state of Ohio, but now lives at Bair Lake Bible Camp where she and her
husband Ben, met. Ben works on the Program team, and Kenzie
is now a full-time momma to their 6-month old daughter, Eleanor. In her
free time she enjoys spending time with her family, catching up with
friends over coffee, helping with camp activities, playing soccer, and
Read Psalm 130
When I first decided to write about this Psalm, it was because it was a favorite during a difficult time in my life. But as I began to study it, and pull it apart word by word, I couldn’t help but see anything else but Jesus! This is my goal for you.
For some of us this Psalm will be all too familiar. We will feel the weight of “the depths” that the writer talks about, while others of us may be currently facing easier days. Wherever you are today, as we journey through this rich, poetic song, my prayer for you is that you see our Savior on the throne. So grab your coffee (hopefully yours will not be microwaved for the 5th time today like mine has) and your Bible and let’s get started.
Psalm 130 begins with a title “The Song of Ascents.” These songs were sung while the Israelites were traveling to Jerusalem for holidays, such as Passover, or to go to the Tabernacle.
Verse 1, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!” The word “depths” actually gives the imagery of being in deep waters, and strong waves crashing down overhead. It can also depict the grave. The writer is in deep despair, and based on the rest of the chapter, it is over sin. Verse 2, “O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to my voice of my pleas for mercy!” I want to point out here, the simple fact that God listens to us. Does that fact ever blow you away? The God of the universe, who created us and everything in it, takes time to listen to our problems. That alone is amazing!
Verse 3-4, “If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness that you may be feared.” If the Lord held our sins against us, who could measure up to perfection? Look at Psalm 76:7, “But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused?” Our God is a holy, just, righteous God. He can have no part of sin and wickedness. That includes us- all of us! “There is none righteous, no not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one has done good, not even one” (Romans 3:10-12). “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
We are all worthy of death, and yet Christ stepped in making the ultimate atonement for our sin, laying down His life as a sacrifice for us. Verse 4 states that there is forgiveness and in this forgiveness we can have confident hope and rest in it. “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him” (Psalm 103:12-13). Psalm 130 goes on to state that the purpose of forgiveness is so God may be feared. He grants us forgiveness so we realize who He is and fear Him, and also glorify Him as Redeemer at the same time.
Verse 5- “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits; and in his word I hope.” The phrase “my soul waits” has a stronger connotation than the previous “I wait” because it implies a true heart-felt confidence and trust in the Lord. Psalm 33:20-21 says “Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.”
Verse 6- “my soul waits for the LORD, more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” Psalm 123:2 says “Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid servant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us.” This is the same kind of yearning and longing that verse 6 is talking about. The repetition of “more than watchmen for the morning” implies a painful, long-awaited deliverance. The writer here gives the imagery of being in the darkest of nights, longing, yearning, aching for dawn. They are awaiting salvation.
Verse 7-8 says “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.” The word “steadfast” means unwavering. This is a call for Israel to trust in the Lord’s sovereignty, knowing that his love is unwavering, and he works all things for our good and His glory. Redemption means to buy back, thus giving freedom.
So where is Jesus in this Psalm?
Jesus is all through this Psalm.
Jesus is the reason we can cry from the depths to the LORD and He hears us. He is our mediator (verses 1-2).
Jesus is the reason the LORD does not mark our iniquities, because if we are in Christ, our debt is paid in full, and our sins are covered by His blood (verse 3).
Jesus is the only reason we can “stand” (verse 3).
Jesus is the reason we have been granted forgiveness and can rest with confident hope in it (verse 4). Jesus is the reason we see God for who He is, and we glorify Him. The Son always points to the Father (verse 4). Jesus is our Redeemer (verse 4).
Jesus is the one our soul waits for with confidence, and the one in who’s word we trust (verse 5-6).
Jesus is the one we hope in, for with Him there is unwavering, steadfast love, and plentiful redemption. He buys us and thus gives us freedom (verse 7).
And Jesus redeems us from all our iniquities (verse 8).
I don’t know
where you are today. Maybe you’re struggling through a major trial, and
trying to see how God could be glorified through it. Maybe you’re a
momma trying to daily put on the super hero cape, and juggle all the
mundane tasks that seem to be undone the moments after you’ve finished
them, and you’re growing more and more frustrated with each day. Maybe,
you’re running from Him, and striving to find satisfaction in trinkets
This Psalm was most meaningful to me at a time when I was running hard after the things of the world. I wanted significance and value. I wanted to see what the world had to offer. Thankfully the Lord protected me from the wickedness of my own heart, and brought me to my knees before Him. I realized that I had nowhere else to go. Nothing else will satisfy, truly satisfy us but Jesus. Sin is enticing, and it can satisfy us for a brief period of time…but, it’s a “cotton candy pleasure.” Cotton candy can be sweet and wonderful for an instant, and then gone the next, and you’re left with the disappointing feeling of “why did I eat that?!” and wondering why you wasted your calories on sugar-air!
The truth is Christ alone is the only one who satisfies…truly, truly satisfies. “Our hearts are always restless, until they find their rest in Thee” (St. Augustine). In our moment of weakness, we must see something greater than what is before us. When sin is enticing and looks desirable, we must see something more beautiful and eternal, than the temporary temptation in front of us. “Til sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet” (Thomas Watson). We must view our lives in light of eternity. This is not our home, and whatever temptation or trial we face today will never compare to the beauty we will find in the face of our King. We must always look to Him. He has already conquered sin, and our desire is to follow Him.
My prayer is in your distress, on the days that your sin feels so heavy, and it feels like you are being pushed down under the waves, that you turn to Jesus- that you see Him in this text and cling to Him. I pray that you find your satisfaction in Him, hope in Him, wait for Him, and stand in Him, and, after true repentance, you rest in His forgiveness. “Hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem” (Psalm 130:7-8a).
1. Reread Psalm 130 and look for Jesus throughout this chapter.
2. What “cotton candy” pleasure is currently enticing you? Ask God to give you an appetite for His Word and a distaste for sin.
3. Go back through this post and reread the statements with Jesus in bold. Then take a few minutes to write a prayer of thanksgiving to Jesus for these amazing truths.