Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Healing and deliverance
‘Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!’ (V.1)
Psalm 130 is part of a group of Psalms (120-134) called ‘Psalms of Ascents’. The Jewish pilgrims while traveling to Jerusalem to attend their great festivals sang these songs on their way. These Psalms were used not only for worship as they walked, but also it enabled them to prepare their hearts for the corporate worship they would attend in the Temple at Jerusalem. As Christians, our faith journey culminates in our corporate worship by taking part in the Holy Communion. As we prepare for it, we should be aware of our great need for the forgiveness so that we can partake with thankful, reverent hearts to our gracious God who sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sins that we never deserved. This Psalm takes us from the depths of our guilt and despair to the heights of joyous hope in the Lord.
The six psalms preceding psalm 130 in the Songs of Ascent share the common theme of encouraging us to trust in God. These writers implored us to have confidence that God’s goodness and power will see us through every difficulty we face in life. This psalm conveys more than an encouragement for us, but to trust God for redemption. It calls us act on that trust, turn from our waywardness, and seek God’s forgiveness. The action we are called to make is to change what we do now and how we think to align with how God calls us to be. C. S. Lewis wrote: “When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less.” When we are sinners, we do not understand the depth of our sins and the goodness and power of the Lord and His willingness to forgive us from our sins.
On the matter of redemption, this psalm is similar to these previous ones in describing God’s expressions of love for us by redeeming us. We can and should approach God with confidence that God will forgive us. The psalmist describes this forgiving nature as one more reason God is to be “feared”. Certainly we would be destroyed by our own sins were it not for God’s forgiveness, and we need to remember that fearful thought of what God has done for us. But the psalmist meant much more by the word “fearful”—God’s enduring patience and generous forgiveness exceed our comprehension and go against our human nature. The same Hebrew word can be translated as “awed”, and God’s willingness to forgive us over and over again is wondrous beyond our imagination.
Finally, the Psalm reminds us that, hope is necessary element in our lives. It gives us the strength to keep going through the tough times. It gives life joy and meaning in the good times. However, when hope has been repeatedly ends in disappointment, it slips away. This psalm offers a picture of this struggle. The writer is without much hope. Yet he puts himself in a place of allowing for the possibility of hope. As we pray with him, we too can begin to wait with growing expectation. We too can nurture our hope. John Newton, author of “Amazing Grace,” was a godless, drunken sailor before his conversion. He titled his autobiography, ‘Out of the Depths’. Similarly, we need to seek God’ help in recovering us from the depths of our sinful nature so that we can have trust and hope in in Him.
Prayer: Let us thank God for being the source of our hope and thank you Lord for giving us the courage to face the trials and tribulations when we are surrounded by hopelessness.
Thought for the day: “Confession to God brings cleansing from God
Lal Varghese, Esq., Dallas