We live in a world full of suffering, heartache and wickedness. In astonishment some may ask: “Is there any hope?” YES! There is an everlasting hope. You can find peace. A follow up question might be: “Where can we find this hope?” The answer is found in His Word! In fact, in our text for today we read: “In His Word I do hope” (Ps. 130:5).
Psalm 130 is one of the “Songs of Ascents.” It was sung by the crowd on the way up the mountain to worship God in the temple. It contains at least four major thoughts by the psalmist: (1) A Plea For God’s Attention (vs. 1-2), (2) A Plea For God’s Mercy (vs. 3-4), (3) A Plea For God’s Strength (vs. 5-6), and (4) A Plea For God’s Hope (vs. 7-8).
First, let’s focus our thoughts on those last two verses. “Oh Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities” (vs. 7-8). The psalmist is adamant that God hears his voice (v. 1), is attentive to his prayers (v. 2), is against those who miss the mark (v. 3) and that the Lord must be feared (v. 4). There is a direct challenge to the reader, or in this case the singer(s), to reconcile with God if they are to find hope. Only in the Lord will they find forgiveness (v. 4), hope (vs. 5, 7) and redemption (vs. 7-8). The psalmist presents the problem and the solution. But let’s dig deeper.
There is a tremendous problem with the world. It is full of iniquity. The psalmist offers the solution, which is “waiting on the Lord.” In other words, God can and will make it right in His time. The real tragedy is not the sin, trial or circumstance… it is the way we deal with that problem. As early as the Garden of Eden we see the consequences of sin. It is clearly evident that God expected this in the Garden and a plan was immediately put into action (Gen. 3:15).
The earth itself is cursed because of man’s sin (Gen. 3). It is only in light of the sinless Garden of Eden that we can get a taste of the eternal things (Rev. 21-22). This was God’s plan. For a brief time, there was no evil, no death, no pain, no tragedy, and no tears. It was a perfect environment. The sinfulness of man corrupted the earth. This happens twice! The second time was with the story of Noah (Gen. 6-8). Yet, as we continue to read the Bible we learn that God continues to make promises to humanity to provide a resolution. His word brings hope.
Have you ever wondered why the Bible begins this way? Why not start with an explanation as to why God decided to create man? Or maybe even why God exists? Inquiring minds want to know an answer. Instead the Bible begins with a vision of Paradise, the fall of man, and a promise to redeem man. The greatest promise of God is that He will one day recreate the perfect environment that He intended for us to have from the beginning. Once again, there will no more evil, no death, no pain, no tragedy, and no tears. However, Heaven will be infinitely better than the garden of Eden! In Heaven we will no longer have an opportunity to sin, Satan will be vanquished, and we will have an understanding of the grace-filled redemption Christ completed on our behalf. One eternal day God will dwell among us as He did with Adam and Eve.
The simple reason why the Bible begins with the fall of humanity is so that we might see that there has been hope since the beginning. From the very first story, and the first family, sin wreaks havoc on humanity. They lived in a perfect environment, yet they sinned anyway. Perhaps “the fall” sounds almost accidental, as though somebody tripped and fell head over heels into sin. As the story makes clear, however, Adam and Eve deliberately chose their path. The rest of us have followed in their footsteps. We willfully sin and are given the same condemnation (Rom. 3:23, 6:23). Story after story in the Bible we see records of the failings of humanity. However, the story changes in the New Testament when we learn about Jesus. He came to break the curse! He died so that we might find hope. If we are willing to hear the gospel (Rom. 10:17, John 8:32), believe the gospel message (Heb. 11:6, John 20:31), repent of our past sins (Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30), confess our faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:10, Matt. 10:32), and be baptized into Christ for the remission of sins (Gal. 3:27, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38), we can be saved and have that hope. At the conclusion of a faithful life we can receive our reward (Matt. 25:21, 2 Tim. 4:6-8, Rev. 2:10).
In truth, the Bible begins and ends with a message of hope. With each successive story from Genesis to Revelation we see God’s repeated faithfulness to redeem helpless and hopeless humanity. The cycle of sin continues on every page but praise be to God that in Him we have an everlasting hope (Eph. 2:8-10, I John 5:13-14). This is one primary reason why God has given us His word as a schoolmaster/tutor (Gal. 3:24). When we look around in our world full of sin, we can open the Bible and find a message of hope.
We want hope. We seek to find it. If you lost hope, have it restored. If you don’t have hope, seek it. If you have hope, share it. The world needs more hope and God provides the story of everlasting hope in His Word. Like the psalmist says, “In His Word I do hope” (Ps. 130:5).