Out of the depths have I cried unto You, O LORD.
Lord, hear my voice:
let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
If You, LORD, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who shall stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
that You may be feared.
I wait for the LORD,
my soul does wait,
and in His Word do I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning:
I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
Let Israel hope in the LORD:
for with the LORD there is mercy,
and with Him is plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
Have you ever had a time when life was so difficult that you turned immediately to the Scriptures for hope and assurance, and the first thing you found was just what you needed? That happened to me when I opened my Bible to this psalm a few days ago. I had done wrong against a family member, and tension was high. The day was still young yet, and it was time for me to sit down with my Bible for some quiet coffee with my Savior. But my soul was not quiet. And I did not feel worthy. In fact, I felt like a hypocrite having my devotions right after that lovely yelling match. But then a still, small voice inside of me said, “Angela, swallow your pride and open your Bible. It is not hypocritical to know where to go for help, especially when you need it most.” And I obeyed that voice.
I’ve been reading through the Psalms, and that day I came to Psalm 130. It was as if this prayer was penned just for me, just for today. “Out of the depths have I cried unto You, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice: let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.” What comfort lay in these verses!
O Lord, who shall stand?
Nobody’s perfect, true enough; but it is not an excuse for my behavior. I cannot lean on that crutch.
But there is forgiveness with You….
I sought that forgiveness right that moment. And later on I sought forgiveness from my family member.
That You may be feared….
This is not a terror, but a reverence, a desire to worship God. The Father has revealed Himself as one who forgives because He wants us to come to Him, seek His forgiveness, and restore the broken fellowship. The same thing happens between two people when a wrong is made right. Not only does God assure us of the certainty of His forgiveness, but He also fills us with the wretchedness of our own sin. Why? Because if sin were comfortable, we would not let go. God wants fellowship with us so much that He is willing to make us miserable in our sin so that we will humbly turn to Him for mercy and forgiveness.
I wait for the LORD….
As a rule, we don’t like to wait. We want fast checkout lines at the store, steady traffic on the road, microwave meals that cook in seconds, and instantaneous Internet service. But waiting is good for the soul. Waiting tries our faith, and our faith grows through trials.
In His Word do I hope….
Hope is the joy and strength of waiting. But be sure you have the hope that “maketh not ashamed”: hope in God and His Word. Any other hope will disappoint you.
More than they that watch for the morning….
The mention of morning suggests night. Night can be dark, cold, and lonely. Who watches for the morning?
- Mariners on a ship at sea, navigating by compass but unable to see the stars because of cloud cover, fog, or a raging storm
- Someone lost in the woods or on a mountain, in need of rescue
- A nightwatchman who is tired from hours of guard duty, longing to be relieved
- Someone who lives far to the north, where for months on end the sun does not rise
- A bride or groom on the night before their wedding
- A child on Christmas Eve
For all of these people, morning brings light, relief, warmth, joy, guidance, companionship, help, and/or rest. Their expectancy is high. But our expectancy on God is—or should be—higher still.
Let Israel hope in the Lord….
Do you remember what hope is? We’ve talked about it before. Hope is waiting with the expectation of receiving. In other words, hope and waiting go hand in hand. The night may be long, but joy comes in the morning.
For with the Lord there is mercy….
He gives us endurance to pass the night, His presence to ward off loneliness, and His light to shine in the darkness. As long as the night may seem, the day has never failed to follow.
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Are you at odds with someone? Take it to the Lord.
Are you struggling with a problem that is bigger than you? Wait on the Lord.
Has sin disrupted the peace in your heart? Run to the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy.
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Photo taken in New Market, VA, 2014