Monday, May 30, 2011

Psalm 130

My Soul Waits for the Lord

Psalm 130 is an individual lament, known as one of the 7 penitential psalms.  In these verses, the psalmist expresses
  • his desire towards God, v 1-2

  • his repentance towards God, v 3-4

  • his attendance (waiting) upon God, v 5-6

  • his expectation from God, v 7-8

  • This Psalm, perhaps more than any other, is marked by its mountains: depth; prayer; conviction; light; hope; waiting; watching; longing; confidence; assurance; universal happiness and joy...
    James Vaughan, 1878.
    Just as the barometer marks the rising of the weather, so does this Psalm, sentence by sentence, record the progress of the soul. And you may test yourself by it, as by a rule or measure, and ask yourself at each line, "Have I reached to this? Have I reached to this?" and so take your spiritual gauge.  

    Martin Luther penned these words below in an application & interpretation of Psalm 130- Christopher Miner put it to music in 1997 and it's one of my favorites that we sing at church:

    From depths of woe I raise to Thee
    The voice of lamentation;
    Lord, turn a gracious ear to me
    And hear my supplication;
    If Thou iniquities dost mark,
    Our secret sins and misdeeds dark,
    O who shall stand before Thee?

    To wash away the crimson stain,
    Grace, grace alone availeth;
    Our works, alas! are all in vain;
    In much the best life faileth:
    No man can glory in Thy sight,
    All must alike confess Thy might,
    And live alone by mercy.

    Therefore my trust is in the Lord,
    And not in mine own merit;
    On Him my soul shall rest, His Word
    Upholds my fainting spirit:
    His promised mercy is my fort,
    My comfort, and my sweet support;
    I wait for it with patience.

    What though I wait the livelong night,
    And till the dawn appeareth,
    My heart still trusteth in His might;
    It doubteth not nor feareth:
    Do thus, O ye of Israel's seed,
    Ye of the Spirit born indeed;
    And wait till God appeareth.

    Though great our sins and sore our woes,
    His grace much more aboundeth;
    His helping love no limit knows,
    Our utmost need it soundeth.
    Our Shepherd good and true is He,
    Who will at last His Israel free.
    From all their sin and sorrow.

    Regarding verses 3-4, Spurgeon notes:  These two verses contain the sum of all the Scriptures. In the third is the form of repentance, and in the fourth the mercies of the Lord:
    If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
    O Lord, who could stand?
    But there is forgiveness with You,
    That You may be feared.~ Psalm 130:3-4

    In verses 5 & 6, the psalmist exhorts us to wait on the Lord.  OK - those words sound great, but . . . how exactly do we do it?  What does it mean to "wait for the Lord" - Matthew Henry makes this observation:
    from Him I expect relief and comfort, believing it will come, but patiently bearing the delay of it, and resolving to look for it from no other hand.
     In practical terms, what is more certain than night and day?  We know with certainty the sun will come up in the morning . . . verse 6 reminds us:
     God's covenant is more firm than the ordinances of day and night, for they shall come to an end, but God's covenant is everlasting. 

    The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem
    Western Wall of the Temple
    God has great things in store for His people; they ought to have large expectations.
    ~ Spurgeon

    • God hears my voice
    • There is forgiveness with God - He does not mark my iniquities
    • There is certainty with God - I can wait on Him with confident expectation
    • With the Lord, there is mercy
    • With the Lord is abundant redemption
    • I praise God that He hears my cry - that the God of the universe is attentive to my voice!
    • I praise God for His forgiveness, mercy & redemption to His people, and in my life!
         Out of the depths I have cried to You, ,O Lord - Lord, hear my voice!  Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
        If You, Lord, should mark my iniquities, I know there is no way I could stand before You.  I bless You for Your Son Jesus Christ and for the forgiveness that is found in Him.  For the abundant redemption for all my iniquities, my heart praises You forever. 
         Thank You, O God, that we can wait with certainty on You, that our hope in You is not in vain.  Bear me up and strengthen my heart to wait on You with patience . . . as sure as night follows day, even more sure the Creator whose hand made them both.  May I trust You more and more.  In Jesus' name I pray ~ Amen

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