Psalms of Ascents: Psalm 130

The Psalms of Ascent are a set of fifteen psalms that were traditionally sung as priests entered the temple, and Jews journeyed to the Holy Land to celebrate the Passover Festival. They offer hope, encouragement, and peace in a time of uncertainty. Today we will read and discuss Psalm 130, the eleventh psalm in the psalms of ascents.

Psalm 130 takes us through the cries of distress from the guilt and shame of sin, the forgiveness of our Father, expectant waiting for the promises of God, and the abundant redemption available to the nation.

Psalm 130

A song of ascents.
 
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2 Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
 
3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
 
5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
 
7 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.

From the depths of despair, stricken by guilt and shame from carrying their sin, comes the beautiful Psalm 130. Through his words, we can hear the desperation of his prayers, as he begs God to hear him and give him mercy.

The psalmist knows the truth of God: He is a forgiving God, abundant in mercy. He simply wants us to comes to Him and humbly turn our hearts toward Him.

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Jeremiah 31:31-34

Jeremiah tells us of the day when God will establish His new covenant with us – the day when Jesus comes again. It’s at this time that God “will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more”. (v. 34)

Our sin, once forgiven, is gone, as if it never happened. The only thing capable of washing us clean is the blood of Jesus.

The outcome of our forgiveness should be a full repentance, a turning of our hearts toward what is good and righteous.

In verses 5-6, we see the psalmist waiting expectantly, not for something that might come, but something that will come: God’s promised redemption. Just as the “watchmen wait for the morning”, knowing the sun will rise, we can wait expectantly on God, knowing He is a promise keeper. 

Refer back to Psalm 123 when we discussed looking to God as a servant looks to his master – with devotion, dependence, and submission.

Finally, in the final verses of Psalm 130, we see how the redemption of one individual can turn into abundant redemption for a nation, and hope in God’s “unfailing love”. 

 

Nowhere in this psalm does the psalmist ask God to remove the consequences of his sin; he simply asks for forgiveness and mercy. Let us look to God with expectancy and hope, accepting the punishment for our sin, but knowing that God is a promise keeper and will redeem us.

Each day, from March 23-April 6, 2020, I will be live on Instagram reading and discussing each of the fifteen psalms of ascents. I want to encourage you to join me.

Also, take a moment each day for your own study. Write the psalms (they’re all relatively short), and dig into God’s Word. That is where we will find peace.

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The Psalms of Ascent are a set of fifteen psalms that were traditionally sung as priests entered the temple, and Jews journeyed to the Holy Land to celebrate the Passover Festival. They offer hope, encouragement, and peace in a time of uncertainty. Today we will read and discuss Psalm 130, the eleventh psalm in the psalms of ascents.

MEET KIRSTEN

I'm Kirsten & I'm happy you're here! Sweet Tea & Saving Grace supports women seeking to find balance in the busy, deepen their faith, and instill joy and love in their homes, lives, and blogs by providing encouraging and inspiring content and valuable resources. My prayer is for you to leave here better than when you came. Be blessed!

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