Transforming the Darkness
Lord, I pray for a richer awareness of both God’s judgment and his forgiveness today.
Read Psalm 130
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2 Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectTo be judged by an all-knowing God is terribly frightening. To be forgiven by this loving God is absolutely astonishing.
The psalmist begins with a despairing cry for mercy. He cries from the depths of his own despair at the hopelessness of his situation if God were to measure his life by a record of his sins. The imagery of being in “the depths” is that of sinking below the overwhelming waves of the sea—a horrifying and hopelessly dark predicament. Unless, of course, the all-knowing judge is actually forgiving!
The psalmist underlines that God forgives (4), for God is a God of unfailing love (7) who fully redeems sinners from all their sins (7,8). The result of God’s forgiving love is that the forgiven sinner now reveres God—giving him full respect and awe (4), serving God (4), waiting for the Lord (5,6) and putting his hope fully in God alone (7,8).
The terrifying fear of the dark depths is thus replaced with anticipation. As the believer waits for God she is like the watchman anticipating the morning. The darkness is not good, but there is an end coming, a dawning of hope.
Embrace God’s forgiveness toward you and show your forgiveness toward others today.
In your heart, kneel before the cross of Calvary and thank God for his forgiveness, his unfailing love and his full redemption.
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