Psalm 130- Out of the Depths We Cry

Matt Kesler Blog

The beautiful thing about the Psalms is that you read about every type of emotion that we experience as humans. This past week, I’ve been reflecting daily upon Psalm 130.

“Out of the depths I call to you, Lord! Lord, listen to my voice; let your ears be attentive to my cry for help. Lord, if you kept an account of iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that you may be revered. I wait for the Lord; I wait and put my hope in his word. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning- more than watchmen for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the Lord. For there is faithful love with the Lord, and with him is redemption in abundance. And he will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.”

I have several journal entries that I would love to share with whoever is reading this; to preface, it is important to understand the context of this Psalm. The Psalmist is broken over his sin and it has driven him to a place of crying out to the Lord. Knowing this, hopefully that provides some insight into my thoughts. If the sentences feel choppy, it’s because I’m a bullet point guy!

Journal Entries:

February 12th

“After calling out from the depths, there is a waiting. During that waiting, hope is put into the Word of God. The word “wait” is further described as a watchmen in the morning. Watchmen have several different jobs, but in this case it’s in reference to one waiting for the morning. More than our job, waiting on the Lord should infiltrate every aspect of our lives. So while I wait, may I be eager for his arrival by digesting his word. Out of a changed heart, there is a plea to the people around the Psalmist (Israel). There is encouragement to put hope in the Lord because there is faithful love and an abundance of redemption. I serve a God that is faithful- his love is unconditional. Despite the sin of myself, I can have hope that comes only from God. It is better to be in the depth dependent upon the mercy of God than on a mountaintop boasting in my righteousness. There will be redemption for all of our iniquities if we trust in the Lord.”

February 14th

“What depths have I been in and did I plead with the Lord in this way that the Psalmist did? I have felt surrounded by crushing insecurities and hopelessness at times. In my sins, I’ve cried out. In times of struggling, I’ve felt disobedient, worthless, and ashamed. But in those sins, I’ve cried out because I knew of the comfort and forgiveness that comes from Christ alone.”

February 16th

“Lord, Thank you for not keeping an account of my iniquities. Thank you for the grace of Jesus Christ in my life. You have forgiven me. Out of a changed life, I pray that others will bow at the name of Jesus. Out of this forgiven state, may I patiently wait and put my hope in you. Like a watchmen, the joy that comes with the morning pales in comparison to the joy that comes from you. Out of this waiting, may I call and lead the church to wait on you to put their hope and trust in you. There is nothing sweeter nor more abundant than Jesus laying His life down so that WE may be set free from sin and bondage. Amen.”

February 18th

“There is a request for the Lord to listen. In the Psalmist’s iniquities, there is a fear that maybe the Lord is no longer listening. Yet, he calls out to Him because he knows who he is talking to, despite his doubts. The Psalmist needs help. He acknowledges he can’t do it alone. The Psalmist can approach God because he has been forgiven. In that forgiveness, there is a waiting. Let us wait upon the Lord. Not a passive waiting where we are lazy and sitting around until God works. Rather, this is an active waiting. Actively seeking God through his Word. Actively seeking God in prayer. Actively serving those around us because He first loved us. Actively laying down our lives to the sojourner and the broken hearted. Actively seeking ways we can die to ourselves and live for Jesus. That is waiting. In that waiting, how am I reminding myself of

  1. Who Jesus is
  2. pursuing righteousness because of who Jesus is?


I share some of my thoughts with you in hopes that it draws you to a deeper desire to know the Psalms and know how God uses broken people to glorify his name. This Psalmist, like all of us, was struggling. He felt the weight of his mistakes and his sin. BUT, he didn’t sit in them and didn’t let them destroy who he was designed to be. He, instead, cried out to his creator and acknowledged that the Lord forgives. Because of the perfect nature of God, he can’t stand sin. He wants nothing to do with it. But in that perfect justice, he offers forgiveness. The question is, are we willing to call out to God when we feel overwhelmed by our sin? We might be able to temporarily avoid the struggles in this life, but imagine how different things would be. Imagine how different our culture would be; our home lives; our relationships. If we would go to our knees and acknowledge that there is nothing that can offer eternal forgiveness other than the grace of God? That brings me joy that can’t be replaced by anything this world has to offer. I make mistakes. But in my mistakes, am I willing to cry out to God knowing that he wants to forgive me and change my life?

After the plea for forgiveness, we see the Psalmist waiting. He’s waiting upon the Lord and his waiting is compared to a watchmen. A watchmen didn’t sit idly waiting for the morning dosing off. A watchmen was alert and expectant. That really convicts me. When I am waiting on the Lord, am I both alert and expectant? Expecting him to work in wondrous ways but also, being alert to how he is already working? Let that thought sink in and begin to think about this thought: “Is there space in your life to cry out and wait for the Lord?”

Lastly, the Psalmist, driven to a place of dependance upon the Lord desires to see the Israelites around him be driven to the same posture. The Psalmist doesn’t do this out of an arrogant spirit and say: “Look at me and how I cried out to the Lord; I now want you to do the same.” No. He doesn’t. It is out of a heart that has humbly been changed by the grace of God. He can’t help but desire for those that he loves to experience God in the same way.

Church, my prayer is that out of a complete dependence upon God; out of a deep cry for his forgiveness; out of a patient spirit; that we would desire for those around us to experience God in the way that we have. Don’t just sit and soak. Sit, soak, and then pour out your lives and your hearts to those around you.

May His Kingdom come.