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Sunday, September 4, 2016 pm                                        Psalm Index

 

STUDIES IN PSALMS
Out of the Depths I Have Cried
Psalm 130

     Tonight we examine another psalm of ascents (120-134).    In this psalm we find personal struggles as the author seeks forgiveness for himself and Israel.  It is categorized as one of the penitential psalms. 

 I.                     Out of the depths I have cried (1-2)

a.       The depths are not identified, but could refer to one who has reached a low point, or at least he feels like it.

b.       In life, many people are brought to depths because of various circumstances in life – death of a loved one, grave illness, disasters, OR the depth of ungodliness that surrounds us within a sinful nation, etc.  These can cause one to feel despair. 
But even worse, sometimes sin takes you to the depths of despair and hopelessness.  Sin destroys so many lives in so many ways.  Think of people given over to addictions who have lost everything. 
Sin will always take you farther than you intended to go, keep you longer than you intended to stay, and cost you more than you intended to pay.

c.        Sometimes it is reaching that depth that causes us to finally repent.

                                                   i.      The prodigal son – Luke 15:17

                                                 ii.      I think of Jonah in the great fish as he prays to God – Jonah 2:2

                                                iii.      David in his sins had sunk so low.  He realizes the pit he is in.  2 Samuel 12:13, Psalm 51:4, Psalm 6:6-7, etc.

d.       He turns to the LORD in prayer.  A realization where his redemption will come from.  We have to turn to Him for spiritual deliverance!  As Christians, consider 1 John 1:9, Acts 8:22. 

 II.                   In my iniquities, who could stand (3-4)

a.       If you should mark my iniquities, who can stand?  Amen! 
We CANNOT save ourselves!  We are all sinners.  Romans 3:10-11, 3:23, etc.
Our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).  One reason salvation by works doesn’t work is because our good can never outdo our sins.  We are dependent upon Him for our forgiveness. 
Psalm 51:17, 34:18 – David in his sins realizes this. 
Friends, genuine repentance and forgiveness begins with our realization of our sinfulness – Matthew 5:3 – I am convinced that is the poor in spirit of that verse. 
Luke 18:13 – the tax collector (compared with the Pharisee) said, “God be merciful to me, a sinner.”

b.       In the LORD is forgiveness – amen! 
It was declared at Mt. Sinai as Moses prepares new tablets – we read Exodus 34:6-7.
Ezekiel 33:11, the prophet was to declare concerning God – “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’
Be reminded of 2 Peter 3:9, He is not willing that any should perish, but all should repent.

1 John 2:1-2 – we should not sin, BUT if we do, here is the source of our forgiveness.

c.        That you may be feared – one of many reasons to reverence God is because of His goodness – Heb. 12:28-29, Romans 2:4 – do not despise His goodness knowing that it leads to repentance.

 III.                 I wait for the LORD (5-6)

a.       Waiting – life is about waiting.  Sometimes it is intense and apprehensive.  We deal with uncertainties with anxiety.   But the irony of this is that we live in such an impatient society.  We don’t want to wait!  It is one thing to be anxious over the things of this world (though even that we are told not to do – Matthew 6:25, Philippians 4:6).  BUT, what about our spiritual needs. 

b.       Especially, consider our struggles in dealing with sin.  Sometimes in our desire to overcome sins we struggle and pray (and pray and pray).   We desire His help and it doesn’t seem to come (at least as we want it).  What we want is the “magic bullet” that will just “flip the switch” and we won’t desire that sin anymore.   Consider Galatians 5:16-17 speaks of how the flesh lusts against the spirit so that we do not do the things we wish.  In similar language, Paul in Romans 7:22-25 where he calls himself a wretched man.  In such things we cannot give up!  
BUT, it doesn’t work that way!  And there are many reasons:
1) We realize that we must keep praying and we keep struggling – Luke 13:24 – we strive to enter through the narrow gate (the Greek word for strive is what we derive our English word agonize from.  2) It is only through genuine struggle that we truly overcome and become stronger.   Anything easier would lend to less appreciation.

c.        God bears long with us – Luke 18:7. But that is a two-edged sword.  He bears long in answering, but He also bears long with our foolishness.

d.       We cannot give up!  Though God can and will forgive sins, the consequences are still there.  Desires do not go away overnight – sometimes they never completely go away.   But with each victory, we become spiritually stronger.  

e.       Patience truly is a virtue – James 5:7-8, Romans 2:7 tells us eternal life comes to those who by patience continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor and immortality.    Hebrews 6:12 – the patient inherit the promises through faith!
BUT at the same time we are anxious to be with Him!

 IV.                 Hope in the LORD (7-8)

a.       The psalmist now turns to the nation (I think of the “Israel of God” for us – Galatians 6:16).

b.       Calls for them to hope in the LORD.  We will not give up because we have hope (Heb. 6:19)
Romans 5:1-5 addresses this hope.
AGAIN, be reminded that even if a society turns it back totally on God and His people, they cannot take away His hope. 

c.        With Him there is mercy!  Mercy is a recurring theme in the Psalms.   “His mercy endures forever” – at least 33 times in the psalms.  We will address this more in a future psalm (136).  Again, this goes back to everything we have addressed – His patience, compassion, etc.

d.       With Him is abundant redemption – a term meaning deliverance from our troubles.   The payment of a ransom, etc. Here the redemption is identified as from all our iniquities.  Ephesians 1:7, Titus 2:14 – Jesus gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people. 

 

And therein is our comfort.  Of course, our redemption is not without our obedience – Romans 6:17 speaks of obeying from the heart that form of doctrine and thus we are delivered.  This psalm has many lessons for us.  As we struggle with sin, know that we are not alone and we are not the first.  But just as God delivered back then, He can deliver now.  He says so, 2 Corinthians 1:10.   What about you?  Have you been delivered?