PSALM 130 OVERVIEW.
There are depths after depths of mental darkness, when the soul becomes more and more sorrowful, down to that very depth which is just this side of despair. Earth hollow, heaven empty, the air heavy, every form a deformity, all sounds discord, the past a gloom, the present a puzzle, the future a horror. One more step down, and the man will stand in the chamber of despair, the floor of which is blistering hot, while the air is biting cold as the polar atmosphere. To what depths the spirit of a man may fall!
But the most horrible depth into which a man's soul can descend is sin. Sometimes we begin on gradual slopes, and slide so swiftly that we soon reach great depths; depths in which there are horrors that are neither in poverty, nor sorrow, nor mental depression. It is sin, it is an outrage against God and ourselves. We feel that there is no bottom. Each opening depth reveals a greater deep. This is really tile bottomless pit, with everlasting accumulations of speed, and perpetual lacerations as we descend. Oh, depths below depths! Oh, falls from light to gloom, from gloom to darkness! Oh, the hell of sin!
What can we do? We can simply cry, CRY, CRY! But, let us cry to God. Useless, injurious are other cries. They are mere expressions of impotency, or protests against imaginary fate. But the cry of the spirit to the Most High is a manful cry. Out of the depths of all poverty, all sorrow, all mental depression, all sin, cry unto God! --From "The Study and the Pulpit", 1877.
Verse 1. Out of the depths have I cried.
Verse 1. But when he crieth from the deep, he riseth from the deep, and his very cry suffereth him not to be long at the bottom. --Augustine.
Verse 1. It has been well said that the verse puts before us six conditions of true prayer: it is lowly, "out of the deep"; fervent, "have I called"; direct to God himself, "unto thee"; reverent, "O LORD"; awed, "LORD", a solemn title, is again used; one's very own, "hear my voice." --Neale and Littledale.
Verse 1. Have I cried. There are many kinds and degrees of prayer in the world; from the coldest form to the most intense agony. Every one prays; but very few "cry." But of those who do "cry to God", the majority would say, -- "I owe it to the depths. I learnt it there. I often prayed before; but never -- till I was carried down very deep -- did I cry." "Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord." It is well worth while to go down into any "depth" to be taught to "cry."
It is not too much to say that we do not know what prayer may be till we have "cried." And we seldom rise till we have gone very deep. "I die! I perish! I am lost! Help, Lord! Help me! Save me now! Do it now, Lord, or I am lost. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God!"
In mid day, if you are taken from the bright and sunny scenes of light, and go down into the bottom of a pit you may see the stars, which were invisible to you in the upper air. And how many could say that things they knew not in life's noon, they have found in life's midnight, and that they owe their glimpses of glory, and their best avenues of thought, and the importunacy of prayer, and the victories of faith, to seasons when they walked in very dark places. "Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord." --James Vaughan.
Verse 1. Have I cried unto thee, Jehovah. God gave out that name Jehovah to his people to confirm their faith in the stability of his promises: Exodus 3:1-22 He who is Being himself will assuredly give being and subsistence to his promises. Being to deal with God about the promises of grace, he makes his application to him under this name: "I call upon thee, Jehovah." --John Owen, in "A Practical Exposition upon Psalm 130."
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 1. The assertion of an experienced believer.
Verse 1-2. Consider,