I was reading Psalm 130 as I was working on planning for worship on the last Sunday of June and something just seemed to jump out at me towards the end of the psalm. In the Good News translation, the version of the Bible we have in our pews, the last two verses read like this:
"Israel, trust in the Lord, because his love is constant and he is always willing to save. He will save his people Israel from all their sins."
"He is always willing to save." Just a few words, one phrase in the midst of a psalm, but they are words that carried great meaning to the people that they were first written for. These words reminded the Israelites that whenever they turned from their sin and turned towards God they would find Him waiting for them, willing to forgive their sin. The Lord is a God who is always willing to save His people, and as the following sentence makes clear, when the Lord saves He does not save in part but in whole. He saves His people from all of their sins.
No matter how many sins there are. No matter how bad those sins may look from the viewpoint of the sinner. No matter how unforgivable any person may think that their sins make them. When they turn to the Lord in repentance, with a heart and mind that want to live with the Lord, the Lord forgives their sins. This was His promise, and God keeps His promises.
These words were first written for the Israelites, but they remain true today for all who call on the Lord. The psalm was a cry for help and it was written long before the life of Jesus but these words point forward and anticipate what God would be doing in His Son Jesus. They anticipate the grace and mercy that God would give to sinners through Jesus.
I know that I am writing this primarily for people who are inside the church. The people who read this in the church newsletter or on my blog are most likely Christians already. If that describes you then I am glad to be able to give you a reminder of the deep and wonderful grace that God has given you.
But…if you are a bit uncertain of your place with God, then I want to encourage you to turn toward Him and embrace Him. The promise of God in the psalm is a sure and certain promise. He will forgive your sin. Every last bit of it.
And for both groups I invite you to prayerfully seek God and ask Him whom you might share the precious word of His grace and mercy with. For God's desire to save sinners is news that is much too good to keep to ourselves.