Psalm 130:1-4 - Out of the depths I cry to You, O LORD! O Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! If You, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness, that You may be feared.
"Out of the depths I cry to You, O LORD!" In what depths do you find yourself? Are you suffering in the depths of illness or grief? Perhaps you struggle in the deep pit of unemployment, family trouble, financial worries, or anxiety. Then there is the deep pit in which we all have a place—the depths of sin, guilt, and shame. We may think that we are so deep in the pit that God cannot hear us. Even the psalmist wonders, and begs in despair: "O Lord, hear my voice!" The psalmist continues, "If You, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?" What if, after all, there is a divine record of our sins? What if God remembers and holds those sins against us?
Before we called out from the depths, God heard us: "Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear" (Isaiah 65:24). Our names were written "before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain" (Revelation 13:8b). God knew our need and sent His own beloved Son into the world to be that Lamb of sacrifice. Jesus did not simply reach into the depths of despair and death to rescue us. He descended into the pit of death to overcome all that holds us captive, crying out from the cross in the words of the psalmist, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (see Psalm 22:1). Jesus suffered the penalty of death that we deserved, as God removed the deadly record of our sins by "nailing it to the cross" (Colossians 2:14b). Jesus' body was taken down and sealed in the dark pit of a tomb. But on the first Easter morning, Jesus rose up in triumph over death. Trusting in Jesus, we too are lifted—forever!—from the pit of sin and death. The debt we owed has been paid in full. Because Jesus endured death for us, our sins have been erased, removed from the sight of God forever.
With Jesus there is forgiveness that, as the psalmist prays, God may be feared. The God to whom we pray, the God who hears us in our distress, is the mighty, awesome God who created and reigns over all things. He is the God who took on human flesh to descend into the pit of death for us. In any depths in which we find ourselves, in any and every pit of despair, God hears and answers. He lifts us out of the depths as we respond in praise: "He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure" (Psalm 40:2).
THE PRAYER: Almighty God, You rescued me and made my steps secure in Jesus, my Rock and my Salvation. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Are you in a tough spot right now? Have you sought the Lord's help? How is that going for you?
2. Why do you think Scripture says with God there is forgiveness that He "may be feared"? Do the two go together somehow?
3. Have you ever forgiven someone who plead with you for a pardon?
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