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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Psalms 130

Verses 1-2

1. A desperate cry for mercy 130:1-2

The writer felt that he was at the very bottom of his resources, at the end of his rope (cf. Psalms 30:2-3; Psalms 71:20). This expression stresses the urgency of his request. The particular situation he faced is unknown, but in view of Psalms 130:8 it may have been oppression by an enemy.

Verses 1-8

Psalms 130

The poet uttered a cry for God to show mercy to His people, and he encouraged his fellow Israelites to wait for the Lord to deliver them. This is one of the penitential psalms, as well as an individual lament and a psalm of ascent.

Verses 3-4

2. A strong expression of trust 130:3-4

The psalmist realized that if God gave people what they deserve, no one would be able to survive. To mark iniquities means to keep a record of them and hold the sinner accountable for each one. Fortunately God forgives. He does not "keep track" of every sin and exact punishment for it. The psalmist was speaking of how God deals with His redeemed people. The consequence of God forgiving should be that His forgiven people fear Him. Fearing God, a term that in the Old Testament virtually means trusting God, shows itself in obedience and worship.

"If you take seriously the guilt of sin, you will take seriously the grace of forgiveness." [Note: Ibid., p. 351.]

Verses 5-6

The writer purposed to continue to wait for the Lord to deliver him while he reflected on God’s forgiveness. He compared himself to a guard on duty late at night. He could only wait for the morning light when someone else would relieve him, and when all that was now dark would then be clear.

Verses 5-8

3. A deliberate decision to hope 130:5-8

Verses 7-8

God’s people should put their hope in Yahweh, in their present distress, because He is loyal in His love, and He will finally provide complete redemption. Ultimate deliverance was sure in the future, and this was to be the ground of the Israelites’ confidence.

Today, God’s redeemed saints can call to Him out of the depths of their affliction, too. We can find encouragement in the fact that God has forgiven us all sins past, present, and future. However, we can also look forward to our full, ultimate redemption when we see Him. Until then, we should hope in the Lord, as a watchman waiting for the dawning of our new day, namely: our glorification.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 130". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". 2012.