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.
This is a psalm of prayer, desperation unto the Lord, and incredible faith and assurance in the Lord as the redeemer and the hope of our salvation. This psalm gives much insight to the hope in which we have of the Lord’s salvation in Jesus Christ, and the joy we have to follow God and give our lives unto Him.
The first two verses give the prayer of the psalmist. The imagery is very vivid, of the depths of crying out to God. The plea that for God to listen to His prayer for mercy. There’s a cry of desperation that we all can relate to. Like a child so desperate for their parent. It is the complete dependence upon the Lord that the psalmist looks to God.
In the next few verses, we discovery the reason for the prayer for mercy: the record of our sins and the sin we bear is so large. Who truly could stand in the presence of God? We are sinful people, the record of our wrongdoings outnumber us. We are blessed that God blots out our transgressions (Isaiah 43:25) and he no longer remembers our sins (Hebrews 8:12). If God counted all of our unrighteousness, we would be destined to the wrath of damnation of God, and rightly so.
However, knowing that there is forgiveness from God. God forgives all that we do because He is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4). His love is unfailing which means His love cannot fail or does not go void. He brings full redemption.
The psalmist waits for the Lord! And the eagerness is likened unto a watchmen that waits for morning. Watchmen or guards that are stationed and on duty throughout the night are so eager for the morning. May we also be desperate for God to wait for Him like watchmen do. I feel that my desperation is so tame and so limited that I like God and generally desire him. But I pray that I would be so desperate for the Lord, seeking him so hard, with eagerness, anticipation, and longingness.
Much of the language in this psalm in the perfect atonement of Jesus Christ who brings redemption, the forgiveness of sins, and will be the hope for Israel — the people of God in the New Testament and the Old Testament (Romans 9-11). What the people of God earnestly sought for the redemption and the forgiveness of sins, is met fully by Jesus. He is our redeemer. And we look at Jesus who is the author and the perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1). And that is why we should be desperate for Jesus — His presence in our lives, Him revealing himself to us, and even looking in the future of the perfect establishment of His kingdom.