I. Read Psalm 130.
A Song of Ascents.
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
2 Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!
3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.
5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
8 It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities. (NRSV)
Introduction – Psalm 130 is a Psalm of Ascents. These were sung by those journeying to worship in Jerusalem to celebrate annual festivals. Some were penitential, calling out to the Lord for mercy. In this case, the psalmist cries out to the Lord, recognizing that no one can stand on their own righteousness in God’s presence. But He is rich in forgiveness. So the Psalmist waits for the Lord. Israel is to hope in the Lord because God will redeem Israel from all their iniquities. The Psalms teach us the full range of prayer, praise and even complaints that we may properly express to God, not only individually, but corporately. In Psalm 130 we have a call for God’s presence along with a recognition of our unworthiness (“If You should mark iniquities . . .”). We are sinners and saints at the same time. We have no inherent righteousness whereby we can demand a Holy God’s presence and power in our lives. Yet, He forgives and now we see the full basis for that forgiveness through Christ’s death and resurrection. Despite our natural unworthiness, it is right and good that we still call upon Him to be present. We should be those whose “souls wait for the Lord.” We need a thirst for God that is just as eager as those awaiting the safety of morning light in the dark night of battle. The promise is that “with the Lord there is mercy” and “abundant redemption.”
- Do you believe this that God is merciful and give abundant redemption? What evidence of this is in your life?
- Do you sense God’s abundant presence in your life now or are you awaiting more of His presence like the Psalmist? Cry out to the Lord in prayer to ask for His presence.
- What iniquities could the Lord mark in your life? Confess them to the Lord and ask for abundant forgiveness through Christ.
- Believe and keep believing that you are forgiven through Christ’s abundant redemption. Believing this, how will this shape your actions and attitudes today?
II. Pray Psalm 130. Write out a short prayer expressing your response to this psalm.
III. Sing Psalm 130. Worship the Lord by singing this psalm. Listen to or download this version of Psalm 130 (Music notation in the Outline).