Psalms 130:0 ¶ A Song of degrees.
Three times each year the men of Israel were to come to the temple and present themselves before the Lord.
Deuteronomy 16:16 “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty….”
The fifteen Psalms that are called the songs of degrees (elevation, journey to a higher place, go up) were to be sung as they ascended the temple mount.
Guzik: “Psalm 130 begins with a personal testimony of God’s rescue from the depths of guilt and awareness of sin, and ascends step by step up to giving confidence to others in their trust in God.”
Psalms 130:1 ¶ Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.
The psalmist was inspired to write this psalm during a time of deep sorrow and depression. Context indicates that he is suffering from the guilt of sin but is confident that he will find forgiveness.
Spurgeon: “He that prays in the depth will not sink out of his depth. He that cries out of the depths shall soon sing in the heights.”
Psalms 130:2 Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
He calls out for the LORD to pay attention to his cries for help.
Psalms 130:3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
Psalms 130:4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
As he prays, the psalmist recognizes that without God’s forgiveness, man has no hope. To be able to receive God’s forgiveness is a strong motivation to fear and reverence the LORD.
Psalms 130:5 ¶ I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
Psalms 130:6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
The psalmist is determined to wait for the LORD’s forgiveness based on the truth of His word. While he is waiting, he is eagerly anticipating the peace that comes with forgiveness.
These verses made me think of the words of Jeremiah:
Lamentations 3:22–23 “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
Spurgeon: “A word from the Lord is as bread to the soul of the believer; and, refreshed thereby, it holds out through the night of sorrow expecting the dawn of deliverance and delight. Waiting, we study the word, believe the word, hope in the word, and live on the word; and all because it is "his word, "—the word of him who never speaks in vain. Jehovah's word is a firm ground for a waiting soul to rest upon.”
Psalms 130:7 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
Psalms 130:8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
He closes with a prayer that the people of Israel continue to place their faith in the LORD, knowing that such faith will result in His mercy and “plenteous” redemption. The Hebrew for “plenteous” makes reference to “exceeding… continuous…the process of time.” This implies that such mercy and redemption will be needed since man and nation can expect to fall into sin over and over again. The psalmist was well aware of this truth. Under the sacrificial system, the need for continued forgiveness was vividly impressed upon the people eery time they brought the sacrificial animal to the priest in repentance of their sin.
We are so blessed to know that we are permanently declared righteous in Jesus when we accept Him as our Savior by faith. I fear we often take that privilege for granted. We need to have an acute of awareness of Jesus on the cross suffering the judgment we deserve for each and every sin we commit—big or small.