PSALM 130:1-8: “Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD; Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications. If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He shall redeem Israel From all his iniquities.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Am I keeping a record of others sins? This question may make more sense if stated a bit differently. Am I keeping a record of the times someone has hurt me, failed me, or disappointed me? If I answer yes in any way, I am counting the sins of others.
This Psalm of Ascent reminds us of the wonderful gift of God’s grace that has been extended to our lives.
- “If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.“
What would our life be like if the Lord had kept a record of all the sins and failures that we have had in our life? How would we approach Him if we knew that every time we failed He would say – “Here we go again.” We would cower in fear, we would live in shame, and we would hang our head in worship.
Yet, the Lord does not keep count of our iniquities. He removes them! He does not parole us, He fully pardons us. He forgives us and cleanses us of all unrighteousness. This is the wonderful power and promise of grace!
- “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:8-9 NKJV
- “For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalms 103:11-12 NKJV
The Children of Israel knew their blighted history. They had recorded in the pages of Scripture all of the times they had rebelled against God, had failed to obey His commandments, and had worshipped other gods. As they traveled each year to celebrate the feasts in Jerusalem they would sing these Songs of Ascent to remind them of God’s great grace, and to prepare their hearts for worship. We could take a page from their playbook and do the same.
As we prepare our hearts each week for worship, we too need to remember God’s grace that has been poured out on our lives. If God kept a record of my iniquities then how could I come and stand before Him? I would be sentenced to a life of guilt and shame. Yet, He has not only forgiven me, He has washed both me and my record clean. I have been fully justified before Him through Jesus Christ my Lord!
If this is true in my life, if I enjoy this wonderful gift of grace, should I not extend it to others? Should I not forgive others as He has forgiven me? I may not be able to forget the things of the past. However, by God’s great grace I can choose to refuse to rehearse them in my mind, and to lay them at the foot of the cross. I can choose to respond to those who have hurt or offended me with the same power of mercy, grace, and forgiveness, that has been extended to me by the Lord!
- “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:25-26 NKJV
If we walk in unforgiveness toward others, we will not experience the fullness of fellowship and the free flow of forgiveness from the Father. Sin and unforgiveness will hinder our fellowship with God. However, if we forgive others as we have been forgiven, we can lift our heads, our hands, and our heart to the Lord in worship, and we can extend our hands and our hearts to others in sincere love. Our fellowship with God and others will be enriched, and we will walk in a continual outpouring of God’s grace and mercy in our lives!
- “My soul waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He shall redeem Israel From all his iniquities.”
Lord, help me today to lay all of my sin at the foot of the Cross. Help me also to lay down all of my offenses against others. Cleanse me and renew me in Your grace and mercy. Help me to walk in love and forgiveness toward others as You daily walk in love and forgiveness toward me.
In Jesus Name!