Summary: We are not fine because we are wracked with sin Sin that the only payment for is death And we can never be cleansed of this sin, except for the blood of Jesus that washes away all sin

Hope in the Lord’s Forgiving Love

Psalm 130

Farmer Joe decided his injuries from the accident were serious enough to take the trucking company (responsible for the accident) to court.

In court, the trucking company’s fancy lawyer was questioning farmer Joe.

"Didn’t you say, at the scene of the accident, ’I’m fine’?," questioned the lawyer.

Farmer Joe responded, "Well I’ll tell you what happened.

I had just loaded my favorite mule Bessie into the..."

"I didn’t ask for any details," the lawyer interrupted, "just answer the question.

Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, ’I’m fine’!"

Farmer Joe said, "Well I had just got Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road..."

The lawyer interrupted again and said, "Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine.

Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client.

I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question."

By this time the Judge was fairly interested in Farmer Joe’s answer and said to the lawyer,

"I’d like to hear what he has to say about his favorite mule Bessie."

Joe thanked the Judge and proceeded, "Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my favorite mule, into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side.

I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other.

I was hurting real bad and didn’t want to move.

However, I could hear ole Bessie moaning and groaning.

I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans.

Shortly after the accident a Highway Patrolman came on the scene.

He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he went over to her.

After he looked at her he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes.

Then the Patrolman came across the road with his gun in his hand and looked at me.

He said, "Your mule was in such bad shape I had to shoot her. How are you feeling?"

It was then that I said, "I’m fine."

Today we may say “I’m fine” but honestly that is not the case

We are not fine because we are wracked with sin

Sin that the only payment for is death

And we can never be cleansed of this sin, except for the blood of Jesus that washes away all sin

How many of you have ever used SC Johnson’s Scrubbing Bubbles?

That stuff has never worked like the commercials.

Just spray it on and those scrubbing bubbles will do the work.


Today our text deals with the incredible power of God’s forgiveness.

We, however, often think that God’s forgiveness is like SC Johnson’s Scrubbing Bubbles, the bottle says it removes tough soap scum easily, but instead takes a lot of Scrubbing elbow grease to make it work.

Have you ever asked God to forgive you of your sin, but then felt that He had not?

Or, have you ever asked God to forgive you and then thought that you must beat yourself daily for His forgiveness to take place?

Today, we are going to learn the reality of forgiveness as found in Psalm 130.

SO, let us learn together the Hope of the Lord’s Forgiving Love

Read Psalm 130

Our God forgives sin and forgiveness begins with a cry for freedom

We first see the

I. Urgent Prayer of the Psalmist (1-2)

“Out of the depths I cry”

In order to begin this cry for freedom you must first see the circumstances you are in

In the depths of despair the psalmist cried out to God

Out of the depths is a figurative expression of severe distress

Despair makes us feel isolated and distant from God

But this is precisely when we need God most

The author of this psalm is unknown and some suggest Hezekiah wrote it

I tend to think it is another great Psalm of David

We read the words of a brokenhearted man who is struggling with the problem of guilt

We hear the cry of this man as he deals with his haunting sense of guilt that stems from his past

You remember David and his sin

His sin of adultery that led to lies, deception and even murder

And one day the prophet Nathan came to David and told him “Thou art the man!”

At this David admitted his sin and was restored to fellowship with the Lord

And even though David had repented and his sin had been forgiven by God

The scars and marks of sin were still there

He must have still carried his guilt with him

Despair over sin should not lead to self-pity, causing us to think more about ourselves than God

Instead it should lead to confession and then to God’s mercy, forgiveness and redemption

When do you get serious with God?

Do you ever get serious with God?

The psalmist here is not focused on his feelings but rather on his circumstances

He is in a place where he has no control

Only when you get to the place where you know you are not in control will you be able to find help

This is when we get serious with God

As our cry for freedom begins when we see our circumstances, living in sin

This cry is fulfilled when we turn to the living God

The psalmist knew who to turn to

“I cried to thee O Lord. Lord hear my voice”

Twice he makes it clear to whom he turned

He says Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy

That is what he is saying when he mentions supplications

A cry for freedom is a cry for mercy

This is a cry for repentance

Many years ago, executives of the Time-Life publishing organization discovered that the company’s profit margin had shrunk to an alarmingly low level.

Consequently, they began an intensive effort to try to cut costs.

Efficiency experts suggested that substantial savings could be affected in the renewal department.

There were 350 people working full time sending heartbreaking pleas to readers whose subscriptions were about to expire.

(For example, "Will you dare face your children without "Time” magazine on your coffee table?")

In any case, enormous quantities of these letters were being prepared manually.

It was calculated that if a machine could be found to replace the manual labor, millions of dollars in overhead would be saved.

In time, IBM came to the rescue with an enormous computer, delivered to Time-Life in a blaze of lights and fanfare.

