Psalm 130 – Out of the Depths


Psalm 130


The psalmist prays for help “out of the depths” and reminds Israel to hope in God’s steadfast love.


This is a lament psalm in which the pray-er cries out of the “depths” of human need–including probably some particular present trouble, but also the recognition that no people can “stand” before God without peril because of the reality of human sin. The only hope–a great hope!–lies in God’s readiness to forgive (v. 4).

God’s forgiving and redeeming love makes the psalmist able to wait in hope for the answer to prayer (v. 5). All waiting is not hopeful, of course, but it can be here because of the poet’s firm trust in God. This “hopeful waiting,” encouraged in the Old Testament (see also Psalm 39:7; Isaiah 8:17; 51:5), is echoed by Paul (Romans 8:25; Galatians 5:5); it is another way to speak of living in faith.

The psalm ends by turning from petition to proclamation, assuring the hearer, then and now, of God’s steadfast love and power to redeem (v. 7).