Summary: Knowing when, how and how long to wait on God is often a difficult thing. Working for God makes the waiting go faster.
Psalm 130 / Waiting
Intro: A farmer once took a trucking company to court seeking reimbursement for damages suffered when his vehicle was hit by an 18-wheeler injuring himself and his mule, Bessie. Under cross-examination the lawyer for the defense said, “Did you or did you not tell the highway patrolman at the scene of the accident that you were fine?” --- “Well, yes; but . . .” --- The judge ordered the farmer to finish his statement. --- “The patrolman came on the scene and he could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he went over to her, looked at her, took our his gun and shot Bessie right between the eyes. He then came across the road with his gun in his hand, looked at me and said, “Your mule was in such bad shape I hat to shoot her. How are you feeling?” “It was then that I said, “I’m fine!”
I. Many times we are asked how we are doing and our answer is “I’m fine!” When in reality we are not fine. The author of Psalm 130 was willing to admit that things were not fine.
A. “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice.” The instinct of most Christians is to pray when life gets hard.
B. DEPTHS in Hebrew refers to the depths of the sea, the watery chaos of life. (DE PROFUNDIS / Ma’amaqqim) the chaotic forces that confront human life with destruction, devastation, and death and are regularly symbolized by water.
C. On September 25, 2005 our lives and the lives of thousands of others would be changed forever. Hurricane Rita rolled across the little town where we lived. We heard reports that there was a 10-foot serge of water that swept across our little city. Our house was located 13 feet above sea level which meant we might have as much as 7 feet of water in our house. Nearly 4 weeks later we were allowed back home not knowing what, if anything, we would find. The waiting and not knowing were the worst! Anyone is similar circumstances can relate well with this Psalm and its writer.
II. Just as the Psalmist declares the commonality of his predicament, so we could identify with others. Vss. 5 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.”
A. In the midst of trouble whether self-imposed or inflicted by others, the faithful wait.
B. In the Psalms, the Hebrew verbs for “to wait” and “to hope” are rough synonyms. They are used to speak of trust as an activity that must and does reckon with time, a stance of enduring the present in anticipation for the future. The faithful life inevitably involves waiting upon the Lord and hoping in God’s word because God’s power is made perfect in weakness.
C. We are caught between the “now and the not yet.” We are to be rooted in God’s word so that confidence in his promises will sustain us for the pilgrimage of life.
III. VSS. 6 “My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning . . .” God has not, and will not fail us!
A. When I was in college, I worked for a steel-producing company. I hated working from midnight until 8 am. I knew each night as I went to work that the daylight would surely come and many times that was the only thing that got me through the night. My desk was situated so that I could see the first rays of sunlight as they began to break into the darkness of night. It was then that I knew I had survived another night and would soon be going home for some rest.
B. The point is clear. Justas I waited for the morning to dawn, just so the morning certainly comes. It is exactly the same with waiting and trusting in God. God will appear.
C. VS. 7 & 8 “with the Lord is unfailing love . . . and full redemption.” It is God’s nature to forgive, meaning to “let go.”
Conclu: People all around us are hit by the storms of life. They are floundering emotionally, spiritually, and financially. Their lives have been torn apart. Their relationships are in tatters. They look for help. They look for love. They look for hope. They are waiting. We are people who know where God is, know that God loves us, know that where God is there is hope. Through the depths of the storms and heartaches of life, we as the church must be about sharing what we know with the work of our loving hands instead of just sitting passively by watching and waiting for someone else to do it, waiting for someone else to get involved or for the problem or people to go away. The time for waiting is over. The time to serve is now!