Psalm 130 — Redeemed from the Red — Reading the Psalms

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A Song of Ascents.

1 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.
2 Lord, hear my voice:
Let thine ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities,
O Lord, who shall stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with thee,
That thou mayest be feared.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait,
And in his word do I hope.
6 My soul looketh for the Lord,
More than watchmen look for the morning;
Yea, more than watchmen for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the LORD;
For with the LORD there is mercy,
And with him is plenteous redemption
8 And he shall redeem Israel
From all his iniquities.

I like that this psalm admits our faults and frailty before the Lord. If we cry out from the depths, then the Lord must be in the heights. If we cry out with supplication, then the Lord must be the one with the wealth to supply. Knowing our iniquities we are in fear and awe of God, praying that he will be merciful on our account. The great spreadsheet of our lives reveals deficit after deficit. Spread open and bare, we pray he will not mark our iniquities.

The first beatitude of Jesus speaks to this spiritual bankruptcy. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Though deep in the red, we wait on one who promises to make us whiter than snow. When we wait on the Lord, we wait on one who is faithful. With the Lord there is mercy and plenty of redemption.

Thus, this psalm speaks of our spiritual bankruptcy, not as a hopeless debt, but as one redeemable by God. We wait and hope that he might help. We wait like a watchman waits, in hope and expectancy of relief.

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