Summary: Exposition of Psalm 130 (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:


(1). From death to life (vs 1-2).

(2). From guilt to forgiveness (vs 3-4).

(3). From darkness to light (vs 5-6)

(4). From slavery to freedom (vs 7-8)



• A family were having a weekend in Paris;

• And the Father decided he would take his little boy to the Louvre Museum.

• He wanted him to see the ‘Mona Lisa’ the most famous picture in the world!

• (8 million people go to see it every year!)

• As you can imagine the little boy was not too impressed and kept asking;

• “Dad can’t we go somewhere else?”

• Each time he moaned his dad would enthusiastically reply:

• “No son, I want you to see the world’s most famous picture.

• When they arrived at the museum;

• To the little boys horror there were long queues of people that seem to go on forever

• Worse was to follow for the little boy because as they joined the end of the queue;

• They kept encountering signs that said 45mins to go, 30 mins to go etc.

• Eventually it was there turn to stand in front of the ‘Mona Lisa’;

• Proudly the dad said, “There it is son, the world’s most famous picture!”

• The little boy look at the woman in the picture and said:

• “That is the ugliest woman I have ever seen! Can we go to McDonalds now!”


• To the dad that picture was important, it was significant, it was a must see!

• To his son it was insignificant, unimportant and totally no relevant.

• Many people view the message of the Bible like that;

• There are those who say: “This is important, it is significant, it is a must know!”

• And there are others who say; “So what!” They cannot see the relevance of it.

When it comes to the subject of forgiveness:

• The Bible teaches this is an essential and not an optional extra;

• Forgiveness of sin is needed if we are ever going to know God;

• That is develop a relationship with him.

• And forgiveness is continually needed;

• If we are to deepen that relationship with God.

• So forgiveness is an essential and not an optional extra;


• If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator.

• If your greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.

• If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist.

• If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer.

• But because our greatest need was and is forgiveness, so God sent us a Saviour.

This Psalm (130) reminds us that:

• With God there is forgiveness! There is pardon, there is amnesty!

• And as we will see - that forgiveness is a gift given to us in the person of Jesus Christ!


• The Psalm has a title ‘Psalms of Ascent’;

• This title gives us a setting for this Psalm, it is part of a collection.

• There are a group of Psalms/songs, numbers 120 to 134;

• That were used by Jewish worshippers in their adoration of God.

• They are called the ‘Psalms of Ascent’.

• The word ‘Ascent’ simply means “on their way up”,

• So as these people were “on their way up” to Jerusalem,

• As they walking up the hillsides which led to the city.

• They sang this collection of Psalms.

• Because these Psalms/songs are short they would have been easy to remember.

• Just about every type of psalm is represented.

• There are psalms of thanksgiving and praise,

• Lament and confidence, confession and wisdom.

• This Psalm (130) is a penitential Psalm;

• It is the prayer of a person who is penitent;

• That is someone who feels regret and is concerned over his sins.

• Note: The Psalm actually divides up into four visual pictures;

• Four familiar situations that we can easily understand.

(1). From death to life (vs 1-2).

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;

2 O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.

• The psalmist describes a picture of someone drowning;

• This person is unable to touch the bottom the water below him is too deep;

• He is unable to swim to the shore and therefore find safety,

• He is drowning, he is in immense trouble;

• And unless help comes quickly he will surely die!


• Might surprise you to know that I am a trained lifeguard!

• I have the suntan and the swimming trunks,

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