I was reading in my bible study for this week a day or two ago and read over Psalm 130. I thought it was AMAZING. I thought about writing on it. Then, the next bible study was talking about Psalm 131 which focuses on not being too proud or talking about things that you know nothing about. So then I was like “aww, does that mean I shouldn’t blog about it?!”
But in the end, I just want to share it with you because I took something from it and I wanted to give you the same opportunity.
Out of the depths I call to You, LORD!
Lord, listen to my voice;
let Your ears be attentive
to my cry for help.
LORD, if You considered sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But with You there is forgiveness,
so that You may be revered.
I wait for the LORD; I wait,
and put my hope in His word.
I [wait] for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning—
more than watchmen for the morning.
Israel, put your hope in the LORD.
For there is faithful love with the LORD,
and with Him is redemption in abundance.
And He will redeem Israel
from all its sins.
This is one of the Psalms of Ascent, which is the Beth Moore Bible study I’m doing. Here is the part that struck me so strongly: the differences between LORD and Lord in this particular Psalm.
Words were powerful to the Israelites and there was specific meaning in each of them. When they say “LORD” they are using the Hebrew Yahweh, which references God when he made the covenant with Moses. It first appears in Exodus 6 as a memorial name of the covenant. So the Israelites used it when appealing to that aspect of God – not to imply that God had multiple personalities… more that God encompasses more than one character trait.
On the other side of the picture, when they say “Lord” they are referring to Adonay. I did a bit of research on this great site that has Strong’s built into it. So here’s what I learned: Adonay is an emphatic form of adown, which is lord, master, sovereign controller. So when the Israelites use that form of Lord, they’re emphasizing his sovereignty. They are appealing to God as master and ruler – as a King we can bring our petitions to. It first appeared in Genesis 15 when God comes to Abram and tells him not to be afraid and that his reward will be great… Abram’s response is “Lord God, what can you give me, since I am childless and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” I thought it was interesting that he used both Lord as well as God in his petition – he’s using Adonay Yhovih. Yhovih is a variation of Yhovah – the Jewish national name of God and it’s variation Yhovih used to follow Adonay since usually Yhovah is pronounced Adonay. He didn’t necessarily want to say it twice, but he wanted to appeal to God specifically as Adonay, the One who controls all. I think, in part, by using “Lord God” in the way that Abram did he was saying “God if anyone can address this situation it is you, as the ruler and master over all.”
I’m digressing, but I tend to do that when I dive into scripture like this because it’s so rich with meaning.
I’ll go back to Psalms 130. Where were we? Ah, yes! So this chapter is full of references to God in two different forms: Adonay and Yahweh.
Beth Moore, in her study, surmises that the psalmist used both terms to approach God with respect. I don’t disagree, but I think it’s much more rich then that. I think we’re seeing the psalmist appealing to both “traits” of God, for lack of better term. He’s saying: I need more than just the mercy. I need more than just the supreme ruler. I need all of You.
Anyways, at the end of every chapter we are supposed to “rewrite” the Psalm and make it more personal. I wanted to share what I did with you because I really tried to emphasize the differences between Lord and LORD. I hope you enjoy!
Psalm 130 (rewrite)
I call to you from my place of brokenness, O mighty Jehovah – covenant keeper.
Lord of Mercy, hear my heart’s sob and my soul’s anguish.
God of steadfastness and integrity, if you recorded my sins how could I stand in your mercy?
Your forgiveness teaches me of your mighty ways.
I will learn to wait on the God who is faithful and dependable.
I will wait on His faithfulness as I waited for my father to return from work –
Eagerly but with patience and understanding.
Brothers, sisters and loved ones, put your hope in the God of Israel who is steadfast in his promises, the same God who fills us with his mercy and redeems us. He, truly, will deliver us from the wickedness that plagues us.
This scripture appealed to me personally because it reminds me that the God I serve is not just the God who makes law and enforces it. He’s also the God of mercy who holds me as I weep, who forgives me for letting him down and disobeying him, and who is bigger than anything I can even start to fathom.
How awesome and amazing He is!