Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
2 O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.
5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.
8 And he will redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.
“Out of the depths” cried the psalmist today. I wonder what his depths were. I have been a pastor for nearly 30 years and heard some truly horrific stories of human suffering. The human condition can often lead us to feel we are in the depths. Loved ones die, economies crash, abusive spouses and parents, and so much more can leave us with our head in our hands and weeping bitter tears. Are you afraid right now? The news is hardly good. This virus is frightening, and the measures taken to curtail its spread are having significant effects on the people of this whole planet. You might feel in the depths. Your depths might be compounded by all sorts of situations. I fear for a woman I know whose only respite from an unhappy marriage was that she could go to work and be supported by colleagues. What is happening in that home which was not happy before? I pray God’s Spirit is bringing healing to that relationship.
Whatever depth you find yourself in today, the Psalmist offer us two very important things. The first is forgiveness. Sometimes our deepest sorrows are in some way self-inflicted. Sin has a way of making us miserable. But God has not reckoned the sin. As Paul says in Romans 5, we have peace with God. Jesus has established that peace for us. Your sins no longer are a barrier between you and God.
Secondly, the Psalmist offers us hope for right now. God, who has forgiven us, did so out of his steadfast love for us. From the depth of our fear and sorrow we can lift our eyes toward God in hope. You have the promise. God will raise you up from the depths. Jesus will dry every tear. God is faithful. Hope in his Word and look to him. He does not disappoint.