From the Depths
When we plunge into the dark waters of despair because of our guilt, there are six Psalms we can use to confess and find God’s forgiveness—Psalm 6, 32, 51, 102, 143, and Psalm 130, the eleventh in the Songs of Ascents Collection (Psalm 120-134). Martin Luther included Psalm 130 in his Pauline collection along with Psalms 32, 51, and 143 because they taught that all have sinned, God’s mercy can provided forgiveness, and we only need to trust God to redeem.
In the time of the writer of Psalm 130 a priest watched for the dawn in the deep darkness of the night. As soon light appeared, it was time to take a lamb and make the daily sacrifice. The psalmist uses this imagery of a night watchman looking with anticipation,
“I wait expectantly, O LORD. My soul waits, and in His Word I put my confidence. My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchman waits for the dawn.”
The Levitical priest rose to offer only an animal sacrifice. I don’t have to wait in the night of my guilt for the light of my Lord’s forgiveness. Jesus, the perfect Lamb, has been sacrificed once for all; therefore, I can say even more confidently,
“If You, O LORD, kept a record of my sins, O Master, who could stand? (The answer is no one). But with You there is forgiveness; therefore You are to be reverenced.” Psalm 130: 3-4
LORD, it’s clear that this psalmist didn’t think of deep water as a friend. Like my EMT friends, I’m thankful that You can pull me lifeless and cold from the deadly power of my sin and give me new life—clean and free. And it’s all based in the Lamb of God who died to take away the sin of the world. I pray that my friends will allow Jesus to rescue them before they drown in their guilt.
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