Psalm 130

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A Song of degrees.
This psalm contains, (1.) David's earnest cries to God, out of the depths of corruption, desertion, temptation, or trouble, ver. 1-2. (2.) His ingenuous repentance, in the faith of God's merciful forgiveness, ver. 3-4. (3.) His attentive waiting on God for his favours, ver. 5-6. (4.) His encouraging expectations from God, ver. 7-8.

While I sing, let my soul go and do likewise. While the unbounded mercy and plenteous redemption of Jehovah remains unexhausted, let my soul cry mightily in every trouble; believe forgiveness under the deepest sense of guilt; and quietly hope and wait for the salvation of God. Let never hopeless despair steel my heart against a God of grace.
[align=center]John Brown of Haddington[/align]

Psalm 130

Tune: Martyrdom -attached

1 Lord, from the depths to thee I cry'd.
2 My voice, Lord, do thou hear:
Unto my supplication's voice
give an attentive ear.

3 Lord, who shall stand, if thou, O Lord,
should'st mark iniquity?
4 But yet with thee forgiveness is,
that fear'd thou mayest be.

5 I wait for God, my soul doth wait,
my hope is in his word.
6 More than they that for morning watch,
my soul waits for the Lord;

I say, more than they that do watch
the morning light to see.
7 Let Israel hope in the Lord,
for with him mercies be;

And plenteous redemption
is ever found with him.
8 And from all his iniquities
he Isr'el shall redeem.


Puritanboard Librarian
Excellent! You're welcome, Jay! I trust that book will be a blessing to you as it has been to me.

Psalm 130 was referred to by Luther as Psalmi Paulini. It was notable in the lives of John Owen, Jonathan Edwards and others (their stories are found in the book).

For me, verses 3-4 and 7-8 capture the heart of the gospel. What a precious psalm. God be praised for his plenteous mercies!


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Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Excellent! Psalm 130 was referred to by Luther as Psalmi Paulini.
I'd like to know more about that. I can see it in Paul's life.
It was notable in the lives of John Owen, Jonathan Edwards and others (their stories are found in the book).
Your whetting my appetite, brother. :banana: I'm hoping that the book will ship as early as Monday.
For me, verses 3-4 and 7-8 capture the heart of the gospel. What a precious psalm. God be praised for his plenteous mercies!
:amen: It is God who redeems Israel; God redeems Israel, a peculiar people; a holy nation. I have always been struck by the words "there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be ffeared." It is the redeemed, the forgiven, who truly fear God.


Puritanboard Librarian

From Spurgeon's Treasury of David on Ps. 32:

It is told of Luther that one day being asked which of all the Psalms were the best, he made answer, "Psalmi Paulini, " and when his friends pressed to know which these might be, he said, "The 32nd, the 51st, the 130th, and the 143rd. For they all teach that the forgiveness of our sins comes, without the law and without works, to the man who believes, and therefore I call them Pauline Psalms; and David sings, `There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared, 'this is just what Paul says, `God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.' Ro 11:32. Thus no man may boast of his own righteousness. That word, `That thou mayest be feared, 'dusts away all merit, and teaches us to uncover our heads before God, and confess gratia est, non meritum: remissio, non satisfactio; it is mere forgiveness, not merit at all." Luther's Table Talk.

From Spurgeon's Treasury of David re Ps. 130:

Whole Psalm. Luther being once asked which were the best Psalms, replied, Psalmi Paulini;and when his companions at table pressed him to say which these were, he answered: Psalms 32, 51, 130, and 143."”Franz Delitzsch.

Whole Psalm. Luther, when he was buffeted by the devil at Coburg, and in great affliction, said to those about him, Venite, in conternptum Disboll, Psalmnum, De Profundis, quatuor vocibus cantemus;"Come, let us sing that Psalm, `Out of the depths, ' etc., in derision of the devil.""”John Trapp.

