To some, the dark tone is Psalm 130 seems incongruous with the victorious praise you would expect from a “spiritual young man or woman.” The difference between a maturing Christian and a spiritual child is that difficulties do not push the committed believer into a quandary. In deep tragedy or depression, the godly man’s cry is not just for help or victory, but for intimacy with the Heavenly Father. Standing in God’s exalted presence in the throne room caused John, Job and Isaiah to have a deep awareness of their own sin. When God unveiled His great glory, each of these godly men had the same reaction: they were overwhelmed and broken (Isaiah 6:51, Revelation 1:17, Job 42). Paul called himself “the chief of sinners.” Such revelation of God’s holiness and our sinfulness might seem futile and discouraging on the surface. However, look at the glorious results. Moses, leader of a nation, was God’s giver of the law. Isaiah was the fiery prophet of God who impacted all of Israel by his grand plea for repentance. Paul, the author of much of the New Testa- ment canon, pioneered the ministry to the Gentiles throughout the known world. John the apostle was the seer of the expansive vision of the end times. Great brokenness produces miraculous ministry. Psalm 130:1 is a desperate, raw out- pouring to God:
“Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; O Lord, hear my voice. If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.” NIV
Verse five gives us genuine insight on how God and man interact. The growing Christian knows how to have patience (waiting), how to hope in God (His reliable character), and understands his own record of sins (who can stand?) And his understanding of redemption and man’s need for grace results in humility. He places no confidence in self-but in God. In this intimate bonding, the psalmist clearly reveals that God is in control. The Father’s love never wavers or falters. The concluding verse of this psalm is prophetic:
“He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.” Psalm 130:8 NIV
The poet concludes the psalm with a deep assurance of God’s redemption. God will personally get His world back. The growing worshipper is transparent before God, and yet remains confident in His Father’s love and perfect plan.
Remember a time when you felt great desperation and pain. Were you able to express that pain to anyone? Were you able to take that pain to God? Are you still hurting? Take some time to honestly voice your hurt to God knowing that He will listen and understand.
Peruse this psalm and list the progression of how the poet processed his pain. He talks about waiting on God. What would that look like? How did he reach his conclusions at the end of the poem?
What did He mean when he wrote about God’s forgiveness, redemption, and unfailing love? What do these words really mean? How can receiving those wonderful gifts really impact your life?