Summary: When you are at the bottom it seems like there is no way up or out. But in the final five songs of ascent, we see that the way is the way of Yahweh.
In a way, the final songs of ascent contained in Psalms 130-134 trace the path of salvation and unity with God, which leads to abundant praise and thanksgiving for all that He has done for us.
Psalm 130 starts with the cry of the broken-hearted.
1 – 2
When either you find yourself in a place of no return—in so deep that you are going to drown—or you realize your own lack when compared to God’s purity—that is the place from which a broken heart calls out to God. But there’s a problem:
Is. 59:1 Indeed, the LORD’s hand is not too short to save,
and His ear is not too deaf to hear.
2 But your iniquities have built barriers
between you and your God,
and your sins have made Him hide His face from you
so that He does not listen.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood
and your fingers, with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies,
and your tongues mutter injustice.
No matter how long or hard you cry out, unless a person starts with realizing they are separated from God by their own sin—it won’t matter. Next, there is the realization that if our sins are counted, our plight is hopeless before God.
3 – 6
The word “considered” here means “to watch over” or “preserve.” The idea is that if God made no provision for sin we would be utterly lost because we cannot hope to exist the presence of God who is toxic to anyone who is not pure like God.
The psalmist rejoices that there is salvation with God—and the result is awe of Him.
So instead of hoping on his own efforts to be or do good, the psalmist depends on God for His forgiveness—like a watchman waiting for the morning light.
7 – 8
Israel put their trust in Yahweh to forgive their sins based on the sacrifices and obedience to His Word. This foreshadowed what was to come. We depend on God for forgiveness based on the work of God’s Son Jesus who is the once-for-all sacrifice for sin and whose presence allows us to obey God.
Notice in verse 8 how it says “all” sins. There isn’t a single sin that cannot be cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. The only one that is unforgiveable is if you reject that forgiveness.
1 – 3
The sin that tripped up Lucifer was pride.
Is. 14:14 “I will ascend above the highest clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
When we try to figure out the universe apart of God we are haughty and arrogant. But instead we consider ourselves like kids who are completely reliant on God for salvation.
Matthew 18:2: Then He called a child to Him and had him stand among them. 3 “I assure you,” He said, “unless you are converted and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child—this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
This age would have us think of ourselves as adults—able to figure out our place in the universe and the universe itself.
Scientists start by presuming there is no God. They are badly mistaken. If we start with God the universe comes better into focus and our place in it. This doesn’t obviate the need for and importance of science, but it puts it in perspective.
We are not God!
Psalm 132 looks forward to what God was going to do through David and his line. Israel knew that God had put David on the throne as a “man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:13). But there was something more—a promise of a kingdom that would not end and a champion who would rule the earth from Jerusalem. So in this psalm we see the promise of that person: the Messiah.
1 – 10
This section brings up David’s longing to bring the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. The Israelites had foolishly let it fall into the hands of the Philistines. The Ark came back to Israel. David was in Bethlehem (Ephrathah) when he heard the news. But when they tried to bring the Ark back on a cart, it tipped and Uzzah reached out and died in the attempt to help God out.
So David conferred with the priests and found out the right way to bring the Ark to Jerusalem and the priests were in their priestly garments performing sacrifices all along the route.