Psalms 130 verse 1 – 8
Most scholars believe that this Psalm 130 was written by David. It is one of seven penitential Psalms, that is songs pleading for God’s forgiveness for sins. It also falls within the group of Psalms called “Songs of Ascents” which, it is believed, the people sang as they went up to Jerusalem for the great festivals.
1: Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
2: O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
David, the Psalmist is a person who has a deep relationship with God but is fully aware of his own sinful nature and his tendency to get things wrong. The first step to being reconciled to God is to confess our sinfulness and our need for a Saviour and be open to accept the gift of love and forgiveness that God has provided in Jesus Christ who died for all our sins.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1 : 5 – 10)
Even when we have put our faith in Jesus and are learning to live with the Holy Spirit the Christian life is never easy and there are times when, because of circumstances beyond our control, or because we have purposely been disobedient to the call of God we come to the realisation that we are no longer as close to our Father God as we should be. Here David, in deep despair, cries out to God in the sure hope that he will respond. He cries out knowing that God is a God of grace, love and mercy.
3: If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?
4: But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.
David now reflects that he has to give an account of his life before God who has before him a list of all the things that he has done wrong, or failed to do right, no lapse from obedience to God’s law or word is missed. Who could be found innocent in the face of such evidence? But God in his judgements shows grace, love and mercy and is willing to forgive. Such Godly virtue is so amazing and glorious that we can only fear him, worship him in awe and wonder.
The ultimate expression of that grace is in the giving of Jesus Christ himself that by his life, death and resurrection all who believe in him can be forgiven, be reconciled to our Father God, and have eternal life.
5: I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.
6: My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
The Psalmist dutifully waits for God to respond and knows from experience that God will not let him down. We wait on God not in idleness and despair but like a waiter in a restaurant eager and able to serve when required.
God always hears and answers our prayers. Sometimes we are blessed with an immediate, positive response, sometimes God works to his own timing and we have to wait for his response. It can be that the waiting on God is the answer we were not looking for! Sometimes God answers in the negative in which case we have to examine our hearts for our true motives. Did we pray in accordance with the will of God with compassion or for selfish ends?
David’s hope is backed up by a certain and sure faith and belief that God will act as he has promised. However in his humanity he is impatient for God to act in the same way that the watchman, having persevered through the darkness of the night, longs for the morning when he can return home for rest. David had to wait many years between the time that Samuel anointed him and his becoming king over all Israel. In between he went through multiple trials and tribulations, not always being obedient to God’s will, and yet when he realised the error of his ways he always returned to God for forgiveness and reconciliation.
7: O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. 8: He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.
The Psalmist pleads with God’s people to follow his example and put their hope in God who loves them and releases them from the bondage of sin. Redemption brings with it the idea of a price being paid by a benefactor to release someone who is in captivity or slavery. We often use this idea to explain what Jesus did when he gave his life on the cross.
Paul writes in his letter to the churches in Rome:
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3 : 21 – 24)
Jesus paid the price of sin, although he himself was sinless, so that everyone who believes in him can be released from the bondage and slavery of sin. The final prophetic word of this psalm was fulfilled by Jesus on the cross.
Heavenly Father, help us to understand our sinful nature, confess our sins and put our faith in our Saviour, Jesus Christ who will forgive us. Fill us again with your Holy Spirit who helps us to grow in faith, resist temptation, and walks with us as we work for the increase in the Kingdom of God. Amen
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