By Henry Law
The essence of the Gospel pervades this hymn. Sin is seen in its odious character. Its due penalties are acknowledged. But forgiveness is proclaimed as leading to reverential sense of God's holiness. The soul waits for the Lord, who is rich in mercy and redeeming love, and ready to blot out every iniquity.
1-2. "Out of the depths have I cried to You, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice; let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications."
The speaker cries in deep sense of sin. Convinced by the Spirit of the appalling evil, he lies in the lowest depths of misery. All the billows of wrath seem to be passing over him. There is no shadow of help but in God. With earnest cries he lifts up the supplicating voice.
3. "If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?"
Confession is made of utter ruin. Our natural state is a mass of evil. Thus in ourselves we stand justly exposed to all wrath. Let us continually pray, Enter not into judgment with your servant, O Lord, for in Your sight shall no man living be justified.
4. "But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared."
The mercy of mercies here shines forth. God appears glorious on redemption's throne. He has provided forgiveness in the cross of Calvary. Christ's precious blood washes out every stain of guilt. His righteousness covers all our transgressions. Who will not love and bless God! Those who love Him cannot but love His holy ways, and dread nothing more than to stray from the Gospel-rule.
5-6. "I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning; I say, more than those who watch for the morning."
The Lord has promised never to leave or forsake or forget His people. He will visit them with the plenitude of His lovingkindness. He will bless them with the multitude of His tender mercies. For these sweet manifestations the believer continually waits. He looks out from His watchtower as one watching for the morning, who knows that in the appointed time the welcome rays will illumine the eastern sky.
7-8. "Let Israel hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities."
In great mercy we are called to the full assurance, that our hope in God shall never be disappointed. Reality will surpass all expectation. Mercy sits beside Him on His throne, and ever loves to visit and cheer the ransomed people. The redemption decreed and accomplished is a cup which ever overflows. We cannot exhaust it. It is more than sufficient for all our need. Every sin shall disappear, and we shall be presented before the throne, holy and pure as our Lord is holy and pure. Happy are those who know the Gospel's joyful sound!