June 10: Out of the Depths. Psalm 130
This Psalm reveals to us the heart of a person who is severely pained by consciousness of their own sin. Though he is confined of God's forgiveness, the psalmist still experiences of a sense of deep guilt feels, as though he is covered over by floods and abandoned. He recognizes that God would be just to enumerate our sins and count them against us, taking us down to the depths. And yet the hope of the psalmist is that God will demonstrate mercy, that he will reveal his plentiful redemption and restore the joy of salvation. And so the psalmist turns his full attention towards this merciful God and determines to wait for him, just as a night watchman waits for the dawn of a new day. Consider your response to your own sin and brokenness. Do you turn your gaze inward and stare at yourself and your sin, or do you call on your heart to look to the Savior, the one who offers the hope of forgiveness to fallen hearts?
“I wait for the Lord; from him I expect relief and comfort, believing it will come, longing till it does come, but patiently bearing the delay of it, and resolving to look for it from no other hand. My soul doth wait; I wait for him in sincerity, and not in profession only. I am an expectant, and it is for the Lord that my soul waits, for the gifts of his grace and the operations of his power.’’
C. S. Lewis
“When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less.”
“Albeit the throne of God be most high, yet he delighteth to hear the petition of hearts that are most low, that are most cast down by the sight of sin.”
“It matters little where we are if we can pray; but prayer is never more real and acceptable than when it rises out of the worst places. Deep places beget deep devotion.”
J. C. Ryle
“I find no balm for a sore conscience, and a troubled heart, like the sight of Jesus dying for me on the accursed tree.
There I see that a full payment has been made for all my enormous debts. The curse of that law which I have broken has come down on One who there suffered in my stead. The demands of that law are all satisfied. Payment has been made for me, even to the uttermost farthing. It will not be required twice over.
Ah! I might sometimes imagine I was too bad to be forgiven. My own heart sometimes whispers that I am too wicked to be saved. But I know in my better moments this is all my foolish unbelief. I read an answer to my doubts in the blood shed on Calvary. I feel sure that there is a way to heaven for the very vilest of men, when I look at the cross.”
How are we overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of God as we consider the message of this psalm?
What experiences have you had that is accurately reflected in the words of this psalm?
How does the psalmist reveal to us an appropriate response to our sin before a holy God? What hope does he have in light of his sin?
Why is it sometimes so difficult to set our attention on God and his steadfast love when we fell as thought we are "in the depths"? How should we respond to a strong sense of guilt over sin, even after confessing that sin and being confident of forgiveness?
Describe a time when you have waited for the Lord, in order to remember his faithfulness, mercy and redemption? How does God prove himself faithful in circumstances such as this?
Why is it essential that the Christian not look within for encouragement and hope when we have sinned, but rather turn to God who has been offended by that sin?
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