"For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him."
He gives us two things we cannot measure---the distance of heaven from earth and the tail-chasing distance of east from west (as we'll talk about tomorrow)---to convey the idea of a mercy that is beyond our experience in other human relationships, a love that "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined" (1 Corinthians 2:9). Literally, the sky is the limit when it comes to God's mercy. No request that is made from a good motive is outrageous. Let me not limit my prayers to what men say is possible.
But if God's love is so big---and He is so earnest to communicate how big it is---why do I keep thinking I'm just about to get the boot? How can I insult Him so? Do I think so highly of myself as to imagine that I'm the only person on earth that the gospel isn't going to work for? I've finally done it: I've finally committed a sin that's more powerful than Jesus' blood!
The Christians I admire most---and I know precious few of them---are those whom I can see are so confident of God's undeserved love that they are not constantly revisiting their sin or crime, but they have moved on with their lives and have peace and joy. Oh, if the matter of their past comes up, they will not deny it, and will be the first to call it evil. But you will not suck them into a morbid dwelling on it.
I debated whether to mention the following example, but I have decided I will. If it be a scandal, it is God's scandal, not mine---a scandal of grace. A Christian inmate I know mentioned to me another inmate who is locked-up across the hall from him and who attends the weekly worship. This man had raped a woman who was newly wed and who later committed suicide. Maybe you wouldn't save him, and maybe I wouldn't. But the love that is higher than the heavens is above the earth and farther than east is from west was pleased to give him the gift of eternal life. And at the prison services he plays his keyboard to the Lord with joy.
To read "Verse 12," click here.
To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.