Psalm 130 In His Word Do I Hope 12/04/2016 ßà
#1. Lord, Hear My Voice (Psalm 130:2-3, Prov 28:9, Psalm 11:5, 1John 5:14)
#2. I Wait for the Lord (Psalm 130:5, Luke 2:25-26, Psalm 119:49)
#3. Let Israel Hope in the Lord (Psalm 130:7, Gal 4:25, Matt 20:28)
Please open your Bibles to Psalm 130:1 (2X). You find the Psalms about in the middle of your Bible. We will have for our text all 8 verses of this Psalm. I chose for the title of this sermon: “In His Word Do I Hope” (2X). Psalm 130 is one of the “Songs of Degrees”. There are fifteen “Songs of Degrees”. The first one is Psalm 120 and the last one is Psalm 134. These “Songs of Degrees” are also called “Songs of Ascent”, or “Songs of Steps”. These were sung by the children of Israel when they traveled to Jerusalem 3X each year. As you know, God required that all the males of the nation of Israel must appear before Him 3X per year. Those 3X were on the feast of Passover in the 1st month, on the feast of Pentecost in the 3rd month, and on the feast of Tabernacles in the 7th month. This is how it came about that the pilgrims sung these 15 “Songs of Ascent” as they were ascending up to Jerusalem. They were already feasting in their heart before the feast started. Let us compare this with us. Do we have such a love and anticipation of the spiritual feast we have each Sunday when we meet here in church? Is there a song in our heart when we are on the way to church? Do we love to be here, or are we just filling a desire from the Pastor to be here? Would we still come if we knew that the Pastor would be on vacation? For whom are we here? Are we here for the benefit of ourselves, to learn something that we have not heard before? Or are we here to please the Pastor, or to please the congregation? Or are we here because it is pleasing to God? These are serious questions, which reveal the state of our soul. Think about these questions honestly. Does God demand from us that we love the church? Indeed He does! The Bible says that Christ loves the church, and since we are the Body of Christ we too love the church. Please turn about 25 pages to your left, to Psalm 102:14 (2X), where the Psalmist cries unto God for the deplorable state of the church. God says in Psalm 102:14, “For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof”. This verse says that the true servants of Jehovah love the church so much that they even take pleasure in the stones of the church, which is just the outward manifestation of the church. And there are many more such verses in the Bible. Let us now turn again to Psalm 130 and Verse 1.
Who is speaking in this Psalm? This is not a Messianic Psalm. These are not the words of Christ. This is a prayer, which God gave to His saints, by the hand of one of His prophets, who is praying this back to God. It is a prayer that contains the essence of the Gospel, and the prophet is praising God for His great forgiveness through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ. We read here in:
Ps 130:1 ¶ <<A Song of degrees.>> Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.
#1. Lord, Hear My Voice (Psalm 130:2-3, Prov 28:9, Psalm 11:5, 1John 5:14)
Ps 130:2 Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
Why would God pay any attention to our crying? Does God listen to every human being on earth who cries to Him? Surprisingly, the answer that the Bible gives is: NO! God does not listen to the prayers of everyone on this earth. God says in Prov 28:9, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination” (2X). And there are many other verses of this nature. This is clear language. The Law does not refer to the 10 Commandments. The Law refers to the whole Bible. God does not listen to anyone who refuses to believe the whole Bible. And someone who picks and chooses from the Bible is just as bad off as someone who refuses the whole Bible. Both have declared God a liar. God calls them “the Wicked”, whereas God calls those who believe the whole Bible “the Righteous”. The wicked have no place in the Kingdom of God. God does not give them the grace to hear the Gospel, God does not give them grace to understand the Gospel, God does not give them faith, God does not give them anything that might be used by them to become saved. The Wicked are not only ignorant of the God of the Bible. The Wicked actively hate the God of the Bible. They do not want to know anything about the God of the Bible. Do you want proof? Try this out: Mention to anyone this verse, Prov 28:9. Have them read it, and explain it to them, because they are hard of hearing. And then explain to them that this applies to the majority of mankind. It follows then that God hates the majority of mankind. Does God hate anyone? God says in Psalm 11:5, “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth”. This is the God of the Bible. This is the God whom we worship. Do they want to hear more from this God of the Bible? NO! If they are nice, they will have all kinds of excuses for not believing that the Bible is the Word of God. They will claim that the Bible was written by men, and thus it does not differ from any other book that was written by men. They will claim that the Bible is full of contradictions, and thus we cannot believe that it is the inerrant Word of God. If they are not nice they will throw you out on the street, and