Note: This is one of the seven penitential psalms (see also Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 143).
A song of ascents.
130:1 Out of the depths [a metaphor for adversity and trouble; as in the case of Jonah (2:2-5), “the depths” convey a feeling of being alienated from God; “It little matters where we are if we can pray; but prayer is never more real and acceptable than when it rises out of the worst places.” (CH Spuregon)] I cry to you, Lord;
130:2 Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
130:3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand [a reference to the judgment (cf. Ps. 1:5)]?
130:4 But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence [“This forgiveness, his smile of God, binds the soul to God with a beautiful fear.” (George Bowen)], serve you.
130:5 I wait [requires patience and humility] for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word [he waited anxiously for the word of divine pardon] I put my hope.
130:6 I wait [an expression of anticipation; “God was no more dreaded by him than light is dreaded by those engaged in a lawful calling. He pined and yearned after his God.” (CH Spurgeon)] for the Lord more than watchmen [either military watchmen guarding the city by night or the Levitical guards waiting for the offering of the morning sacrifices] wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
130:7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is [note the unmerited favors that God bestows on His children…] unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
130:8 He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.
Six Conditions of True Prayer
Neale and Littledate quoted in “The Treasury of David” by CH Spurgeon, p. 601
1. It is lowly. | “out of the deep”
2. It is fervent. | “have I called”
3. It is directed to God Himself. | “unto Thee”
4. It is reverent. | “O Lord”
5. It is awed. | “Lord”
6. It is one’s very own. | “hear my voice”