Out of the Depths
I. A Cry For Mercy (verses 1-3)
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” — Psalm 34:18
“Deep places beget deep devotion. Depths of earnestness are stirred by depths of tribulation. Diamonds sparkle most amid the darkness…the more distressed we are, the more excellent is the faith which trusts bravely in the Lord, and therefore appeals to Him, and to Him alone.”
— CH Spurgeon
“God hath cast His best children into such dangers for their profit; and that it is better to be in deep dangers praying, than on the high mountains of vanity playing.”
— Archibald Symson, 1638
II. God’s Mercy Realized (verses 4-8)
“Free, full, sovereign pardon is in the hand of the great King: it is His prerogative to forgive, and He delights to exercise it. Because His nature is mercy, and because He has provided a sacrifice for sin, therefore forgiveness is with Him for all that come to Him confessing their sins. The power of pardon is permanently resident with God: He has forgiveness ready to His hand at this instant.”
— CH Spurgeon
When thirty-three years of pain don’t reduce a man to a puddle, but somehow are met with daily, renewed inner strength, there is something more at work than an indomitable human spirit. It is the power of God, evidence that the very grace that God has promised is the grace that will be delivered. I’ve been renewed with joy day by day for thirty-three years. That is the hand of God alone, a hand that you and I can trust today.
— Tim Shorey
- Steadfast love + plentiful redemption = powerful hope
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
— Romans 8:31-35, 37-39
Questions for Discussion/Application:
- Re-read the text, Psalm 130. What initial insights and observations do you have from reading this passage?
- When was a time in your own life, when you asked God for help, when you said “O Lord, hear my voice!” you saw the Lord respond in a tangible way?
- When God does not respond to our pleas for mercy in the way or at the time we desire and hope, how does the knowledge that “God is sovereign and God is good” help us?
- Re-read verses 3-4. How do these verses point to the gospel and to Christ’s redeeming work on the Cross?
- What does it mean to truly put our hope in the Lord as verse 7 calls us to?
- When the psalmist speaks of God’s steadfast love in verse 7, what does he mean? What does it mean that God’s love is steadfast?
- How can remembering the steadfast love of the Lord strengthen our hope in God?
- In what situations in your life presently are you finding that having hope is a struggle?
- Consider taking time to pray, asking God to fill us with His Holy Spirit, and strengthen our hope in the Lord.