Although this Psalm is often attributed to David, its author (if you exclude the inspiration of the Holy Spirit), and the occasion on which it was written are not known for certain…Cool by me, as both the depths of agony and soaring hopes expressed within this song are timeless; faced by anyone who has chosen to make God the Lord of their lives. There’s no pressing need to understand the culture or context of the day in order that this Psalm should resonate with our spirits.
It would be great though, to hear this sung as originally scored to further understand what was flowing from the author’s heart. I recommend at least, that you pray this out aloud…it helps to make concrete the truth that we need a cleansing that only comes from God, together with a solemn reminder that we don’t deserve it.
If I was more mature than I am, I would make this Psalmist’s opening verse my prayer; I would be sensitive the poison and pollution that really lurks within my thinking and actions, or in my choice to let self get on with the day, albeit with the intension of touching base with God later. In reality, I admit that the ‘depths of despair’ (verse 1) that cause me to ‘cry out to the Lord’, are all too often, circumstantial; having to live in a now ‘munted’ city; having a bad day in business; or finding the grace to cope with family tensions.
Just as well there is forgiveness! Just as well there is mercy and loving kindness! Just as well that God wants me to hang out with Him both ‘at His place’ and at mine. So, ‘Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need’ (Heb4v16).
As the Psalmist alludes to, God’s forgiveness allows us to worship Him in His presence again. When He forgives, it’s as if our sins had never happened. Forgiveness re-establishes afresh, our relationship as sons and daughters on the right note again. Surely, this is why we pray “Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”. Our hope then, is about so much more than having our individual wrong-doings rubbed-out ‘line by line’.
Thank you Lord that you have redeemed me, that you have redeemed us, Your church. Thank you that You were prepared to pay the staggering cost of our redemption.