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Psalm 130 and the Christian Life

January 20, 2010

Psalm 130 is a passage that is central to the Christian life.  This short psalm is filled with hope that is ultimately fulfilled in Christ.  “If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?  But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared” (130:3-4).  In these two verses David expresses our need and source for redemption.  Verse 7 is a glorious appeal for faith: “O Israel, hope in the Lord!  For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.”  Below are a few reflections as to how Psalm 130 affects how we live as Christians:

  • Psalm 130 should emphasize for Christians the bankruptcy of seeking to find redemption and hope from within and the need to look outside ourself.  Isn’t that the theme of Psalms?  Where does our help come from?  It comes from the Lord!
  • Since our sin is not held against us, we cannot hold sin against others.  Our sin is the ultimate offense against the ultimate Being and it is no longer counted against us in Christ.  “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).
  • Only the Lord can bring peace, joy, and contentment.  Psalm 130 does not say, “Like a watchman waits for the morning, my soul waits for a better job” or “Like a watchman waits for the morning, my soul waits for better obedience from my children” or “recognition from my peers.” These functional saviors always fail.  For the Christian, his soul waits for the Lord, as a watchman for the morning.  Only in him is there steadfast love and plentiful redemption.
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