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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

Naming Our Real Problem

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities [sin], O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared [revered].” - Psalm 130:1-4 (ESV)

Psalm 130 is a heartfelt cry for the Lord to show His people mercy. The Psalmist David is confident God forgives sins. He urges the nation to join him in waiting with hope for the Lord to redeem them from their iniquities.

I’m troubled by the evil atrocities in our world. I’m bothered by the lack of moral restraint we witness in our society. I pray for the peace of Israel and long for harmonious relations between nations. I despise violence and corruption. I’m weary of the mounting pressures to compromise our convictions and silence our voices.

But we’re not the first ones who have encountered such disturbances. And, like it or not, it’s the real world we live in.

David’s world may have been less sophisticated, but sin and evil were as prevalent in his neighborhood as ours. The lesson we observe from the Psalmist is this:

With God, there is forgiveness of sins! (Psalm 130:4)

David is aware that many of his peers want to ignore SIN. He wants to remind his people (and us) of the root of our problem and redirect our attention to the TRUE source of our help.

“If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities [sin], O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared [revered].” - Psalm 130:3-4 (ESV)

The pressing problems of David’s world are a result of SIN. And because he understands that only God can forgive SIN, he finds comfort in confidently waiting for God’s intervention.

It’s interesting to me to notice how we are careful to avoid the word “sin.” We’re more comfortable with expressions like dysfunction, misbehavior, errors, misdeeds, or other less offensive descriptions.

Here are some questions to reflect on:

  • Are we more concerned about offending others than displeasing God?

  • Am I more tempted to observe the behavior of others and neglect my conduct?

  • Do I avoid speaking of sin? Why?

  • Do I believe God can forgive me of my sins?

  • Am I comforted knowing that God forgives sins?


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