Psalm 130 Sermon Psalms of Ascent

This is week number 11 of our series through the Psalms of Ascent, Psalms 120-134. I am using Eugene Peterson’s book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction as a reference. You are welcome to use any or all of this. To God be the glory.

1 Out of the depths I call to You, Yahweh!
2 Lord, listen to my voice;
let Your ears be attentive
to my cry for help.

3 Yahweh, if You considered sins, (kept track of our sins)
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with You there is forgiveness,
so that You may be revered. (God forgives for HIS glory!)

5 I wait for Yahweh; I wait
and put my hope in His word.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning—
more than watchmen for the morning.

7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord.
For there is faithful love with the Lord,
and with Him is redemption in abundance.
8 And He will redeem Israel
from all its sins.

This Psalm read at Aldergate on May 24, 1738 when John Wesley was saved.

Samuel Rutherford “When I look at my sinfulness, my salvation is my Savior’s greatest miracle.”

Psalm 130 is a gem – it is a Psalm of confession of sin and assurance of forgiveness. It is known as a Penitential Psalm – a group of psalms of confession given the name penitential psalms 1300 years ago in the sixth century.

As we begin – let me tell you how it’s going to end –

NT – If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin. ~ 1 John 1:9

The Psalmist knows his plight and is looking for Mercy – And what is mercy? to not get what I do deserve

So that’s where we’re going to end – let’s set out on our path to get there.

Psalm 130 begins from the depths – I’m picturing Jonah – When we get ourselves in a pickle –

Jonah 2:2-4 – And Jonah said, I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction and He answered me.”

Out of the belly of Sheol I cried and you heard my voice. For you cast me into the deep. I have been cast out of your sight”

The NIBC says of the depths the Psalmist is crying out from – it is not so much the imminent death, which these words literally imply, as the spiritual fact of being separated by God.

The writer pleads the common frailty of mankind – “If You, O Lord kept track of sins, who could stand?” And we know from the Bible that the truth is He does keep track of sins and NONE can stand.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 -Surely there is no righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

But there is forgiveness with You , Lord, that you may be feared/respected.

Forgiveness – same word used here in Nehemiah 9:17 – But you are a God ready to pardon.

And also the same in Daniel 9:9 – He offers compassion and forgiveness even though we have rebelled. He offers forgiveness.

The Psalmist says – I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord – Like the watchmen who wait for the morning. Those slumbering watchmen who wait for daylight when others are sleeping.

Sometimes when you are driving a long distance, it’s easier to stay awake when someone is not sitting beside you snoring, right? If you are alone, sometimes it is easier. But I digress.

O Israel, hope in the Lord. For with the Lord there is mercy. With Him is abundant redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all their inequities.

We know the Jewish faith still waits for the Messiah. As the Psalmist waited, they are still waiting – But now, they are waiting for nothing. There is nothing to wait for. The Messiah has come. His Name is Jesus.

I saw on social media someone write that Jesus was not real and I saw someone ask the person what year it was. That may seem like a strange followup to Jesus is not real and while I did not see any follow up – I know where he was going with it….. Time is separated by His coming. It is 2020. That is two thousand and twenty years since the birth of Jesus, the Messiah. Our Savior and the One the Jewish people are still waiting for. Tell me of anyone who has had a bigger impact on the world than one who changes time. It’s not a spring forward, fall back. We describe years as time before or after Jesus. Don’t wait.

Today is the day of salvation – 2 Corinthians 2:6 – For he says: At an acceptable time I listened to you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. See, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation!
How long does my soul have to wait? No longer. Now is the acceptable time. Today can be the day of salvation.

This begs the story of Zacchaeus –

1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

It’s Jesus’ last night outside of Jerusalem. Zacchaeus meets Jesus and confesses to Him. He repents of his sin. And Jesus forgives him. This day salvation has come to Zacchaeus.

Zacchaeus, the wee little man, knows his sins are forgiven.


Early on I quoted Romans 3:23 – all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

All have sinned, but all have not confessed their sin.

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Numbers 32:23 says, “Be sure your sin will find you out”. You can confess them or you can keep them hidden and/or deny them – God understands. He does not understand. The Psalmist says He is waiting for the Lord, and I told you there is no longer a need to wait. Now, the Lord is waiting on you.

BAM – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Sins are only cleansed when they are confessed. And when they are confessed, they are cast away – how far – Psalm 103:12 – As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us

And it is not enough to be sorry – we must turn from remorse to repentance. Sorrow does not lead to forgiveness. Repentance leads to forgiveness.

Timothy Keller – It is easy to mistake a morally restrained heart for a spiritually changed heart.

Someone said does not a spiritually changed heart lead to a morally restrained heart? No. A morally restrained heart is only holding back the sin to make the appearance of being righteous.

Confessing your sin leads – repenting leads to a spiritually changed heart.

In 1 John 1:9 The word for forgive here is to send away. If we confess our sins – rather than send us into the deep to be separated from Him – He sends our sins into the deep to be separated from Him – and He then receives us perfect and blameless unto Himself.

Micah 7:19 – “He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. He will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”

Every one of us has two options. Either you or you sin will be cast into the deep….

While the “sea of forgetfulness” is not a technical term found in the Bible, it is a conclusion we can draw from Scripture. Your sins are going to be cast away from the presence of God. The question is are you going with them? Or will You receive the forgiveness of a merciful God? Will you turn to Jesus and let His sacrifice on the cross cover your sins? Or will you go down with the ship?