For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
Psa 103:11-13 ESV
I remember before I was saved, there was a time when I had not a care in the world what so ever about God’s opinion on anything. This is an example of the lack of fear of God. How can one come to understand the mercy of God without a fear of God? The cross of Jesus does not make any sense. Why would God send His only Son to die on the cross if there was nothing to fear because our sin had no eternal consequences?
Now suppose your job was an electrician. You need not be afraid of electricity, but you do need to have a fear of it. You must respect it and know the rules to perform your job. If you thought you were bigger than the electricity and did not care about the “rules” in working with it, the ending is not going to be good, now is it.
Now suppose once again you are a child whose parents love you very much, they show great compassion for you and are deeply concerned about your welfare. All in all you are obedient to them. Every once in a while you blow it; they show you love and mercy because they understand you are not going to be perfect. Every now and again they must discipline you because of your disobedience. This discipline teaches you respect. The fear of their discipline hopefully will keep you from doing wrong, at least most of the time. If you respect them and understand they know what is best, you know they have your best interests in mind. Now one day you broke the rules, got seriously injured and you are going to die. Your father would say, “If I could, I would step in and take your place.”
The good news is Jesus did step in to take our place. He died for us and now God remembers our transgressions no more. He casts them “as far as east if from the west.” This is God’s compassion and His mercy. There is no one else who is able to step in for us. Every one of us has broken the “rules” which lead to death. Jesus will step in, but we must not reject it. Click here if you like more information on receiving God’s mercy.
Photographer: Arvind Balaraman www.freedigitalphotos.net