declare that you are a hatemonger and that you are distributing hate literature. They will claim that they firmly know what they believe, and nothing that you can show them from the Bible is going to persuade them to believe otherwise. And so, when we read in this Psalm in verse 2, “Lord, hear my voice”, it is implied that this is a person who believes the entire Word of God. This is so because the same God wrote Psalm 130:2 as well as Prov 28:9. Therefore, we who believe the whole Word of God will be delighted to know that God always lends us a willing ear. We read in 1John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us”. When we belong to that very small fraction of people who are willing to believe the whole Bible, then we know that this is a faith given to us from God. This kind of faith does not come out of our own good heart. O NO! We do not have such a good heart. But just like Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, tempting her not to believe everything that God told Adam, even so does Satan tempt the human race to disbelieve what God has said. And it turns out that Satan is quite successful at it. We can see the evidence of it all around us: Divorce and fornication is at an all time high. Murder of unborn infants is at an all time high. Stealing by white-collar workers is at an all time high. Just think of the Enron scandal. That is one that came out in the open. But there are many more that remain hidden that are sucking America dry. And all these crimes are allowed to go on because our government has made them legal, so they are approved. There are more and more women entering the ministry and are appointed deacons and elders and pastors. There are more and more homosexuals appointed to the ministry also. There are more and more pedophiles discovered in the ministry of almost every denomination in the country. The theory of evolution is continuing to gain ground. The false gospels are also growing like gangbusters. And so on, and so on. And all off this boils down to this event: The church has begun to disbelieve the Word of God, just like Eve did in the Garden of Eden. All these things enter into the picture wherever you read, “Lord, hear my voice”. Let us now go on in Psalm 130, and there we read about sin. Not the sins that I listed in the past 10 minutes, but the sin of Adam and Eve, which led to the proliferation of sin in everyone of the human race. We all inherited from Adam and Eve the rebellious attitude against God that they displayed in the Garden of Eden. That is why we read in Psalm 130:3,
Ps 130:3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
Can anyone of us say that we have not sinned? Suppose there would be one man who could say, “I am not living in sin right now. I am married and I have not committed adultery, or stolen, or committed a lie. I have not murdered anyone and I do not covet anything that does not belong to me. I am supporting my father and mother, I go to church every Sunday, and so on, and so on.” But what about his past sins? He was a child at one time, and he was a teenager at one time, and children commit a host of sins. What about those sins? Those sins have been recorded in heaven. That is why the inspired Word of God reads here in Psalm 130:3, “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” There is NONE righteous, NO NOT ONE! If God would count our iniquities, which means our sins, then we all would have to pay the penalty required for committing our own sins and that would mean that we all would be on the way to Hell. If God is just, and God would give us what we deserve, then the whole human race would be sent to Hell. If that would be the case, then God would not have to write the Bible. But that was not God’s plan. God had mercy on some of the human race, and God said in Psalm 130:4,
Ps 130:4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that (in order that) thou mayest be feared.
The word “that” literally means, “in order that”. Now, this is a peculiar sentence structure. If this verse would read, “There is the penalty of Hell with Thee, in order that Thou mayest be feared”, then this verse would seem logical. But that is not what God wrote. He said, “There is forgiveness with Thee, in order that Thou mayest be feared”. In other words, the fear is a result of the forgiveness. Do we fear God because He has forgiven us our sins? Now, that is indeed true. All those who have their sins forgiven by Christ on the cross have been given faith, and have been given the desire to worship Him and praise Him and glorify His name. Now, here is our definition of fear. We do not fear God for casting us into Hell. We know that God would not do that if we are His children, and we believe that we are His children. We do not fear God like we fear terrorists, but we fear God by worshipping Him and praising Him and glorifying Him with a godly fear. According to Heb 12:28, “we serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear”. We delight in fearing God this way. But the unsaved do not fear God in this way. The unsaved do not worship Him and adore Him and bring glory to Him. The unsaved also do not fear God in the other extreme. They sin because they do not fear that God will cast them into Hell. God says in Rom 3:18, “There is no fear of God before their eyes”.
