Songs of Ascent 11.- Abundant Redemption ~ Psalm 130
Song of Ascents 11. – Abundant Redemption ~ Psalm 130
Text: Psalm 130
Introduction: This is the second psalm in a row that at first glance is difficult to see any upward step. But this is Spiritual progression: what may seem no advance at all, it the greatest of leaps. The reason for the unseemly advancement and growth is the lack of fleshy evidence. What is seen, as advancement to the world is rather a façade of advancement, which in reality is regression. Christendom does not comprehend true growth, Spiritual Growth. Growth is numbers to them! It is what works, what the other church is doing that has drawn the crowd. “If we can get them in here, then we can preach Christ to them. They cannot see true growth, Growth in Grace; a supernatural growth that cannot be nurtured by human minds our hands. But the true believer; the Church of God can see true growth, for it involves growth of a spiritual nature.
I. From Persecutions & Vicious Assaults to Needful Salvation
A. We have progressed in victory out of the jaws of the wicked one that seeks our destruction. Persecutions, afflictions and mighty tribulations have been poured out against us with great fury; but our God who is righteous has put them all to shame and won us the victory! However, this is not the end of the story is it? Yeah, there are other battles to be fought with these foes, but lets face it, the harm they could do in persecution and afflictions may cost us our blood; but there is another battle that could cost us our very souls were it not that God were on our side, were it not that God was moving on our behalf, were it not that God was continuing to save us.
B. We have all come this morning with the greatest need men can have. We each need God to save us. That is we each have a dreadful need that God do whatever it takes to complete the work He has begun. What could cause such an attitude? Well, let’s step back a little and see the panoramic view for a moment.
C. A man is awakened by the Spirit to the awfulness of his condition. That revelation is the wrath and indignation of God that is hot after him. He has sinned against God in horrible way. It has marked by rampant rebellion and vehement hatred. He has lived his life as though the Living God were dead and that he had full reign as god. His mind is suddenly changed. He has an interest in pleasing the Creator and his mind and soul are stirring with warmth towards Him. He confesses with his mouth and believes that the One He sent died in his stead. He knows he is not due any such favor, but nonetheless there it is. His mind and thought are open to a world he never knew before. This is not a new found religion, but a heartfelt, true living desire toward God placed there by some outside force, for we know that it never existed before. Paul’s cry in Romans 7 was not against the serpent and his angels. He considered not the Roman government the evil, but rather an evil present with him.
II. Out of the Depths
A. The desperate cry exhibits the desperate need. The phrase, “Out of the depths” refers to the gorge of rot and ruin to our souls produced by sin. Whereas the persecution by our enemies could end in our physical death, they could never deal the ultimate blow such as where the psalmist cries out. This depth is a ruin in absoluteness and totality. All is lost. Every aspect of man’s life, the physical, psychological and spiritual, the domestic and social, private and public are in absolute ruin with no hope of redeeming value. But worse, there is not even a clue or consideration of the evident ruin. There is no place darker than the darkness with no light and the deception that there is light.
B. Well, you may say this is the status of the unconverted. This is not the talk of the unconverted. This man knows God, yet cries “Out of the depths!” Notice this man cries out to the Lord in a personal fashion, by Name! “I cried unto You, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice!” This is a believer crying out, one who is converted. Why is he crying out like this? What is his problem? – – SIN! He is not looking abroad and seeing the sin that is rampant in the world. This is his sin!
- This is not a “wretched Sinner” crying out like this, but a child of God, a holy saint. The 1st reason this could not be a “wretched Sinner”, is he is not bemoaning a condition that he sees no immediate and betterment of change. He is not crying out to God in a hopeless manner. He is expecting God to change him. The “wretched Sinner” moans to exhibit his wretched state. It puts it on a show. Which brings me to the 2nd reason why this cannot be proof of a wretched Sinner’s existence: He sees God as the LORD of glory, more than capable and willing to hear his cry and move on his behalf to save him from this outer deep. The “wretched Sinner” by his very name insinuates that God will never be able to fully save him. This of course makes a mockery of Christ’s propitiating death, the power and influence of the Holy Spirit on our lives and the Father’s eternal love. The Psalmist cries out knowing this very thing and trusting fully in what he is persuaded. The LORD will move on my behalf! He will save! This is the essence of what is stated in Hebrews 11.6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
III. Hear My Voice
A. It is better for our prayer to be heard than answered. “Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.” This is all we ask and are learning with which to be content. We may make suggestions to God of how we will be relieved, but ultimately we are like our LORD Jesus before us, content in the LORD hearing us. We will leave it to His superior knowledge, wisdom and goodness in His answering us and what He will do. This is how this psalm exhibits a higher plane, a grand advancement.
