Devotion: 2015-06-02

Honor the One who Forgives Sin

Psalm 130

I remember you.
I remember that your body was broken.
I remember that your blood was spilt.
And I remember that you didn’t have to do it.
The Tenth Song, Adam Again

Psalm 130 is a psalm of assents, a psalm meant to be sung as worshipers approached the Temple in Jerusalem.  It was an ancient “introit,” Latin for “entrance,” or if you will an ancient entrance hymn.  Most modern LCMS liturgies now begin with an order of confession and absolution, and this ancient psalm echoes that practice.  “If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?” (Psalm 130:3).  But the Lord is respected and honored – “feared” – precisely because with him there is forgiveness.

The descendants of Jacob in the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were sent into exile in the early 6th century BC.  The reason for this was their refusal to turn to the Lord as the God who saved them, as the God who wanted to cover their sins and forget them (2 Kings 17:38-39).  Of all the statutes God gave through Moses, the call to turn to the Lord and to him alone for salvation was the most important.  It was Israel’s attempt to find forgiveness and mercy elsewhere that caused their exile.

In the same way, the Lord would have us know him as the God who forgives, who desires that we turn to him to find grace.  Now the promises made in this psalm have been fulfilled in Jesus, who took our sins into himself on the cross and delivered us from them.  We can truly say with the psalmist, “with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption” – he has redeemed Israel from all his iniquities.