I enjoy reading the Psalms because they speak to my heart and to the struggles that I often find myself wrestling with in my life. Psalm 130 is one of those Psalms. It consists of only eight verses, so it’s not too hard to read and meditate on. One Bible study resource I use summarized the psalm like this: “One person’s testimony about trusting the Lord—by one who knows that even though they are a sinner, the Lord hears their cry from out of the depths.” That description resonates with my experience.
“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.”
The psalm begins with a cry for help from “out of the depths,” (implying depths of distress or despair, or maybe even of depression). Have you ever found yourself there? If you have, you no doubt longed for someone who understood your struggles and would also be able to help you. You can be sure that the Lord does! His ears are “attentive” to your cry.
Here the psalmist cried out to the Lord because he knew that He could help him, even if his circumstances may have been because of his own sin and failure. You see, God is a God of mercy and forgiveness. He doesn’t respond to us by saying, “You again? And what another fine mess you’ve gotten yourself into!” As one person put it, “If there was no forgiveness with Him, we’d all have to run from Him in terror!” But there is forgiveness and, as a result, we have the assurance that he will help us. We depend upon who he is and the promises of his Word. We wait as the “watchmen wait for the morning,” knowing that the sun will come up again.
The hard part for most of us can be the waiting. But know that as we wait for him He acts according to his perfect timing in our life and His “unfailing love.” That can also be translated his “steadfast love,” and his “mercy” or “loving kindness.”
The psalm ends with a promise of his “full redemption.” He saves us, redeeming us, giving us hope and a new beginning. He created us in His image, and sees great value in His handiwork. He also redeems us from our sin and its consequences because of what Jesus did on the Cross.
When you find yourself “in the depths,” cry out to the Lord. He will be attentive to your cry. He is a God of mercy and forgiveness. His love for you is everlasting. He demonstrated that when He sent Jesus to die for you. Help is on the way!
Jim Newman is pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Exeter. He may be reached by calling 559-592-2367 or by emailing [email protected]. Prays Together is a rotating faith-based commentary and advice column among the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.