130:0This is one of the ‘repentance psalms.’ ‘Repentance’ means to tell God that you are sorry for your sins. And you will try not to do them again. You do ‘sins’ when you ‘break God's rules.’ The other ‘repentance psalms’ are Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102 and 143. Christians often read them at the beginning of Lent. Lent is the 40 days before Easter.
In verses 1 and 2 are the words LORD and Lord. They are not the same in the Hebrew Bible. The Jews wrote the psalms in the Hebrew language. ‘LORD’ is a name for God that his people use. It is his covenant name. It is Yahweh in Hebrew. A covenant is when people agree to do something. Here, God agrees to give help to his people. His people agree to love and obey God. ‘Lord’ means ‘master’ or ‘someone with authority.’ It is Adonai in Hebrew. Here, it is another name for God.
Four important words in this psalm are:
Forgive: this does not only mean that God excuses us. He also put our sins on to Jesus when Jesus died on the cross.
Redeem: this means to ‘buy back.’ When Jesus died on the cross, he bought us back, or redeemed us, from Satan. Satan is God's enemy. He is not as powerful or strong as God is. Satan is not a god.
Stand: this means that when God forgives us, we can stand in front of him. He will not punish (hurt) us because of our sins.
In awe: this means ‘a bit afraid of someone that you love.’ We are ‘in awe’ of God because he is so great and powerful. But he does not frighten us. We know that he loves us. That is why he does not frighten us.
I Have Great Trouble
This is a song for climbing.
1 LORD, I am crying to you because I am in great trouble.
130:1Verse 1: A better translation of ‘I have great trouble’ is ‘I am in a deep place.’ This deep place is like a hole in the ground. The psalmist (the person that wrote the psalm) could not get out of the hole. The hole was not really a hole but it was the trouble all round him. Our sins mean great trouble for us. We should tell God that we are sorry. And we should ask him to forgive us.
2 Lord, listen to my voice.
Turn your ears to hear what I am saying to you.
130:2Verse 2: Both parts of this verse mean the same. ‘Turn your ears to hear’ is a Hebrew way to say ‘listen to my voice.’
3 LORD, if you make a note of sins, who will stand?
130:3Verse 3: ‘Nobody will stand’ because everybody sins (does wrong things)! Nobody will ‘stand’ before God. This means ‘nobody will tell God that they have not done wrong things.’
4 But you forgive people so that they are in awe of you.
130:4Verse 4: ‘In awe’ is a difficult idea. It means ‘afraid’, but it also means ‘loving’ at the same time! We are afraid of God because he is so powerful. But we love him because he is so kind to us.
5 I will wait for the LORD.
I will wait for him and hope in his word.
130:5Verse 5: ‘Wait’ means ‘love and obey God even when he seems to do nothing.’ This verse, and verse 6, are examples of ‘climbing.’ The psalmist says the same thing twice: the second time it ‘climbs’ on to the first time. Read the note at the start of Psalm 120 for what ‘song for climbing’ means. The psalmist is the person who wrote the psalm. ‘Hope’ means ‘wait for something good to happen.’ While we wait, it is good to read God's words in the Bible.
6 I want the Lord more than people want the morning to come,
more than people want the morning.
130:6Verse 6: People who are sad or ill want the morning to come. They want the morning to come when it is still night. The psalmist wants the Lord (God) more than this!
7 Israel, hope in the LORD,
because with the LORD there is kind love and a lot of redeeming.
8 He will redeem Israel from all his sins.
130:8Verses 7-8: ‘Redeemer’ is one of Jesus' names. The psalmist did not know this, but we do. When we read the psalm, we think of Jesus. He will ‘redeem Israel from all his sins.’ For Christians, Israel can mean everybody that loves God.