Then the New system was installed.

The name of each subscriber was put on a separate little plate and run through the vast machine.

Whenever a nameplate came along that was within six weeks of expiration, a series of dots and dashes at the top of the tab triggered an electronic impulse that caused it to drop into a slot.

The name was then affixed to one of the "heartbreaking" letters which was then folded, stuffed into an envelope, labeled, stamped, and dropped down a chute to the basement where a United States Branch Post Office was set up--all without a single human hand touching the operation.

The system worked flawlessly for a while, until that fateful, hot, humid, sticky day in New York City when one of the nameplates stuck in the machine.

A few days later a lone sheepherder in Montana received 12,634 tear jerking letters asking him to subscribe to "Life" magazine.

The sheepherder, who hadn’t received a letter in years, took his knife, carefully slit open one of the mailbags and began reading his mail.

Three weeks later, red-eyed, weary and up to his hips in 12,634 opened pieces of mail, he made out a check for $6.00

Filled out a subscription coupon and sent it to the President of Time-Life personally, with the following note:

"I give up!"

That’s a story to remember, when you begin to wonder about the limit of God’s mercy.

You don’t have to plead or beg for it. You don’t have to ask Him 12,634 or 1,000 or 100 times for it.

God’s mercy is always there, always being offered, always present to you.

God has already said, "I give up: I love you; I forgive you.”

There is not limit to God’s mercy

Once we ask for it God gives us Magnified Forgiveness

II. Magnified Forgiveness (3-4)

In vs. 3-4 the psalmist basks in the glow of God’s never-ending forgiveness

“If thou Lord shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord who shall stand”

He is saying “If you kept records of our sins, no one could last long”

God doesn’t keep records of our sins

When He forgives, He forgives completely

Tearing down any wall between us and Him

But often times we still carry that guilt with us

Where does that guilt come from?

Our adversary the devil

Do you remember that short lived TV show from a few years ago “The Tick”?

The Tick was a superhero, based on a comic book

And he wasn’t exactly the brightest superhero around

But in one episode he figured out he needed an arch-nemesis

He felt he couldn’t be an effective superhero if he didn’t have a nemesis

So he set out to find one, and called one on the phone

We don’t need to find an arch-nemesis

We already have one, the devil

Satan is a lot smarter than we often give him credit for

He will find something in our past and continually beat you over the head with it

He might say things like “just go on and sin, God will forgive you

And then after you sin say

God will never forgive you for doing something like that

But if you will confess and repent of that sin God will forgive you

No matter how vile that sin may be

Romans 5:20 says “where sin did abound, grace doth much more abound”

Worrying about whether or not God has enough grace to forgive is like going to the beach and worrying about running out of sand for your sand castle

Don’t let the devil harass you and bring your past up against you

When he reminds you of your past - remind him of his future

God’s forgiveness is truly magnified beyond our comprehension

It is God’s very nature; it is within His character to forgive

v. 4 says “there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared”

You forgive us, and so we will worship you

Dr. Karl Menninger, a famous psychiatrist, once said that

“If he could convince the patients in psychiatric hospitals that their sins were forgiven, 75% of them could walk out the next day”

There is forgiveness of sins

God doesn’t keep records of our sins

If we go to Him and seek His forgiveness

Someone once asked Martin Luther “Do you feel that you have been forgiven?”

He answered “No! But I’m as sure as there’s a God in heaven.

For feelings come and feelings go, and feelings are deceiving; my warrant is the Word of God

Nothing else is worth believing”

Don’t beat yourself up with guilt

God has forgiven you

III. Waiting Patience (5-6)

“My soul waiteth for the Lord”

Patience is a virtue they say

A lost virtue I believe

An AP poll finds the U.S. is an impatient nation

We get antsy after 5 minutes on hold on the phone

And refuse to stay on more than 15 minutes

23% lose their patience if they have to wait in line at a store or office 5 minutes or less

50% refuse to return to a business that makes them wait too long

We don’t have patience

The people that we rely on don’t have patience

I was recently at Wal-Mart photo section printing off some digital pictures

And noticed how rude the ladies working the photo center were to the customers

I admit the customers were acting like idiots

But this lady had just dropped off her pictures in the one hour and had the slip in her hand

