PSALM 130*

Prayer for Pardon and Mercy

1A song of ascents.


Out of the depths* I call to you, LORD;

2Lord, hear my cry!

May your ears be attentive

to my cry for mercy.a

3If you, LORD, keep account of sins,

Lord, who can stand?b

4But with you is forgiveness

and so you are revered.*


5I wait for the LORD,

my soul waits

and I hope for his word.c

6My soul looks for the Lord

more than sentinels for daybreak.d

More than sentinels for daybreak,

7let Israel hope in the LORD,

For with the LORD is mercy,

with him is plenteous redemption,e

8And he will redeem Israel

from all its sins.f

* [Psalm 130] This lament, a Penitential Psalm, is the De profundis used in liturgical prayers for the faithful departed. In deep sorrow the psalmist cries to God (Ps 130:12), asking for mercy (Ps 130:34). The psalmist’s trust (Ps 130:56) becomes a model for the people (Ps 130:78).

* [130:1] The depths: Sheol here is a metaphor of total misery. Deep anguish makes the psalmist feel “like those descending to the pit” (Ps 143:7).

* [130:4] And so you are revered: the experience of God’s mercy leads one to a greater sense of God.

a. [130:2] Ps 5:23; 55:23; 86:6; Lam 3:5556; Jon 2:3.

b. [130:3] Na 1:6.

c. [130:5] Ps 119:81.

d. [130:6] Is 21:11; 26:9.

e. [130:7] Ps 86:15; 100:5; 103:8.

f. [130:8] Ps 25:22; Mt 1:21.

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