“As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalms 103:12 NKJV
It always amazes me when God steps into my everyday life and teaches me a profound lesson. One day when I was working at a hospital in Knoxville, TN, I stood up and caught a glimpse of a beautiful view. My office window overlooked the river and on that particular day, the sun’s reflection looked like stars on the water below. I was mesmerized by it and I realized something I’d never really considered before that day. As it flowed by I realized that the river always flowed in the same direction.
I had just been contemplating Psalm 103:12 on my drive into the office that morning and I was reminded of it by the flow of the river.
God gives us a beautiful illustration of his far-reaching, long lasting forgiveness in this verse. I wondered why God said that He had separated our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. I know that He was careful to choose words that paint a clear picture for us, so I wondered why He chose that direction instead of saying that our separation from sin is as far as the north is from the south.
As I thought about that I realized that I could begin traveling from my office and drive south to the South Pole, then begin driving north till I reached the North Pole, then travel south again to my starting point. On that journey I’d go south, then north, then south again.
However, I could also travel around the world millions of time going east, reaching my starting point over and over again without ever driving in any direction but east. It hit me like a lightning bolt. Though there is a South Pole and a North Pole, there is no East Pole and no West Pole.
There is no place at which east meets west. And suddenly that verse took on a whole new meaning for me. If God had chosen the words “north from south” then that would mean that there would be some eventual point at which I would meet up with my sins again. But by carefully choosing the words “east from west” God was showing me that there would never be a point in the future where I will meet my sins again.
I won’t face my sins again; not in this life and not in the life to come. After fully realizing that fact through an understanding of this verse, everything began to make sense. God’s forgiveness is truly forever. And He cared enough about my sense of security that He painted a picture that will forever assure me of that fact, especially when I see a river roll. The assurance of knowing that I am forever fully forgiven gives me peace. Peace like a river.