Volume. XXIX, No. 22
Sunday, 30 November 2014


From The Pastors Heart: Wait for God (part 13)


Psalm 130:5-6, I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. 6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. This psalm has been known to us as one of the penitential psalms. Since the time when one of the renowned Old Testament scholars, Delitzsch, paid attention to this psalm, it has been a common understanding that [Martin] Luther ventured to classify it as Pauline in character, obviously because it stresses the thoughts that this great apostle specially emphasized (H. C. Leupold, Exposition of the Psalms, 902). The Wikipedia notes that Luther also paraphrased this psalm as his first attempt to make the psalms accessible to Protestant church services in German. It was likely in 1523 when it happened. He sent it to his friends to encourage them to write psalm-hymns to be used in German worship. There are two versions of this hymn: one in four stanzas and the other in five stanzas. The longer version expressed essential Reformation doctrines and was widely used at funerals including Luthers own on the 20th of February, 1546, in Halle. The hymn title in German was Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir, translated into English, From deep affliction I cry out to you or Out of the depths I cry to you. Johann Sebatian Bach also used the complete chorale of this hymn as the base of his chorale cantata with the same title. Ill give you a version of four stanzas for your reading as translated by Gracia Grindal as following: Out of the depths I cry to you; O Lord God, hear me calling. In-cline your ear to my distress in spite of my rebelling. Do not regard my sinful deeds. Send me the grace my spirit needs; without it I am nothing All things you send are full of grace; you crown our lives with favor. All our good works are done in vain without our Lord and Savior. We praise you for the gift of faith; you save us from the grip of death; our lives are in your keeping In you a-lone, O God, we hope, and not in our own merit. We rest our fears in your good word; up-hold our fainting spirit. Your promised mercy is my fort, my comfort, and my strong support; I wait for it with patience. My soul is waiting for you, Lord, as One who longs for morning; no watcher waits with greater hope than I for your returning. I hope as Israel in the Lord, who sends redemption through the Word. Praise God for grace and mercy! There are a few interesting features in this psalm. First, as mentioned before, it has been known as one of the penitential psalms (Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 106, 143). This psalm puts much focus on sin itself and not so much on the consequences of results of sin. Second, there are ample indications that it carries the Gospel message including forgiveness. Verses 3-4 say, If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? 4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. Thus Luther said, It treats of the chief article of doctrine necessary for salvation, namely, justification. There are also remarks of redemption in verses 7-8. Hence we need to read verses 5-6 once again to appreciate what the psalmist is talking about: I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. 6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. I need to point out two things quickly before moving into a deeper understanding of the psalm: (1) Hebrew words for wait and hope are synonyms, which indicates that there is an element of hope in waiting and vice versa. (2) Wait includes an idea of intense and eager waiting, not just casual and mindless waiting. The intensity of waiting is well described in verse 6. The psalmists waiting was more earnest and anxious than the watchmens waiting for the morning light. We may think of different kinds of watchmen. The first kind we may consider is military sentinels. The enemies are lurking here and there, and they are looking for opportunities to break into the city to conquer and devour its inhabitants. The watchmen must be alert, and they cannot hide their fear of the hidden enemies sudden attack. The enemies are hidden behind the curtains of darkness. The watchmen are longing to see the daybreak. Many of us have kept the side of our beloved ones sickbeds. At night, usually the sick tend to become even sicker. They seem to feel more pain at night. The watchmen for them are wishing that the dawning of the day may come soon. The psalmist frankly admits and confesses that he is in such a situation. Verse 1 says, Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. What depths is he talking about? It so happens that the usage of this word is confined to the figure of a man who is caught in dangerous and deep waters (cf. Psalm 40:2; 69:2, 14; Isaiah 51:10; Ezekiel 27:34). It may include every conceivably dangerous situation we may face physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Though the psalmist does not specify one particular situation as a reference to his situation, one thing is sure: he is in an extremely difficult situation. He cries out to the Lord out of the depths, which means that he is in such depths at the present moment. He is completely overwhelmed by the situation. Though we do not know a particular situation he is involved with, we know that his precarious and dangerous situation has been brought to him because of his sins. He speaks about iniquities and forgiveness together in this psalm. Two facts are established: he has sinned and needs forgiveness. In such a spiritual condition, he does not depend on his own resources but gives himself to a complete resignation. There is no one who can stand before God (verse 3). Thus, he waits by hoping in His word [of promise] as in verse 4. He rests on God and His promises. Then based on His Word, he is waiting for God. I found an interesting absence of the result of his waiting in this psalm. The psalmist speaks of his waiting and hoping for God, but he does not talk about the end results of his prayers. The psalm does not say whether he is forgiven or delivered from his afflictions. After all, what matters to him is that he trusts in the Lord as the object of his faith and subsequently waits and hopes for His deliverance or forgiveness. We ought to be reminded that the psalmist was a worshiper of God. However, it did not mean that he was perfect by any means. He was in trouble because of his uncleanness before God. He was in the depth of afflictions. He knew that there was no other way to resolve his issues but to wait for God. Let us recognize that there are times when we must humbly bow before God only in faith and wait for Him. Lovingly, Your Pastor