Moreover, when we read about forgiveness in Psalm 130:4, we are reminded of the forgiveness that God designed into His plan of salvation. How many ways are there in God’s plan to forgive sins? Only ONE! The only way that anyone’s sins can be forgiven is that the Lord Jesus Christ must have paid for those sins on the cross at Golgotha. This was the only time in all of the history of mankind that sins were atoned for. There is no other way to forgive sins. And when Christ paid for our sins on the cross this was not a token of a possibility to forgive sins. Christ’s payment on the cross was not some amorphous gesture on the part of Christ to forgive all those who would take the action of believing on Him. Christ did not make it possible for anyone to become saved. Christ actually saved people, rather than provided the possibility to be saved. The angel said to Joseph in Matt 1:21, “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins”. When Jesus saved His people, He definitely saved them from their sins and from the consequences of their sins. All our sins were still future sins at that time. And thus, the forgiveness that God lavished on us must be entirely a gift of grace. But grace is unmerited favor. Therefore, since this gift was unmerited, God decided to whom He would give this grace and whom He would pass by. God chose the people whom He wanted to save, and called them His elect. These were the people for whose sins Christ suffered and died. These were His people, His elect, and these are the people that are in view in Psalm 130:4. He saved His elect by substituting for them and by paying for their sins the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. Then, at some point in the life of each one of His elect the payment is applied, their sins are forgiven, they receive the faith to believe that, and they praise God and glorify God for His wonderful salvation that has come so freely. That is why we read in Psalm 130:4, “There is forgiveness with Thee, in order that Thou mayest be feared”. And then we read in the following verse,
#2. I Wait for the Lord (Psalm 130:5, Luke 2:25-26, Psalm 119:49)
Ps 130:5 ¶ I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
What does it mean to wait for the Lord? It means simply to wait until He comes, or to wait until God has finished His plan for some portion of our life. The clearest example of this process of waiting for the Lord is given in the Gospel according to Luke 2:25-26.
Lu 2:25 ¶ And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
Lu 2:26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
Then, when he held the Lord Jesus in his arms, it was revealed to him that this was the Lord’s Christ, this was the Messiah, the Anointed One. This was what Simeon waited for. He waited for many years, and he never knew when the time would come. But he was certain that the time would come when He would see Christ with his own eyes. He looked forward in hope, but it was not an uncertain hope. Hope in the Bible refers to something that we have not yet seen, but it is certain to come. Therefore when we read in Psalm 130:5, “In His Word do I hope”, we are reminded that the promises in the Word of God are not possibilities, but they are certainties. That is what the Biblical word “Hope” stands for. Faith, Hope and Love. We already know that Faith is a gift from God. Is Hope also a gift from God? Please turn about 8 pages to your left, to Psalm 119:49 (2X).
Ps 119:49 ¶ Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.
What does this verse say? God has caused me to hope in His Word. In other words, God gave me this Hope, and I believe that His Word is completely trustworthy. I look forward to being with Christ, I wait for His initiative to bring it to pass, and I am certain that it will come, just like Simeon was certain that he would see the Messiah. Please return to Psalm 130:6.
Ps 130:6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
I am waiting for the Lord and in His Word do I hope more than the morning-watchers who are watching for the morning. In OT time some officers were peculiarly appointed from a tower to watch for the first appearance of the break of day. With such anticipation did the ancient church expect the appearance of that “day-spring from on high”, who was in the fullness of time to visit the world. Then Christ came and left. In the NT time have some in the church looked forward to the dawning of that last morning when sin would be abolished and when sorrow will have an end. These are the morning-watchers. But Psalm 130:6 says, “I wait for the Lord and hope in His Word more than the morning-watchers”. The morning-watchers are checking their calculations and are looking to the outside world for signs of the times that the Lord is coming. But my trust is entirely in His Word, the Bible. I wait for the Lord but I leave it up to Him when He must come. In His Word do I hope, and I believe that His promises are sure. We do not need to fret about the timing of His 2nd coming. We do not need to fret whether the church is dead. The church is not dead yet.
