I Have Great Trouble

Psalm 130

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 130


Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the *Hebrew Bible.

The notes explain some of the words with a *star by them. A word list at the end explains all the words that have a *star by them.

The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced Checking.


Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who work hard. And all of you who have heavy things to carry. And I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:29). (Jesus meant trouble and difficulty in this verse.)

Psalm 130

  (This is) a song for climbing.

v1   *LORD, I am crying to you because I am in great (trouble).

v2   *Lord, listen to my voice.
  Turn your ears to hear what I am saying to you.

v3   *LORD, if you make a note of *sins, who will stand?

v4   But you *forgive (people) so that they are *in awe of you.

v5   I will wait for the *LORD.
  I will wait for him and *hope in his word.

v6   I want the *Lord more than people want the morning to come,
  more than people want the morning.

v7   Israel, hope in the *LORD,
  because with the *LORD there is kind love and a lot of *redeeming.

v8   He will *redeem Israel from all his *sins.

The story of Psalm 130

This 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 Godís 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 Godís 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.

What Psalm 130 means

Verse 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.

Verse 2: Both parts of this verse mean the same. "Turn your ears to hear" is a *Hebrew way to say "listen to my voice".

Verse 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".

Verse 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.

Verse 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 Godís words in the Bible.

Verse 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!

Verses 7 - 8: "Redeemer" is one of Jesusí 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.

Something to do

1. Ask God to *forgive you. Then you will be sure that you will stand with all Godís people in *heaven. *Heaven is the home of God.

2. Read about the redeemer in the Book of Ruth.

Word List

covenant ~ two people have agreed what each should do (here, God and his people). Look in Psalm 120 about the covenant.

cross ~ a piece of wood that someone has fastened across another piece. People put Jesus on a cross to kill him.

Easter ~ Christians remember when Jesus died and became alive again at Easter.

forgive ~ excuse; God excused us when he gave our *sins for us to Jesus. God did this when Jesus died.

heaven ~ the home of God.

Hebrew ~ the language that the Jews spoke; they wrote the Psalms in Hebrew.

hope ~ wait for something good to happen.

in awe ~ a bit afraid of someone that you love.

Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.

Lord ~ someone with authority, here a name for God.

LORD ~ the covenant name for God (in a covenant you agree with someone).

psalmist ~ the person who wrote a psalm (or psalms).

punish ~ hurt someone because they have not obeyed the rules.

redeem ~ buy something back from someone.

repentance ~ to be sorry for doing wrong things, and to want not to do them again.

Satan ~ the leader of the bad *spirits. He is also called the Devil. He is the enemy of God.

sins ~ the things we do that break Godís rules.

spirits ~ they are alive, but we cannot see them. Good spirits are usually called angels. Bad spirits do not live in *heaven now, but in the air round us. *Satan is their leader. They are also called evil spirits, or demons.


© 1997-2004, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).

January 2004

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