Summary: The depths of sin and despair cause us to recognize our need for deliverance which can come only through Christ. It is from the depths that we cry to God.
From the Depths to Deliverance
Many of the 150 psalms recorded in the Old Testament were written by David, King of Israel, and they vary between praise and petition. In some, David gives praise unto God for the wonder of His Person, and the power of His might as One who provides for and protects His people; as well as being the One who bends low to rescue humanity from the depravity and destructiveness of sin. In the remaining psalms, David cries out unto God for deliverance from trouble in which he finds himself.
This 130th Psalm is one of the Penitential Psalms in which David expresses the sorrow in his heart because of sin. As recorded in scripture, “David was a man after God’s own heart,” yet he was a man of like passions as each of us. He knew his flesh was frail and weak….and that he was often in bondage to the sinful nature of his own heart….and in this psalm, it is with that understanding that David cries out to the Lord.
There are three things I want us to consider from this psalm, and the first is: Wailing In Want of Forgiveness.
In verse 1 David said: “Out of the depths have I cried to You, O Lord….”
Most of us have somewhat of an understanding of the “depths” because we have been there. The depths are that lowest point of human life…perhaps known as the “depths of despair,” the depths of “discouragement or depression,” or the depths of “guilt and shame.” The depths cause us to feel as though we are in a deep, dark hole from which are not able to see any light of hope. The depths are a place where we feel so all alone, as though there is no one who understands, or even cares about us as we go through our ordeal.
The depths from which David cried were the depths of guilt and shame caused by sin. Sin brought about a deep misery, and misery brought forth deep sorrow. Even though David, for the most part, walked in obedient fellowship with God, we know that he sinned against God and his fellow man when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband Uriah killed in the heat of battle. He took Bathsheba to be his bride in a desperate attempt to conceal his shame, but what was hidden sin on earth became open scandal in heaven: for nothing is ever hidden from the all-seeing eye of God. David’s running from God caused his heart to become burdened with guilt….and it caused the wellspring of joy to dry up within him.
In Psalm 32:1-4 David describes that feeling of emptiness caused by unconfessed sin, saying: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all day long.. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer.”
What a terrible feeling…..and most certainly, what a terrible position to be in! Sin separates man from the presence of a Just and Holy God. And, even when that man is saved by the grace of God and has the assurance of a permanent, eternal relationship through the seal and promise of God’s indwelling Spirit, sin causes fellowship to be broken because man usually tries to ignore God with the foolish hope that He will remain unaware of our transgressions.
It has been said that “sin will take you farther than you want to go; keep you longer than you are willing to stay; and cost you more than you are willing to pay.”
That was certainly the way it was in David’s case…..and his sin and disobedience caused him to stray away from the fellowship of God until he finally felt so far away and in a deep, dark hole of guilt and shame.
In Psalm 40:2 David described his situation as being “in a horrible pit, trapped by miry clay….” The only way I can describe “miry clay” is by that which I remember as a kid growing up in East Texas. The fields were a black clay that was good for nothing but growing cotton. If you ever tried to walk across one of those clay fields when it was wet, you didn’t get very far because the clay would stick to your feet, and the further you walked the bigger and heavier your feet became. You couldn’t begin to shake the clay off---it had to be scraped.
In similar fashion, David proclaims that the presence of un-confessed sin is like a weight that holds you down. It entraps you!!!