The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 130

Posted by Dim Bulb on October 5, 2013


THIS is the sixth of the Penitential Psalms. It is the prayer of one who cries to the Lord from out of the depths of wretchedness. Whether that wretchedness is primarily the wretchedness of the nation Israel, or the misery of an individual, the psalmist is conscious that it is due to sin, and the psalm is a humble acknowledgment of guilt. The psalmist does not ask for help or vengeance against enemies, but only for forgiveness of his sins. He knows that he does not deserve pardon, but if the Lord were to remember men’s sins, who could expect to escape destruction? God is no strict creditor; with Him dwells forgiveness rather than justice. Moreover, God has proclaimed Himself in His Law a God of mercy and forgiveness, and in that Law, therefore, the psalmist puts his trust. Knowing that forgiveness must, then, eventually be graciously granted, the psalmist will wait and watch eagerly for the tokens of its coming—more eagerly than the weary night-watcher looks for the dawn. Let Israel, too, wait trustingly for the pardon of its sins—for loving-kindness and plenteous redemption are with the Lord.

From 2 Chron 6:40 we can see that this psalm was known to the author of Chronicles: it must, therefore, have existed in the fourth century, B.C.

2 Responses to “Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 130”

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