Psalms 130:3

3 If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance?

Psalms 130:3 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 130:3

If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities
Or "observe" F6 them. Not but that God does observe the sins of men: he sees all the evil actions of bad men done in the dark, which cannot hide them from him; and all the iniquities of good men, so as to correct and chastise for them, but not with his eye of vindictive justice. Or "keep" F7 them; should he keep a watchful eye over them, make strict inspection into them, enter into a critical examination of them, and of all their aggravated circumstances; should he keep them in mind and memory, retain them in the book of his remembrance; should he lay them up, and keep them sealed among his stores, in order to be brought to light, and brought out as charges another day, and to the condemnation of men; should he set them before him in the light of his countenance, and not cast them behind his back and into the depths of the sea; should he visit for them in a way of wrath, or enter into judgment on account of them, with men in their own persons; demanding satisfaction for them at their own hands, without any regard to the sacrifice and satisfaction of his Son; all a man's righteousness, repentance, humiliation and tears, would stand him in no stead, would not answer for him, or atone for his sins; still his iniquities would remain marked before God; the consequence of which would be eternal damnation, ( Jeremiah 2:22 ) ;

O Lord, who shall stand?
Not one; since all are sinners. The Arabic version adds, "before thee"; in his presence; in the house and courts of God, there to minister before him; to pray and praise, to preach and hear: or at his bar hereafter, with any boldness and confidence; so as to litigate the point with him in his court of judicature, before angels and men, and so as to carry the cause; the wicked shall not stand in judgment, ( Psalms 1:5 ) . Or who can stand before his vindictive justice, or bear his wrath and vengeance? No one can. See ( Nahum 1:6 ) ( Malachi 3:2 ) ( Revelation 6:17 ) .


F6 (rmvt) "observaveris", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Michaelis.
F7 "Serves", Cocceius; "servaveris", Muis.

Psalms 130:3 In-Context

1 Help, God - the bottom has fallen out of my life! Master, hear my cry for help!
2 Listen hard! Open your ears! Listen to my cries for mercy.
3 If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance?
4 As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that's why you're worshiped.
5 I pray to God - my life a prayer - and wait for what he'll say and do.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.