Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities (Psalm 130).
How are you feeling today? The ‘depths’ and the difficulties that the psalmist faced caused him to cry out to the Lord and we can do the same. You may be facing all sorts of problems: health worries, financial difficulties, anxieties over loved ones, or uncertainties about the future. We can bring all of these to God, but what is your biggest problem?
We shouldn’t be taking the current situation lightly, but Covid-19 is not the biggest problem that you and I are facing. Don’t get me wrong, Covid-19 is serious and we need to heed the warnings and follow the instructions of the government carefully, but this psalm also reminds us that there is a bigger danger.
We are sinners and as the first part of this psalm explains, this puts us in the terrible situation of being the enemies of God, the one who made Heaven and earth and is perfectly holy in every way. If the Lord were to mark our iniquities, who could stand? Not you nor I, we would all be rightly condemned for our evil hearts and living our lives in direct contradiction to how God created us to be. We would have no hope, and face an eternity in hell without our Creator and every good thing he has created.
With God there is forgiveness. God loved you and me so much that he sent his only Son to do what we couldn’t do and live the perfect life of obedience that God rightly demanded. He then died on the cross, taking the punishment we deserve as the Father turned his face away from him. He endured God’s wrath on Calvary and then came back to life again three days later, breaking the power of death and offering new life to all who believe in him.
My dear friend – have you been saved? Have you turned to Christ in faith and asked him for forgiveness? If you are a child of God your biggest problem is no more!
You may be feeling worried today, perhaps you are worrying about coming out of lockdown, or perhaps you have a difficult family or health concern, but this psalm gives us perspective. As a child of God, you are safe and free! The biggest problem and danger you have ever faced has been dealt with, and you have a glorious future as you safely travel home to your Father’s arms.
As Paul said in Romans 8:
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38-39).
Wait for the Lord
The first part of Psalm 130 is truly wonderful as we see the reality of the forgiveness that a child of God experiences, but what about those times when God feels far away and we don’t have instant answers to our prayers? What about the times that we have to wait for the Lord?
As Christians, there are certain things that we don’t need to wait for: our salvation is secure and we can enjoy full acceptance and access to God through Jesus Christ. However, in this world, there will always be an element of waiting as Paul said:
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known (1 Cor. 13:12).
Difficult times and uncertainties can test our faith and can cause us to question the goodness and sovereignty of God, but we are told to wait and hope. This waiting and hoping is not done as a pie in the sky kind of hope in a religious system. It’s not rooted in our own ability to keep going. No, we wait for the Lord and hope in his Word, and that is real hope!
The Lord will not let us down; his love is steadfast and his redemption is real and effective; Christ was, and is, a real man; the cross was real and the resurrection really happened, therefore we have certainty that the same power works in us for the glory of God. Christ is now in Heaven, interceding for us and the same hands that were crucified for you and me are now working everything out for our good and for his glory.
So today, wait for the Lord. Let your soul wait and hope for him even more than the watchmen wait for the morning. The night may be dark and uncertain, but as the watchmen knew that the morning was coming, we know that our Lord and Saviour is coming!