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.
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.
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.
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.