Just how big is God’s love? How much ground does His love cover? Psalm 103:11 helps answer the question when it declares, “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy [or love] toward those who fear Him.”
So how high are the heavens above the earth? Astronomy has advanced rapidly in the past few years, especially with the advent of new telescopes and new ways of probing deeper into the observable universe. Equipped with this knowledge, can scientists tell us how high the heavens are above the earth? Until recently, astronomers put the distance at twelve billion light years—that was the farthest they could peer into the cosmos. But now, using better telescopes, they have seen new galaxies some fifteen billion light years away.
God’s mercy and love just grew by three billion light years!
I imagine they’ll find out the universe is more vast than that. How exciting! The more astronomers discover, the more I will see of God’s love toward me—ever higher and ever greater. So keep searching, fellas. You’re only expanding the love of my God. When I feel, Man, I must have reached His limit, then they discover more galaxies another two or three—or five billion light years more distant. “All right!” I say with a breath of relief. “God’s love will cover me for a long time.”
It Gets Better.
No astronomer will ever be able to limit the love of God, for the psalmist writes, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). Just imagine what it would mean had the author used the phrase, “as far as the north is from the south,” rather than what he actually did write, “as far as the east is from the west.” The north lies only about 12,500 miles from the south. You can travel north only until you get to the North Pole; then you begin heading south again. And as soon as you reach the South Pole, then you start going north once more. To have your sins removed 12,500 miles from you would be good—but not nearly as good as what God’s love has provided for you.
If you started flying east tonight, you would continue to fly east for the rest of your life, so long as you didn’t change directions or run out of fuel. Or if you started flying due west, you’d keep flying west for all of eternity.
Oh, how glad I am that God inspired the writer to say, “as far as the east is from the west,” rather than, “as far as the north is from the south!” I want my sins taken away from me farther than the north lies from the south. I like the idea of God completely removing my sins and my guilt—and all because of His infinite love and mercy.
- excerpted from Love The More Excellent Way by Chuck Smith