From John Ker's The Psalms in History and Biography, pp. 160-161:

Along with the 51st, this [Psalm 130] was the peculiar delight of Luther; for these two, in the Old Testament, approach nearest to his favourite text, Rom. iii.24; through which, as he says, he saw the gate of heaven opening wide before him. One of his great psalm-hymns, which penetrated to the heart of the German people, was formed on this 130th: 'Aus tiefer noth schrei ich zu Dir' -- 'Lord, from the depths to thee I cry.' If the 46th furnished the major, this gave the minor key among the sacred songs of Germany. It was written in 1524, and has its history. On the 6th of May of the same year, a poor old weaver sang it through the streets of Magdeburg, and offered it for sale at a price that suited the poorest. He was cast into prison by the burgomaster; but 200 citizens marched to the town hall, and would not leave until he was released. Psalms and music were chosen weapons of the time. The song returned into Luther's own heart. During the Augsburg Diet, when he was at the castle of Coburg, and had to suffer much from inward and outward trials, he fell into a swoon. On awaking from it he said, 'Come, and in defiance of the devil, let us sing the psalm, "Lord, from the depths to thee I cry." Let us sing it in full chorus, and extol and praise God.' In the first days of the Reform, along with the 51st, it was frequently employed as a funeral song. It was sung at the interment of Frederick the Wise, the staunch friend and protector of Luther, in 1525. -- When the body of Luther was on its way from Eisleben, where he died, to Wittenberg, where he lies beside Melancthon and the two great Electors, Frederick and John, it remained a night in Halle, 20th February 1546, in the Lieb frauen Kirche, of which his bosom friend, Justus Jonas, was minister. This psalm in Luther's version was given out by Jonas, and sung by the thousands who thronged and wept around the bier.


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John Owen wrote a well-known exposition of Psalm 130. The preface has this to say about its personal significance to Dr. Owen:

THE circumstances in which this Exposition of Psalm cxxx. originated are peculiarly interesting. Dr Owen himself, in a statement made to Mr Richard Davis, who ultimately became pastor of a church in Rowel, Northamptonshire, explains the occasion which led him to a very careful examination of the fourth verse in the psalm. Mr Davis, being under religious impressions, had sought a conference with Owen. In the course of the conversation, Dr Owen put the question, "Young man, pray in what manner do you think to go to God?" "Through the Mediator, sir," answered Mr Davis." That is easily said," replied the Doctor, "but I assure you it is another thing to go to God through the Mediator than many who make use of the expression are aware of. I myself preached Christ," he continued, "some years, when I had but very little, if any, experimental acquaintance with access to God through Christ; until the Lord was pleased to visit me with sore affliction, whereby I was brought to the mouth of the grave, and under which my soul was oppressed with horror and darkness; but God graciously relieved my spirit by a powerful application of Psalm cxxx. 4, 'But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared;' from whence I received special instruction, peace, and comfort, in drawing near to God through the Mediator, and preached thereupon immediately after my recovery." The incident to which he refers had occurred at an early period in his public life; and it is probable this Exposition is the substance of the discourses which he preached on his recovery from affliction, under the influence of enlivened faith in the mediation of Christ. We cannot wonder that the particular verse which had proved to Owen a spring of refreshment in a weary place, should receive prominent and prolonged consideration in this work. The exposition of it constitutes nearly three-fourths of the whole treatise. These facts, moreover, account for its prevailing character. It is hardly a specimen of pure commentary, so much as a series of discourses, with the verses of the psalm, and more especially the fourth verse, as the texts selected. The charge of prolixity and diffuseness, urged against this work, applies only if it be tried by the rules according to which we estimate the merits of a commentary. There are, for example, thirteen separate facts and arguments, illustrative of the great doctrine that there is forgiveness with God, each opening up very precious mines of thought and inquiry, but all of them out of place, at least in the length to which they extend, if viewed simply as the exposition of a verse. The reader bent on his own edification, rather than on judging of the work by the standard of a very rigid criticism, not unthankful for what of commentary proper it contains, will be happy that the author took a course leaving him free to indulge in that teeming opulence of evangelical illustration, and frequency of awakening appeals, which impart a distinctive character and peculiar interest to the work.
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