Now, let us apply this to ourselves. Do we come to church joyfully? Do we come to church with the confidence that Christ will keep us safe unto the end? Do we come to church knowing that we will hear the true Gospel, and knowing that we are worshipping the only God, the God of the Bible? Do we realize that this is happening because of God’s irresistible grace? It is only by grace that we have received all these spiritual benefits. It is only by grace that we can continue to rejoice in the light of the Gospel, and continue to rejoice that we are still faithful to the Bible. Do we fully put our hope in the Word of God? And so we say,
#3. Let Israel Hope in the Lord (Psalm 130:7, Gal 4:25, Matt 20:28)
Ps 130:7 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
Who is this verse speaking about? It speaks about Israel. Which Israel? Is this speaking about the nation of Israel who are the descendants from Jacob? But that nation is no longer the favorite nation of God. We read in Gal 4:25, “Jerusalem which now is, is in bondage with her children”. It means that the majority of the nation of Israel is still in bondage to sin and Satan. Only a remnant saved by grace is worshipping the triune God of the Bible. Obviously, if the majority of the nation of Israel rejects the NT, and they adhere only to the OT as the Word of God, then they have a description of God that is smaller than the whole Bible. This means that they have a different authority than we do from our Bible and therefore, according to Rev 22:18, they worship another god than the God whom we worship. Let us therefore look for another Israel in Psalm 130:7. The Lord Jesus Christ is also called Israel, and therefore the people who constitute His Bride, the body of Christ, are also called Israel. This is more likely the Israel that is in view here, because verse 7 continues with the words, “for with the LORD there is mercy”. Mercy is the antonym of grace. Grace is unmerited favor. Grace is receiving a gift that we do not deserve. On the other hand, mercy is withholding what we do deserve. We deserve the penalty of Hell. The mercy of God is that God withholds the penalty of Hell from us. God can have mercy on all those for whom the Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died, because Christ paid the penalty for their sins. Therefore, when we think of mercy we think of the cross of Christ. That was the time when God approved to have mercy upon all those who were represented by Christ and who were in Christ from before the foundation of the world. That is why God says in verse 7, “with him is plenteous redemption”, and the Hebrew word for “redemption” is the word “ransom”. Literally the last 5 words in verse 7 are, “with Him is plenteous ransom”. The Lord Jesus said in
Matt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
He gave His life a ransom for many, not for everyone, but for many. That is why Israel must hope in the Lord. This Israel refers to the body of believers. We must put our trust in His Word, for there is where all our hope lies. There is where we learn of His mercy and there is where we learn of His ransom.
Ps 130:8 And he shall redeem (ransom) Israel from all his iniquities.
God shall ransom us from all our sins and from the consequences of our sins. When do we expect this to come to pass? The previous 7 verses were addressing a saved individual. So, why does verse 8 say that Christ shall redeem us again from all our iniquities? It is because this verse speaks of our final redemption to the NH&NE. It is a promise that God will keep us in His care down to the very last breath of our life. God will make sure that He will finish the work that He began. It is also a promise that God will resurrect our mortal bodies and give us new life. We have been redeemed now, but we have not been redeemed completely. Our bodies are still the same bodies we had before our salvation. But when Christ shall come on the clouds of glory on the last day, when He brings with Him the souls of all those in heaven, then shall we receive our glorified bodies in a moment that is as short as the blinking of an eye. Then shall we truly be redeemed from all our iniquities. Please turn about 24 pages to your left, to Psalm 103:2 (2X). This Psalm also should be looked at with eyes of anticipation. We read there in Psalm 103:2,
Ps 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Ps 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Ps 103:4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Ps 103:5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Do you see in verse 3, “who healeth all thy diseases”? This does not occur until we have received our new glorified bodies. Do you see in verse 4, “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction” Literally this does occur when we receive our new glorified bodies. Do you see in verse 5, “thy youth is renewed like the eagle's”. Why is this speaking of our youth? And why are we compared to eagles? It is because we will fly faster than eagles, and we will be young all the time. This is what we are looking forward to when we receive our new glorified bodies. This is when we will be truly redeemed from all our iniquities. This is what we read in His Word and therefore we do hope in His Word.
AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.