Our greatest difficulty in reading the Psalms is that we struggle to enter the Hebrew mind. This short piece sounds so much like David for its depth of passion, but there were others who caught the same fire for the Lord. In this short piece, we can catch a glimpse of that same path of devotion.
This song begins with recognition of our fallen nature. We live in the depths of delusion and sin; it is our natural state. But we were not made for this, and we know it instinctively, so we seek redemption, some small measure of restoration. From the depths of our cursed existence, we cry out to Jehovah. His court alone has jurisdiction for this sorrow. There is no other help, so we call to Him alone.
Should it be that God preserves the record of our failures, there would be no hope. No one but God is holy by nature. Yet in His holiness, forgiveness is also His nature. He blots out the record of our sins. The logic here is simple: If none are pardoned, then there is no one to give Him glory on the earth. For His divine justice to be apparent, for His fame and repute to live on the earth, there must be those who have been delivered by His justice and live to sing His praises.
The concept of “wait” in Hebrew here is binding together, of me wrapping my whole existence and welfare in His desires for me. What He reveals to me is life itself; His divine moral character is the fabric of existence. What He reveals is reality. Thus, there is no higher priority. Standing watch at night can be long and lonely, cold and exhausting, but a guard’s investment in relief at the dawn cannot compare to my depth of desire to know what God wants for me next.
And this passionate personal experience is not mine alone; it is the nature of our calling and covenant as the people of Jehovah. So the psalmist calls on his nation to join him in trusting Jehovah alone as the sole source of mercy. The Lord has more than enough redemption to cover every soul that calls on His name. Regardless how great our failures, He’s there to redeem it all.