The Immeasurable Love of God (Psalm 103:11-14)
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; ¹²as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. ¹³As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. ¹⁴For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.—Psalm 103:11-14
In Psalm 103, David is preaching to his own soul. He tells his soul to bless the Lord and to not forget all of God’s benefits. When we remember what God has done and is doing, our soul will rejoice and bless His Holy Name. Let’s take each verse and see what God wants us to learn and know about Him.
Starting in verse 11, David continues to name the benefits of His God, our God. How great is His steadfast love toward all who fear Him. It is as high as the heavens are above the earth.
“…and inquiring minds want to know: how high are the heavens above the earth? Well, if you go by today’s understanding of “the heavens”—meaning the totality of the universe outside Earth—they are approximately 46 billion light years higher. In fact, the heavens are so high above the Earth that human beings cannot possibly see everything in them.” (From The Glass Atmosphere: Finding the Beauty and Clarity of God in His Creation.)
In other words, God’s love is so great that we can, in no way, measure it. It is limitless. We can try to put words to it but we soon realize our words are too small. God’s love is immeasurably high. And this great love is steadfast—unchanging, consistent, and dependable. Bless the Lord, O my soul!
The next verse says, “as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.” This is great mercy—not getting what we deserve.
How far is the east from the west? If you get in a jet with unlimited fuel and start heading east you can continue going east forever and never meet west. In other words the phrase “as far as the east is from the west” would mean our sin and God would be infinitely apart—never to come together again. There is no better analogy to describe the absolute act of mercy through forgiveness that God gives His people in Jesus Christ. When we are forgiven by God our shame is gone forever! Our guilt is pardoned forever! Our debt has been paid forever! We have been set free from our transgressions for all of eternity! Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Next we see the tender compassion of our Heavenly Father—a compassion that understands our weaknesses. He knows our frame and fully understands our shortcomings and what we are made of—dust. And knowing us this way, He moves toward us knowing that we would not make the move toward Him. He shows us compassion we don’t deserve and didn’t do anything to earn. He moves toward us as a tender Father who is full of compassion for His little children.
Speak to your soul, saying, Soul, do not forget these benefits: • God has immeasurably high steadfast love for me • God removes my transgressions forever • My compassionate Father comes to me, His child of dust
Say to your soul, Soul, Bless the Lord!