Tabletalk Subscription
You have {{ remainingArticles }} free {{ counterWords }} remaining.You've accessed all your free articles.
Unlock the Archives for Free

Request your free, three-month trial to Tabletalk magazine. You’ll receive the print issue monthly and gain immediate digital access to decades of archives. This trial is risk-free. No credit card required.

Try Tabletalk Now

Already receive Tabletalk magazine every month?

Verify your email address to gain unlimited access.

{{ error }}Need help?

Psalm 130

“O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities” (Ps. 130:7–8).

God is the great Deliverer and Redeemer who is eager to save sinners from exile — the condition of being cast out from His gracious presence. This is typified in many ways under the old covenant, wherein we see that the only way to escape exile is to turn from sin and rely on the mighty arm of the Lord alone. Moses was told that God Himself would save the Israelites from bondage (Ex. 6:1–8), and our Creator continues to be the only one who can rescue us from the cruel masters of sin and death. Under the new covenant, we better understand that this rescue is accomplished by Christ, who alone can be trusted to save us from the ultimate exile to the lake of fire (2 Tim. 1:8–10; Rev. 20:11–15), the exile that all other exiles in Scripture foreshadow.

The Word of God is indeed filled with many warnings about experiencing the ultimate exile of hell, for Scripture emphasizes the transcendent holiness of the Lord and how fallen people deserve death for violating His righteous standards. At the same time, we cannot forget that the Bible also emphasizes the power and willingness of God to save. He is, in fact, far better at saving than we are at sinning, and nothing can keep Him from saving those whom He has chosen.

Psalm 130 depicts this truth magnificently, recognizing that it is impossible for anyone to stand if the Lord holds even the smallest of sins against him (v. 3). But God in His grace has determined that His people should fear Him not only for His holiness but also for His forgiveness (v. 4). Our Creator delights to exercise His redemption because those who truly understand it know that God must extend His love without violating His righteousness. Only an all-powerful, wise Savior can do such a thing, being both just and the justifier of the ungodly (Rom. 3:21–26). Having committed Himself to redeeming His people, He has sworn to save them to the uttermost, and His oath binds Him to fulfill His Word (Gen. 15; Heb. 6:13–20; 7:25). John Calvin comments, “It is not to be doubted that God, who has it in his power to save by multiplied means, will prove himself the deliverer of the people whom he has chosen.”

Plentiful is the redemption of our Lord (Ps. 130:7), and so His salvation goes beyond the cleansing of our souls. His redemption also heals broken relationships, transforms societies, and will ultimately renew the entire universe.

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

Fundamentally, Christ saves us from the penalty and power of sin. Yet His deliverance does not stop there. Our Savior also delights to make all things new, empowering us to mend fences with others, bring joy where there was once despair, and make all that we do bring Him great glory. Though Jesus does not perfect our circumstances in this world, we should be able to see Him working to bring renewal to all areas of our lives.

For Further Study
  • Job 37:23–24
  • Psalm 31:19
  • Luke 7:36–50
  • Ephesians 3:20–21
Related Scripture
  • Psalms 130
  • Psalms

God the Deliverer

The Servant’s Ransom

Keep Reading Overcoming Apathy: Mercy Ministry in Word and Deed

From the December 2010 Issue
Dec 2010 Issue