11 January, 2006

The Mercy of God Applied to Sinners

Psalm 130, A Song of degrees.

Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Jehovah. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, Jehovah, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for Jehovah, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in Jehovah: for with Jehovah there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

When thinking on the mercy of God and the forgiveness of sin Psalm 130 immediately comes to mind for many Christians. This Psalm teaches us numerous things about God and the nature of the salvation that he bestows upon the elect. This Psalm is one that is dripping with God's goodness and his mercy. Here are a few things that can be gleaned from this text:
1. God is one who is a hearing God. He hears our cries and our voice.
2. No one would be saved if God looked upon his or her iniquity.
3. God saves his people so that they may fear him.
4. The godly wait for God's answers with diligence and with the use of means.
5. He will redeem and it will be a plenteous redemption!
6. He will save his church from all sin.

"It is to be noticed that the foundation upon which he would have the hope of all the godly to rest is the mercy of God, the source from which redemption springs. In the first clause he reminds them that although they bring with them no worth or merits of their own, it ought to suffice them that God is merciful. This mutual relation between the faith of the Church and the free goodness of God is to be attentively marked, to the end we may know that all those who, depending upon their own merits, persuade themselves that God will be their rewarder, have not their hope regulated according to the rule of Scripture. From this mercy, as from a fountain, the Prophet derives redemption; for there is no other cause which moves God to manifest himself as the redeemer of his people but his mercy."

-John Calvin, Commentary on Psalm 130

Book recommendation:
The Forgiveness of Sin: A Practical Exposition of Psalm 130
by Dr John Owen.


Mark said...

Verse 3 always gets me. Yeah, I grew up in a Christian household, but even that is no protection from sin. It's staggering to think just how many our sins are, more staggering to think just how loving God is to forgive them by sacrificing His Son, and humbling to think that we add to the pile by withholding forgiveness from each other.

Ellie said...

Romans 11 vs 30,31,32 NLT
"Once, you Gentiles were rebels against God, but when the Jews refused his mercy, God was merciful to you instead. And now, in the same way , the Jews are the rebels, and God's mercy has come to you. But someday they, too, will share in God's mercy.For God has imprisoned all people in their own disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone."

Who has struggled with sin and felt imprisioned by your own sinful human nature? What a comfort to know that God is in a position to have mercy on everyone!!

Joe Schelling said...

It is a great reminder as to what we should put our hope in. So often it gets put in other people or worse yet, ourselves.

How regularly is verse 4 overlooked: "But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared". We, culture, do not fear the Lord not approach him with reverence and awe. Pop-Christianity is turning this mighty God and Savior into our warm and fuzzy buddy.

I know that I stuggle with this issue often and seem to be reminded of it often. What a rich blessing Scirpture is.

Johannes Weslianus said...

It is amazing how beautifully this Psalm captures the glorious and ever comforting truth of justification.