14)
There is no god like Jehovah! There is no deed that reaches the heart of man like Jesus’ death on the cross. Here Jehovah is reaching out to man with pity and forgiveness. This Psalm gives us a poetic description of God’s forgiveness and mercy.
The imagery beautifully describes God’s boundless forgiveness. Unlike the distance from north to south, the distance from east to west is not measured. To “cast sin behind the back” means it is “out of sight, and out of mind.” When something is cast into the sea it is irretrievable. “In those days and in that time," says the LORD, "The iniquity of Israel shall be sought, but there shall be none; And the sins of Judah, but they shall not be found; For I will pardon those whom I preserve” (Jeremiah 50:20). When God forgives sin he removes it entirely.
Coupled with God’s limitless forgiveness is his pity (verse 13). There is nothing like the pity of a parent for their child. A father’s pity would include shelter from the elements, sympathy in times of distress, strength when times get tough, encouragement to persevere, instruction in how to live, and correction when in the wrong. Like any good father, God will do everything within his will to help his children.
For what reason did God bestow such sympathy? The Psalmist says: “He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (vs. 14). Man is weak in body and mind. "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41). At times man is feeble in his power of conviction, poor in his power of will, and woefully ignorant of God’s way.
Even though our service to God is imperfect, if one will fear Him, if our devotion is rooted in faith and sincerity, if it is motivated by love, and purified by prayer, it is accepted by God.