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster - Leader: Today: Bro Edwin DMello. Next Lords Day: Bro Phil Surman. *Please note: For Mini-Christmas Concert practice times, please refer to insert. *Mini-concert helpers needed on the day for ushering, BBQ, housekeeping, etc. If you are able to help, please let either Dn Wai Kin Wong or Deaconess Purdee Yeo know. *Christmas gifts & cards available at the Bookstore. *No Adult Sunday School until mid-Feb, 2015. *No Wednesday Bible Study & Tiny Tots Sing-a-long until Jan, 2015. *Flyers for the Mini-Christmas Concert available. Please invite your family, relatives & friends. Praise & Thanksgiving Journey mercies: Sisters Megan Lim & Agnes See (Spore); & others arriving safely at their destinations. Church activities in the past week. Visitors & new worshippers. Gods daily mercy, guidance & blessings. Completion of Year 12 and University exams. Thanksgiving Health & Gods healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (Spore); Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Rev George van Buuren; Grandpa Ki (Spore); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bros Herbert (Dilly) Anderson (Kenya), Raymond Angs father (Spore), Surish Dharmalingam (Laos), Elton Law, Kang Fun Tan (Sis Felicias father - Spore) & Jason Teng; Sisters Margaret Hooper, Myung Ki, Grace Gans father (healing), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Margaret Pearson, Christabelle Selvanayagam, Iris Surmans brother, Corinne Teng, Susan Weng & Mavis Wongs mother (salvation & healing); Mr Swee Liang Ng; Mr Mang Soo Ong; Bro Peng Cheong Wong; Mr Lucas Lee; Mr Tony Zhang; Mrs Maggie DMello (Mumbai); & others in affliction. Special Prayer: Rev Patrick Tan (Spore); Sisters Yvonne Kam (injury) & May Zhang (Post-surgery). Gods strength, guidance & provision: Sis Wol Hee Kim & her two daughters (S Korea). Chemotherapy: Sis Queenie Lau (Canberra). iSketch & Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim. Cambodia Missions - Rev Srun Chivan & Ministry (Sihanoukville); Bro Chanthon & Ministry (Siem Reap). Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry; Filadefia BPC; orphanage, kindergarten & school. New Life BPC (London) - strength & encouragement for congregation; Resident Preacher Mok - UK visa application. Providence B-P Church, Ingle Farm - Ps David & Sis Susan Weng, & congregation. Youth & Assistant Pastor for Hope B-P Church. Journey mercies: Rev Alfred & Sis Ruth Ngoma & family (Zambia); Bro Pirun Pech (USA); Sister Mariam Atijatuporn & Jayden (Thailand); & others travelling. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin. Believers under persecution in Islamic & Communist countries. Jobs: Those seeking for jobs in Adelaide.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063