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Psalms 130:1 « A Song of degrees. » Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.
Ver. 1. Out of the depths have I cried unto thee ] i.e. Ex portis ipsis desperationis, from the very bosom and bottom of despair, caused through deepest sense of sin and fear of wrath. One deep calleth to another, the depth of misery to the depth of mercy. Basil and Beza interpret it, Ex intimis cordis penetralibus, from the bottom of my heart, with all earnestness and humility. He that is in the low pits and caves of the earth seeth the stars in the firmament; so he who is most low and lowly seeth most of God, and is in best case to call upon him. As spices smell best when beaten, and as frankincense maxime fragrat cum flagrat, is most odoriferous when cast into the fire; so do God’s afflicted pray best when at the greatest under, Isaiah 19:22 ; Isaiah 26:16 ; Isaiah 27:6 . Luther, when he was buffeted by the devil at Coburg, and in great affliction, said to those about him, Venite, in contemptum diaboli Psalmum, de profundis, quatuor vocibus cantemus, Come, let us sing that psalm, "Out of the depths," &c., in derision of the devil (Joh. Manl. loc. com. 43). And surely this psalm is a treasury of great comfort to all in distress (reckoned, therefore, of old among the seven penitentials), and is, therefore, sacrilegiously by the Papists taken away from the living and applied only to the dead; for no other reason, I think, saith Beza, but because it beginneth with "Out of the depths have I cried"; a poor ground for purgatory, or for praying for the souls that are there, as Bellarmine makes it.
Psa 130:2 Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
Ver. 2. Lord, hear my voice ] Precum exauditio identidem est precanda, Audience must be begged again and again; and if he once prepare our heart it is sure that he will cause his ear to hear, Psalms 10:17 ; as when we bid our children ask this or that of us, it is because we mean to give it them.
Psa 130:3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
Ver. 3. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities ] This and the next verse contains, saith one, the sum of all the Scriptures. Twice he here nameth the Lord, as desirous to take hold of him with both his hands. Extremity of justice he deprecateth; he would not be dealt with in rigour and rage. Extrema, fateor; commeritus sum, Deus; Quid enim aliud dixero? It is confessed I have deserved the extremity of thy fury; but yet let me talk with thee, as Jer 12:1 or reason the case.
O Lord, who shall stand? ] Stand in judgment, as Psalms 1:5 , and not fall under the weight of thy just wrath, which burneth as low as hell itself? How can any one escape the damnation of hell, which is the just hire of the least sin, Romans 6:23 ; and the best man’s life is fuller of sins than the firmament is of stars, or the furnace of sparks? Hence that of an ancient, Vae hominum vitae, quantumvis laudabili, si, remota misericordia, iudicetur, Woe to the best man alive should he be strictly dealt with! surely if his faults were but written in his forehead it would make him pull his hat over his eyes.
Psa 130:4 But [there is] forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
Ver. 4. But there is forgiveness with thee ] This holds head above water, that we have to do with a forgiving God, Nehemiah 9:31 ; none like him for that, Micah 7:18 ; for he doth it naturally, Exodus 34:6 ; abundantly, Isaiah 55:7 ; constantly, as here; there is (still is) forgiveness and propitiation with God: so John 1:27 , the Lamb of God doth take away the sins of the world; it is a perpetual act, and should be as a perpetual picture in our hearts.
That thou mayest be feared ] i.e. Sought unto and served. It is a speech like that, Psalms 65:2 , "O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come." If there were not forgiveness with God, no man would worship him from his heart, but fly from him as from a tyrant; but a promise of pardon from a faithful God maketh men to put themselves into the hands of justice, in hope of mercy. Mr Perkins expoundeth the words thus, In mercy thou pardonest the sins of some, that thou mightest have some on earth to worship thee.
Psa 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
Ver. 5. I wait for the Lord ] I wait, and wait, viz. for deliverance out of misery, Psalms 130:1 , being assured of pardoning mercy. Feri, Domine, feri; a peccatis enim absolutus sum, said Luther, Strike, Lord, while thou wilt, so long as my sins are forgiven; I can be of good comfort; I can wait, or want for a need.
And in his word ] viz. Of promise, that ground of hope unfailable, Romans 5:5 ; of faith unfeigned, 1 Timothy 1:5 .
Psa 130:6 My soul [waiteth] for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: [I say, more than] they that watch for the morning.
Ver. 6. My soul waiteth for the Lord ] Or, watcheth for the Lord, Heb. my soul to the Lord, an ecliptical, concise speech, importing strong affection, as doth also the following reduplication, Prae custodibus ad mane, prae custodibus ad mane.
I say, more than they ] Or, more than they that watch for the morning wait for the morning; wherein they may sleep, which by night they might not do.
Psa 130:7 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD [there is] mercy, and with him [is] plenteous redemption.
Ver. 7. Let Israel hope in the Lord ] Hope and yet fear, as Psalms 130:4 (with a filial fear); fear, and yet hope.
Plenteous redemption ] Are our sins great? with God there is mercy, matchless mercy. Are our sins many? with God is plenteous redemption, multa redemptio; he will multiply pardons as we multiply sins, Isaiah 55:7 .
Psa 130:8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
Ver. 8. And he shall redeem Israel ] By the value and virtue of Christ’s death, by his merit and Spirit, 1 Corinthians 6:11 .
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 130". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/