Psalm 130 (Holman Christian Standard Version)
A song of ascents.
- Out of the depths I call to You, LORD!
- LORD, listen to my voice; let Your ears be attentive to my cry for help.
- Lord, if You considered sins, LORD, who could stand?
- But with You there is forgiveness, so that You may be revered.
- I wait for the LORD; wait, and put my hope in His word.
- I wait for the LORD more than watchment for the morning – more than watchment for the morning.
- Israel, put your hope in the LORD. For there is faithful love with the LORD, and with Him is redemption in abundance.
- And He will redeem Israel from all its sins.
I cannot begin to express how profound it is that I am studying this psalm this week. God has been working in my life in a way that I have never experienced before. I can clearly see Him at work, and it is incredibly exciting. This psalm has been my cry for a while now, without me even knowing it. Studying it this week was exactly what I needed in order to affirm my faith that God is moving in my circumstances.
1. God offers forgiveness.
Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I definitely need to be reminded of this when I feel self-righteousness creeping up. Sin is sin in God’s eyes. There are no varying degrees. God doesn’t forgive those that sin “a little” more than He forgives those who have “bigger” sins. There is no such separation to God. This psalm clearly indicates that God does not keep a record of our sins (v. 3) and that He forgives all of them (v. 8).
We might be keeping a record, but God does not. I know people, as I have said before, who are so bound by their past, they constantly relive it on a daily basis. They cannot move forward with joy, and their lives are marked by discouragement and self-loathing. Beth says, “You may think you’re honoring God with misery over your past mistakes, but you’re not.” Oh, how I would love to be able to say that to those people! I know, however, that it would only be accepted as another stripe on their back and they go down their road to self-imposed martyrdom. And that is heartbreaking. Beth is correct. Self-condemnation does NOT honor God.
Colossians 2:13-15 says:
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
Jesus made the way for ALL of our sins to be forgiven. He wasn’t only good enough to take care of most of them. He took the old law, which was dependent upon US, wiped it out, and nailed it to His cross. Now salvation is dependent upon Him.
Not only that, but this tells us that He was made the public spectacle for our sins. We don’t have to keep bringing it up and reliving it and wearing it like a scarlet letter. He did that on Calvary. To keep doing that ourselves and never letting it go is the same as saying He didn’t do enough. We still need to bear some of that. That is just NOT TRUE.
Beth takes it a step further she states, “Too many teachers try to convince us that God will make a public spectacle of us over our sins when we get to heaven.” I had never really thought about it before, but that is what I had always been taught growing up. I was taught that when we get to heaven, God would replay our entire life (I guess on a jumbotron) and we would see all of our sins and have to explain them. I just accepted that at face value, and honestly, haven’t thought much about it in years. Now I am not so sure that was actual Biblical truth and not more legalism. It is something I will definitely have to do more study on. But if Christ truly was the public spectacle (as the Bible clearly states) and He did wipe out all of our trespasses (as the Bible clearly states) and God has really removed all of our trespasses from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12) and He truly remembers our sins not more, why would He do such a thing?
Jeremiah 31:34 – “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Hebrews 8:12 (quoting Jeremiah) – “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
2. God offers full redemption.
This builds on what we learned above. Beth talks about how the psalmist uses the illustration of a watchman to show how we are to be waiting expectantly on the Lord. She states:
Nothing is more critical than expectation to understand biblical hope and this psalm. Though the psalmist was convinced his own poor decision had aggravated his plight, he placed his hope in what God’s Word said about confession and forgiveness, he sought his God, and then he fully expected God to show up in his circumstances.
I confess that if I think something I have done has contributed to a problem I am experiencing, I normally do not go to God with my head lifted up, expecting Him to make it right. I am usually grovelling. But I don’t have to do that! I can be repentant without letting guilt rob me of my hope. God is still on my side. Guilt can eclipse our expectation of God working in our lives despite us messing up. Dwelling on past mistakes will keep me from living a life of joy and expecting God to move. Beth says:
When we cry out to God from the depths, taking full responsibility for our sins, our Champion will show up. If we put our hope in what His Word says is true, we can pray with absolute – if tearful – expectation that our God is coming. He will do more than save the day. He will save His child. We need not shrink back from God to soften His hard blows. God never comes to a truly repentant child with anger. He comes with unbridled affection. You see, we may have failed God but He will not fail us, ‘for with the LORD is unfailing love’ (Psalm 130:7).
Full redemption in God means I do not have to be haunted by past mistakes. True redemption will lead to restoration. God promises us that He wants to prosper us and give us a future and a hope. He will bring us back into relationship with Him. He will also give us the ability to use things in our past to help others. Beth spoke to me clearly when she said, “Redemption is incomplete if our negative past is only diffused. Satan won’t be completely sorry and God won’t get all the glory until the bad is used for good.” I need to find a way to let things that seemed to be a negative in my life speak to others going through the same situations.
She includes Jeremiah 29:11-14. I have had Jeremiah 29:11 memorized for years now. It is even on my PC desktop. But I had never really read the verses that came after it.
‘For I know the plans I have for you’ – this is the LORD’s declaration – ‘plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you’ – the LORD’s declaration – ‘and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and places where I banished you’ – the LORD’s declaration. ‘I will restore you to the place I deported you from.’
Webster’s defines declaration as “the act of declaring.” Declare is defined as “to make known formally, officially, or explicitly.” God declares that He will do these things for the one who truly seeks Him. He will be found by us.
I pray that I continue to seek Him as I never have before, and that He will continue to reveal Himself through His Word, as He has been doing these past few weeks.
My Psalm 130:
From my pit I call to You, Jesus! Jesus, listen to me; hear my cries for deliverance. If You held our sins against us, we would not be able to come before You. But You have offered us forgiveness! Blessed be Your Name! I will wait for You; I will be patient and believe the promises of Your Word. I wait expectantly for You to move – expectantly, like a child on Christmas morning. I put my hope in You, Jesus. For Your love for me is faithful, and Your redemption covers every single one of my sins.