By Linda Cox

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:12 (NIV)

Whenever I read Psalm 103:12 I feel God’s peace flooding my soul. What a comfort to know that Jesus has removed our transgressions far from us—as far as the east is from the west. All we have to do is go outside, look to the east and then to the west to realize that’s a long way.

But it’s even farther than what we see.

Think about it. If we start traveling east and keep traveling east all the way around the globe until we come back to where we started, we never meet west. If we turn around and start traveling west, we’ll go around the globe and end up where we started without ever meeting east. Now that’s a very long way.

But there’s still more. In Max Lucado’s book God’s Story Your Story, we are reminded that there are four directions—not just east and west, but also north and south. So why did David, writer of Psalm 103, choose east and west rather than north and south?

If we stand outside again and look to the north and then to the south, we get the same distance perspective as when we look to the east and the west. However, if we start walking north, when we pass over the North Pole we are no longer going north, but south. If we continue walking south, we’ll meet north at the South Pole.

Scientific knowledge was limited at the time this Psalm was written. So we know David didn’t choose east and west on his own. His words were guided by the Holy Spirit, just like all the words of the Bible. God wanted to make sure His children understood how much He loved them and forgave them. And using east and west shows just how far God has removed our sins from us—so far away that we’ll never meet them again.

The next time we stand outside and look to the skies, may we thank God our Creator for loving us so much that He gave His Son to die on the cross, removing our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.

Linda Cox is a regular contributor to DivineDetour. She recently retired after twenty-five years as a district office secretary for the State of Illinois. Her first loves are studying the Bible and reading, but Linda occasionally tries her hand at writing. Her work is published in All My Bad Habits I Learned from Grandpa (Thomas Nelson), The One-Year Life Verse Devotional (Tyndale), Life Lessons from Grandparents (Write Integrity) and the Love Is a Verb devotional (Bethany House). She and her husband live on a farm with their two indoor/outdoor farm mutts.