March 31, 2017

The wind is howling, darkness abounds, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. If you’re from the Midwest, it’s probably easy to understand why hardships in life are often called the “winter season”. It’s dark, bitter, brutally cold, and—at times—sad. As I read Psalm 130, it made me think of that winter comparison. “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.” When you’re in this season of life, you’re begging God to deliver you from the hardship, begging for the warmth and joy to return.

As the Psalmist continues, the mood begins to shift. He is eagerly waiting on the Lord to deliver him from his darkness. There is a newfound hope and expectation. As winter progresses, the hope of spring is budding. And on the horizon is new life and a fresh beginning.

In verse 6 of the Psalm, you will see that the phrase “more than watchmen wait for the morning” is used twice. I have always been told that if something is repeated in Scripture, you should take note. So is there significance in this phrase? Envision a guard who is just getting finished with his night shift. He has been the only one awake during the night, keeping the city safe from any attacks. Now, imagine how eager this watchman would be to see the first beams of light on the horizon. With that first glimpse of light, the watchman knows that his shift is over and he has successfully completed his job. The stress of the night is over. Since the psalmist repeats the phrase twice, it would seem that he wants the reader to understand that he is waiting on the Lord even more eagerly than this watchman would look for those first rays of sunshine.

The Lord is the only hope; the only way to deliverance. At the end of the Psalm 130, the psalmist calls Israel to put their “hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.” There is no other person that can offer the hope and full redemption that the Lord can.

Just as we know that spring will come each year, we can be assured that the Lord will redeem. As we wait for that redemption, we can have hope in the ultimate redemption when the Lord will establish His new kingdom on earth.

About the Author
  • Julie Geleynse serves as the Executive Assistant for Student Services at Dordt University. She lives in Sioux Center, IA, with her husband Trent.

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