B. It does not matter the volume of the voice. It could be a loud cry. It is most probably a cry that is inaudible to the human ear or knowledge. None may know of it, but God is able to hear it as though it were a deafening cry, for it is the cry of a humbled heart brought very low. The hope is that we have God’s ear. The faith is the belief that God will lend His ear to our cry. The proof of the depth of his trust and belief is in his hope. Where is his hope? He says in verse 5, “I do hope in – His Word.” Often when we hear of God’s word what do we think of? His law or the Bible. But here what is in view is God’s voice in attentiveness to the cry of the psalmist. If God would but hear me and speak to me – this is my hope. If God ignores, I am sunk! If God answers, then all is well, even if it is a word of chastisement. “Oh, that God would hear my cry and answer me!”
C. His answer, His deliverance and way of salvation is not simply of no concern to us. We are concerned what happens, but the overriding factor in the whole business of faith is that God is good and right in all that He does. This is why the psalmist can say that He waits. His soul waits on the Lord. So sure is this trust that the Psalmist reiterates this statement in comparison to the night watchmen. “There is none other that waits on God more than I do!” This is not a braggadocios statement of righteousness, but one of honesty. He honestly believes himself to be unique and unrivaled in this matter. “The watchmen, I say the watchmen could not rival me in my waiting on the LORD!” This is the platitude of the seasoned veteran. As low as low can get – the depths of sin – He will not be moved in his trust in God, although if God does not hear Him and move into action, his soul is lost forever. It is the life and manner of the believer to trust and wait on God!
IV. If God should notice my Iniquities!
A. Part of this trust involves the realization that if God were to mark or better rendered – “to notice” iniquities, then who could stand? The believer on the upward way sees more full the unutterable wickedness of sin and the full knowledge of his inability to do any better concerning sin. In verse 3, is the glaring reality of sin that has fully hit him between the eyes. Who could stand before the LORD if He unleashed the proper settlement of our account? If there were an account, a marking of your sin, have you noticed the fullness to which your doom is set? You have noticed that there is no argument, no plea. In the fullness of knowledge, in all that He has seen of your iniquity, there would be nothing less than an eternity of hell for payment.
B. But this is the height that the psalmist has reached. This is the growth to which he has grown. This is his maturity level. He is beyond any wallowing in the sludge of his sin. His soul has been called up. He has obeyed the Master’s call. Look at verse 3 & 4 again, “If You, Lord, should mark iniquities…But there is forgiveness with you!” The realization is that sin is so horribly debilitating and devastating, that if God were to take notice of it, there is none who could stand.
C. The beauty of this plateau is the full trust that God has not taken notice of my iniquities! This is the fullness of the work of Christ Jesus. He not only took on our past sins, but our present and future as well! They were abolished forever, before they were committed. That is marvelously beyond our comprehension maybe, but certainly true and therefore the Father will not take notice of them. They might be glaringly noticeable to everyone else in the world, but He takes no notice of them. Our accuser may use them in his many attacks, but God takes no notice of them. We may be keenly aware of the wretchedness of their work, but God refuses to acknowledge them. The glorious thing about it all is that it is His marking of them, His notice of them that matters at all! How glorious is that? This is the reality of our standing before God.
V. A Wellspring of Holiness
A. “The fear of God.” What has stirred us up to this conclusion in the whole matter of sin and our blessed response is the magnitude of grace that God has bestowed. Our liberty springs from this grace. Our piety and godliness spring from this well of grace. It will not be that because of the abundance of grace that we will pursue more hotly licentious living. The opposite is true…The very thought of any more sin horrifies us. It drives us to pursue righteousness, to pursue God, to leave sin far alone.
B. Titus 2.11-15