Summary: A review of Psalm 130- how repentance restores our hope in the Lord.
Psalm 130 is one of seven Penitential Psalms consisting of confession of sin, repentance, and a desire to return to God. Five of the seven were written by David. This one is said to be written by Hezekiah
The Psalmist declares where he is at in his life. He is (present tense) crying out to God from the depths. Something has brought him sorrow and he recognizes that his only hope is in God. Therefore he pleads with God to hear his voice and to respond in mercy.
Here, the Psalmist declares several great truths.
1. God doesn’t keep a record of sins.
God knows the truth. Since God knows EVERYTHING, God is always aware of our sins, however he makes a conscious choice to disregard those sins that are confessed. He makes a conscious choice to tear up official records and to never bring up our sins again. God still knows about them, he makes a choice not to make them an issue any longer.
This is what true forgiveness is. Not pretending something didn’t happen, but choosing that it will no longer be an issue. When we forgive one another we can never hope to truly forgive the terrible wrongs done to us. Jesus’ plea to God to forgive the cruelty of those who were crucifying him did not cause the pain to diminish nor did it give him amnesia so that he wondered what he was doing on the cross. To forgive is not to experience amnesia, but to by an act of the will, forceably set aside your anger and malice towards those who have wronged. (I Peter 2:1- Lay Aside malice, anger, etc.)
2. It is ONLY God’s forgiveness and mercy that permits us to stand before Him.
3. Recognizing God’s forgiveness brings us to a spiritual state where we can “fear” him.
4. Sometimes, the only things we can do is wait for God, trusting in His Word to find hope.
A chess champion examined a painting in an art gallery. The artist had painted a match between the devil and young man. The painting showed the two engaged in a chess game being played for the man’s soul. The man was in panic as the devil appears ready to make his final move. The painting was titled Checkmate. The chess champion stood observing the painting for several minutes, then smiled slightly. He turned to the curator and said, “I have good news for the man in the picture—he still has a move.”
The father of lies has convinced too many people that he has placed them in checkmate, but the grace of God has provided us the hope that we still have a move. We can cry out to God; He will hear our cry for help.
The Psalmist uses the illustration, (in fact he repeats it for effect) of a person standing guard duty at night, waiting anxiously for the morning.
What happens when the morning comes? HE CAN SLEEP!
Until the morning comes what must he do? STAY AWAKE and PAY ATTENTION!
Finally, no matter how long the night seem and how long the watchman looks for the dawn—HE KNOWS THE DAWN WILL COME!
Serving God often requires us to stay awake, waiting for God to answer our cry, so that when that answer comes, we can find rest.
His waiting on God is not passive, he is attentive as he looks for the answer from God. It is not a DO NOTHING approach, but a WATCHFUL—ACTIVE approach to finding the answer God has for him.
When we get ourselves in the correct position for trusting God, we quickly have our hearts moved to encourage others to place their hope in God as well. The Psalmist encourages the nation of Israel, his own people, to put their hope in God along with him. He reminds them of God’s love that never fails. He encourages them to recognize that God does not only partially forgive (he offers full or abundant redemption).
The conclusion is very powerful. God will perform the forgiveness himself. He will redeem Israel from all their sins. God is capable of dealing with our sins and restoring us to righteousness.