Prayer for Forgiveness of Sins.
A song of degrees, known of old as De Profundis, from its opening words in the Latin version, a sinner's cry to Jehovah for forgiveness and mercy. V. 1. Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord, these depths being those of sin with its resulting distress, calamity, and peril, represented by an abyss of deep waters, whose waves have passed over the writer. V. 2. Lord, hear my voice, the appeal being to the All-powerful to grant deliverance; let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications, in a careful and merciful attention to his pleading. V. 3. If Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, observing them, bearing them in mind, imputing them to the sinner, O Lord, who shall stand? No human being could stand up fearlessly before the all-seeing eye of the All-powerful, the great Judge of all the earth, the consciousness of guilt rather causing every person in the world to sink to the ground before the Lord in the most severe self-condemnation. The verse expresses in the strongest possible manner the utter impossibility of any man to stand before Jehovah in his own merit and righteousness. V. 4. But there is forgiveness with Thee, the unmerited grace and mercy of the Lord being the only hope of sinful mortals, their only chance of deliverance and salvation, that Thou mayest be feared, for the assurance of God's mercy, far from producing a feeling of smug satisfaction and licentious leanings, rather makes for holiness. It is not that the believers who are assured of the forgiveness of the Lord presume upon His mercy, but that they walk before Him with all the greater awe. V. 5. I wait for the Lord, in confident expectation of His deliverance and assistance, my soul doth wait, with all the intensity of a painful longing, and in His Word do I hope, relying upon the promises there set forth. V. 6. My soul waiteth for the Lord, turned in longing toward the All-powerful, more than they that watch for the morning, those unable to rest on account of illness or misery, in whose case the rising of the dawn will be a release from pain; I say, more than they that watch for the morning, the repetition again emphasizing the eager longing of the heart anxious to see the deliverance of the Lord. The psalmist is sure that redemption will be forthcoming, not only for him, but for all the faithful. V. 7. Let Israel hope in the Lord, waiting for salvation from Him; for with the Lord there is mercy, He is the only One able to dispense redemption, and with Him is plenteous redemption, mercy in all its fullness, enough for the sins of the whole world. Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. Rom. 3, 20. V. 8. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities, the prophet here looking forward to the propitiation of Christ, whereby He earned and obtained eternal redemption for us, Heb. 9, 12. Cp. Luke 1 68-75; 2 Tim. 4, 18, this redemption being transmitted to us by faith.