Thoughts for the Day

Sunday, 9th June 2024: A lament that leads to hope

Redemption Love Sin Forgiveness Psalm 130

Reading : Verses from Psalm 130


Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Psalm 130 doesn't just speak of our sin for all humankind is separated from God by their wickedness, a wickedness that doesn't just separate us from God, but also from one another. The writer acknowledges that all humans are tainted by sin, and if God were to count their sins "who could stand". As well as this all of us are in some way enslaved to sin, and this causes a 'ricochet' effect in our communities. We see it in young children - "He hit me, so I hit him!" We also see it between nations where a spiral of force and retaliation occurs, until there seems no way out of the situation. And just as it takes an adult to adjudicate between children, so between nations that go to war, it will take an outsider to mediate and put right all the wrongs.

Even when countries settle their differences and words like 'peace' and 'reconciliation' are heard, there are inevitably situations where self-interest rules and where the values of one nation are considered greater than the values of the other. There seems no way out of this cycle of sinfulness.

But even as the psalm speaks of this human wickedness the writer speaks of hope in the face of despair - it is the very character of God that gives him hope. He remembers that God is a God of forgiveness, of steadfast love to all that He has made, and He has the power to offer redemption. Yahweh does not abandon that which He has made and which He loves, but offers forgiveness, and redeems us from the snare of our sin. This is the hope we are offered!


when we languish in the depths of despair,
or when we feel we cannot be forgiven,
draw us closer to You,
and give us the confidence to confess
our deepest sins and darkest thoughts.
Let the words of Psalm 130 remind us
that You are Yahweh who offers us forgiveness,
when we come to You in all honesty.
May we remember that You have redeemed us
through the death of Your beloved Son, Jesus,
and that Your steadfast love offers us hope.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to play this:

  • Psalm 130 (Anglican chant sung by the choir of King's College, Cambridge)

Or these two old hymns

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