The following is by Kyle M. Yates, Studies in Psalms, (Out of print long ago) Broadman Press, Nashville, Tennessee 1953 p. 80-83
PLENTEOUS REDEMPTION (PSALM 130)
Here we find one of the delightful bits of poetry that has been selected by Luther as among his four choice psalms. He declares that this psalm is one that most nearly approaches the Pauline standard. It deals with a New Testament subject and reveals truths that are strangely like the New Testament message.
During the Welsh revival one of the great preachers translated verse 4. “There is forgiveness with Thee, enough to frighten us.” That might well be the theme psalm of this study, “There is forgiveness with Thee, enough to frighten us.” In this little poem the author pictures himself as desperately hounded by sin and by danger and by the imminent approach of certain destruction. He realizes how utterly helpless he is and how hopeless his situation is.
In the midst of that danger and that realization the psalmist is suddenly confronted by the fact that a Redeemer is coming. Joy should fill his soul, but instead he is frightened almost past recognition as he realizes that the One who is coming as Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel and that he is the One who keeps the books and knows the heart of the sinner and cannot look upon sin with any degree of allowance.
The psalmist utters fearfully, “If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?:
It is a sobering thought to realize that our lives, so utterly out-of-tune with God and so completely twisted and warped by sin’s power, must present a terrible picture as the holy God looks upon them. We have been adept in the art of rationalization that God sees us in our worst state. He knows without question all of these sins and understands how vile the human heart is. Since he is the Holy One, how can a sinner stand before him and how can one who is thus defiled hope to have forgiveness or cleansing or restoration to his presence?
The psalmist begins by praying with all the fervor of his heart that God would forgive. He knows that it is his only hope. He understands that nothing that man can do will avail. He realizes that no ritual, no offering, no priestly work can do anything at all in relieving him of the sin which has him in its grip.
Suddenly the psalmist becomes aware, however of that marvelous thought that God has oceans of forgiveness, plenteous redemption, treasures of full forgiveness beyond description. No one else can, no one else will forgive. His only hope is in the hand of the One who is a forgiving God. David reaches almost to the New Testament level when he has revealed to him the assurance that God is a God of forgiveness and of plenteous mercy. He is aware that love always finds a way, that even as Hosea made it possible for his wayward wife to be brought back with full forgiveness, so would the eternal Lover provide the price and extend the forgiveness that Israel needed.
David knows perfectly well that he himself needs this forgiveness. Calmed and reassured in his hour of agony, he reaches out his trembling hand for the hand of the One who would lift him out of sin and out of despair into the glorious sunlight of forgiveness and cleansing and restoration.
John Newton knew the sublime truth and recorded something of its riches in his immortal hymn:
Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost , but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
When the psalmist has given expression to his confession of sin and his cry for forgiveness and the faith that is in his heart as he nestles in the arms of the Good Shepherd, he immediately becomes aware that underneath are the everlasting arms to undergird and to bless. His sins have been forgiven, his hours of misery and conscience prodding have ended, but he will need always about him the great arms of God. He realizes that he has One who can say, “My grace is sufficient for thee,” and that throughout his whole life he will be kept and guarded by that eternal Lover who has forgiven and saved him.
In the closing part of this great psalm David pictures himself as the forgiven sait, wholly anchored in a loving God, turning with joy to become an evangelist. He has found mercy and forgiveness and soul-satisfaction, the like of which he has never dreamed could exist. He is thrilled as he feels his feet on solid ground. Why not tell others of his matchless security? He knows the forgiving heart of his eternal Lover. He is immediately set to tell others so that they may know and experience this joy and come with the deepest satisfaction possible to human hearts. The old story of plenteous salvation for all is a story that will be his theme song all through his life. Plenteous redemption--what an arresting phrase! There is enough for all, enough for each, enough for me.’
Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound;
Make me, keep me pure within.
Thou of live the fountain art.
Freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart,
Rise to all eternity.
David has become aware of his presence in the arms of the Good Shepherd. He will always hold on to him and will be conscious as long as he lives, of the debt he owes the Good Shepherd as the everlasting arms are about him and ;the; forgiving love within him.
It will be our joy to continue telling the wondrous story of plenteous grace. As we witness, others will know and come to the fountain of life for cleansing.