Psalm 103: 6-12
This next section of David’s beautiful psalm brings us to the heart of the gospel, long before Jesus came into the world. But it expresses why Jesus did indeed travel to earth (8-12): He came to embody, to fully express, the compassion, the grace, the mercy, the abounding love of God, and to reveal its height (Eph.3:18). This is the One who genuinely wants to forgive and not judge us. This is His heart towards lost mankind. He so loved us that He sent His one and only Son to die for us. His great busting heart longs to restore us to Himself.
Verse 10 shows His mercy. Someone said that in His mercy God does not give us what we deserve (judgment) and in His grace He gives us what we do not deserve (Forgiveness and all that goes with this blessing.) His forgiveness is total (12). The verse refers to an immeasurable distance: as far as the east is from the west. We must never treat born again people like their sin is still on them when it has been removed from them. As far as the sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins. The Message
Someone said: ‘‘God buries our sins in the deepest sea and puts up a big sign, ‘No fishing!’’
It’s been said that this psalm ‘pivots’ on verse 11. The word great is translated flooded in Gen.7:24. Here is an overwhelming love. But the God of love is also righteous. He will never adjust His holiness or dilute His standards. His righteousness is stamped on everything He does. The cross of Jesus is the supreme example of this, revealing God’s great flooding love for people, but also His righteous and just hatred of sin. There sin was punished so that sinners can go free.
The seventh verse tells us that God made known his ways to Moses. Moses was a man of God. He walked with God. He stood in the counsel of God. He communed with God. He took the time to do this. There was a wonderfully inspiring television programme shown on Christmas day, about Sister Wendy, the nun who has shared such wonderful insights into works of art on Biblical themes. It was very evident from the programme that silence is vital to her walk with God. She said we have a big problem today in that our world is full of entertainment and we are constantly distracted by it. We need times of silence to honestly face who we are and in order to encounter God. Many years ago I worked on a youth camp in the Lake District each summer. One year, many of the children were carrying ‘ghetto-blasters’ on their shoulders wherever they went. Do you remember that era? The camp staff used to meet every morning for prayer, and I remember strong concerns being expressed about this trend. Someone said, ‘It’s like the devil is filling their lives with noise so they have no time and space to really think.’ Let’s be careful that we are not similarly diverted. In the hymn: ‘O Jesus I have promised’ you find the words: ‘I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear.’ ‘The world is ever near me, around me and within.’ We have to take great care with our time. Let’s draw near to God and He will draw near to us. If we would know his ways this is essential.
He showed Moses how he went about his work. The Message. I know I need similar tuition and I must be willing to pray the price for it.
Prayer: Lord, I am hungry for you. Please help me to translate my desire for you into earnest seeking of you and making time to just be ‘with’ you.