And asked is there something I need to take with me

To show which ones are mine when I pick them up

Its in your hand the picture lady said

Here is a story where patience did take place

Christian author and speaker Joni Eareckson Tada writes: I’m a quadriplegic, yet I can drive a van (my hand is secured to a big joystick so I can steer, accelerate, and brake). I enjoy being independent, so if there’s something I can do, I will - even if it means tackling the drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant by myself. Remember, my hands don’t work. That’s why last week when I cruised into the drive-thru lane to order hamburgers and Cokes, I prayed for the fellows at the pick-up window. "Lord, give them patience, and give me a smile." Then I moved to the intercom to place my order. When I’d finished explaining "no cheese" and "extra mustard packets," I told the voice on the intercom that I was disabled. There was a pause. Then, "Okay, no problem." I pulled up to the delivery window and smiled. Sticking my arm out the window, I asked the cashier to take the 10-dollar bill that was folded in my arm splint. That was a cinch. While he fished for my change, I asked him to place it in the paper bag along with the hamburgers. At that point, the server bagging my order looked over his shoulder. Both boys, confused, gave each other a look that said, "Do you know what she’s talking about? ’Cause I don’t!" I smiled and slowly repeated my instructions. They got the message - and even wrapped my change in a napkin before they dropped it into the bag with the food. Then they handed me my order. I had to ask, "Could you please lean out your window and wedge the bag between me and the van door?" Both boys looked at each other again. "I can’t reach for the bag. Remember?" "Oh, yeah," they laughed, then hung halfway out the pick-up window to lodge the package between my wheelchair and the door. "Are you set? Are you okay?" they asked in all sincerity. "Great job," I assured them. "God bless you guys!" They slapped the side of my van as I drove off. When I glanced in my rearview mirror, they were waving good-bye. Thanks, God, for answering prayer. That could have been awkward, but it turned out to be fun!

A very rare case of patience, especially amongst difficult circumstances

It is hard to wait

Where does our patience come from?

God’s Word

My soul waits, and in His Word I hope

This gives us hope since God’s Word cannot fail

The watchmen mentioned here possible refers to shepherds with a night watch that ends with the sunrise

They know the sunrise is coming

This long, dark filled stint of guard duty will end

But I say more than they that watch for the morning

We have more hope than they

God’s Word cannot fail

He will forgive

He has no choice

Once you come to know Him as your Savior

You can know that He will forgive you

You can know that even stronger than the fact that you know the sun will rise tomorrow

Have patience, because God will fulfill His promises!

IV. Unique Hope of Israel (7-8)

The psalmist further demonstrates this hope by paralleling it with the unique hope the nation of Israel has as God’s chosen people

Israel is a picture of us as His children

“for with the Lord there is mercy”

For with the Lord there is loving-kindness

For with the Lord there is steadfast love, unfailing love

He is always merciful and with Him there is plenteous redemption

With Him is full abundant redemption

He has the power to save you

So let Israel hope in the Lord

Trust the Lord and like v. 8 says

He shall redeem you from all your iniquities

The Lord will save you from all of your sins

All of your sins

We tend to apply degrees of sin

We think one sin is worse than another

Murder is worse than hate

Adultery is worse than lust

Stealing is worse than lying

But sin is sin

And God can forgive it all

You can experience the soothing touch of God’s forgiveness

I heard the story of a preacher who was at a certain church preaching on the subject of forgiveness.

And in the crowd that day there was young woman whose heart was heavy with a load of guilt and shame.

And after he had finished preaching a few moments had passed by and every one had left the auditorium except for this young woman.

So when he seen her he went up to her and thanked her for coming and asked her if she had enjoyed the service.

Immediately she said she had.

She said however that “I don’t think the message was for me”

You don’t know my past

And she began to tell her story She told the preacher

When I was a little girl I got saved but my home life was such a mess

As a child my father repeatedly told me that I was ugly

He was an alcoholic and stayed drunk most of the time

My mother always told me that I was worthless and would never amount to anything

So when I became a teenager I met a guy that told me I was special

I had never heard words like that, nor felt that way before

And so in my ignorance I gave him everything

A month or two later when he found out I was going to have a baby

He left me and I have never seen him since

I could not go to my mother or father

So I went to a health clinic and did away with my child

And now even though it has been many years ago

I still feel so guilty and dirty over what I had done

Preacher can God really forgive me for doing something like that?

The preacher then with a tear in his eye and a broken heart began to tell her what Jesus could do for her

After they prayed she had a smile on her face

And a glow about her

God had removed all guilt from her heart

Maybe this morning you are a Christian

You come to church with a smile on your face

But deep down there is something that has been tormenting you

Maybe you have unconfessed sin

God’s promise is that He will forgive you of that sin

And no longer keep record of it

Bring that burden to Him today

Or maybe you are struggling with lingering guilt over something He has already forgiven you of

Ask Him to help you shed that guilt

To not allow the devil to burden you with this guilt any longer

Maybe you need to bring these things to the alter

And life those burdens to Him

Lay them at the feet of the cross where they belong

Or maybe this morning you carry that load of sin that you have never brought to Him

Maybe you don’t know or have not experienced His forgiveness at all

And do not know Him as Savior

With salvation comes forgiveness

If you do not know where you will spend eternity

YOU CAN! You can know!

You can experience the soothing touch of God’s forgiveness for the first time

I urge you to follow His leading

Come to Him before it is eternally to late

The alter is open

Respond to His call in whatever need you may have