When the psalmist writes in 130:1, “out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;” he is speaking as someone who is utterly overwhelmed by life—and acutely aware of it. He is despondent, despairing, and desperate. He is “where death prevails instead of life as prospect and power” (Mays). He doesn’t need to get in touch with his authentic self, take up aromatherapy, have a getaway weekend, or apply any of the endless number of band-aids we are so famous for coming up with in order to avoid confronting spiritual realities. He needs something transcendent and he knows it. He needs God!
In particular, he needs God’s mercy—His undeserved rescue. The psalmist is fully cognizant of his sins, but he is just as aware that God is not a CPA of our shortcomings. He is not Someone who is preoccupied with detailing the myriad of ways we have failed and disappointed Him. His passion, heart, energy, and efforts are in working for our forgiveness and restoration. (I’m sure there’s a lesson for us somewhere in that).
This mercy provides the psalmist with the basis for believing he can endure the depths so he throws himself fully into waiting (“my whole being waits”). He waits for God and His deliverance “more than watchmen wait for morning.” It was the watchman’s job to be on guard until the morning. When morning arrived, he was done with his work but until it came, it was his job to watch and wait.
And there was never a night when the morning failed to come.
So disciples in the depths of distress don’t just wait—we wait in hope (v. 5). Waiting and hoping become treasured words of assurance for us because they are anchored in the Almighty and His “unfailing love.”
And the morning always comes!