Psalm 130 Reflection
Based on a great writing and reflection challenge from the ladies behind the blog ministry #SheSharesTruth. I decided to write a reflection on this bible passage because it captures an important theme for Lent; that of being aware of our sins and our desperate need for our forgiving and redeeming God. It also highlights the often missed message that tells us that individual sins eventually becomes, one-by-one, a community’s sin.
I could not read Psalm 130 without looking at Ezekiel 33 “The Watchman’s Duty”. God makes it clear that we are to listen to His voice and follow His teachings. Being obedient to God is not only for the good of the individual, but it is necessary for the entire community.
The Psalmist feels as if he is in the midst of chaotic waters, there is unsteadiness, no firm foundation. But he knows that he can cry out to our God who always hears us, why, because God doesn’t keep score of our sinfulness. If God kept a running tally of our wrongs, there would be no one left to worship Him. God would be left with confused, lost and hopeless believers roaming the earth.
God is a god of relationship, He wants to maintain that loving connection with His creation. In our repeated pleas for His help, His guidance, His love, His forgiveness, His acknowledgement of our existence; we maintain and build our relationship with Him. The psalmist tells us that he waits-waits-waits for the Lord and this is his hope: that God will not only forgive him and his community, but that they will receive redemption. He wants to be forgiven and SAVED from sin!
Webster’s says forgiveness is “the act of ceasing anger or blame towards someone”, it is also, “the act of releasing someone from a debt that is owed to another”. The Psalmist, our watchman tells us we can hope in the Lord because it is He who is the one to redeem us (to release from distress, harm or captivity). What does God’s love do: it ceases to blame; it ceases to hold anger towards someone; and it releases a person from being in debt to Him for this very forgiveness. Why can we put our hope in God and His forgiveness, because, He is the one that redeems (release from distress, harm or captivity).
During Lent we focus on our own individual areas of sin and offer to reduce or forgo various things that distract us from His word; those very words that remind us of our sinful ways and teach us how to live justly in a world filled with broken individuals and communities who are caught in the chaotic, unsteadiness of the “depths”. The watchmen are our fellow believers and leaders who are on solid ground, they look out for us, warn us when there is danger ahead, they pray for us, waiting-waiting-waiting on the Lord to answer their prayers for those who are lost or have abandoned their love for the Lord and His teachings.
Are you a watchman? Are you actively praying on behalf of others who have lost their faith and trust in the Lord? Have you lost hope in praying for someone to be saved or someone who doesn’t seem likely to ever return to their relationship with God?
If there is someone who you have stopped being a “watchman” for, be encouraged in waiting, waiting, waiting on the Lord with a hope filled heart! Be a watchman who watches and waits by praying for those who have abandoned the Lord. God does not give up and neither should we, the watchman!