“Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord.”
The Spanish philosopher, Miguel Unamuno, once said: If we ever got honest enough to go out into the streets and uncover our common grief, we would discover that we are all grieving for the self-same thing.” His words call to mind the words of Paul in 1Corinthians 10:13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is COMMON to man…” The word “common” means “not unprecedented.” However peculiar we may think our trials are to us, they are just common. There is one thing we all have in common, and that is trials—and they are all common. Just as Peter said in I Peter 4:12: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which to try to, as though some strange (foreign) thing happened unto you.”
All of us can identify with the words of the Psalmist—“Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord.” We are all familiar with the depths. The Hebrew word here for “depths” is used of a man caught in deep and dangerous water. The Psalmist doesn’t identify what his specific problem was—he simply used the nonspecific “depths.” If he had identified the “depths” we would have limited the words of Psalm 130 to that particular problem. But as it is, the word, “depths,” is like the socks I’m wearing—one size fits all.
And so, whatever our particular “depths” may be, the Psalmist tells us what to do when we are going down for the third time.
I. Cry Out To The Lord. The Psalmist says literally, “I have cried and still cry…” Evidently his situation was still going on when he wrote these words. This puts an immediacy, a “right now”, to his words. The author is not writing history here, nor is he just postulating a theology theory. This is something that is going on right now in his life. He is writing out of the “right now” experience.
Very often these “depths”in which we find ourselves have been wrought by the providential hand of God to teach us to know ourselves before the Lord and learn of His grace and forgiveness. Donald Grey Barnhouse once said, “Sometimes we think we have fallen out of grace, only to find that we have fallen INTO grace.” And Alexander McLaren said, “If out of the depths we cry, we will cry ourselves out of the depths.”
1. In crying to the Lord, we take our mind off the depths and put it on the Rock that is higher than I.
2. In crying out of the depths, we discover what kind of God we’re dealing with—Verses 3 and 4.
II. Wait For the Lord, verse 5& 6. “I wait for the Lord to act,” is the idea here. In verse 6, he says that those who wait for the Lord are like those who wait for the morning. Now there are two important things to remember about waiting for the sunrise.
1. You can’t rush it. Often we want to. But setting our watches ahead doesn’t fool the sun. It’s going to rise when it’s going rise. And so the same with the Lord. You cannot rush Him. With God, timing is more important than time, and God’s timing is always perfect.
2. The sun DOES rise. Those who waiting for the morning, do not wait in vain, because the morning always comes. And those who wait for the Lord, do not wait in vain. He will come, He will act, He will deliver. Time spent waiting for the Lord is never time wasted.
III. Hope in the Lord. Verse 7: “Let Israel hope in the Lord.” As you know, the biblical idea of “hope,” is not “hope so.” It is confidence and trust that God will keep His Word. And we really can’t wait for the Lord if we don’t have confidence in Him. To the Psalmist, this confidence is based on two things:
1. God’s Goodness. In verse 7, we read “…for with the Lord there is mercy (steadfast love).”
2. God’s Greatness. “And with Him is plenteous redemption.” The New English Bible, reads: “Great is His power to set men free.” As sure as the morning comes, God and God alone, will redeem His people.
Do you fill as if you’re drowning in trouble, going down for the third time? Try the Psalmist’s suggestions. What do you have to lose?