Psalm 130: From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee

(8 verses, :45 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • Known historically by its Latin title, De Profundis (‘from the depths’), Psalm 130 is one of the penitential psalms.


  • vv. 1-2 addresses this prayer to God.
  • vv. 3-4 is an appeal to God’s promise to forgive sin.
  • vv. 5-6 is waiting for the Lord to bring redemption.
  • vv. 7-8 is a proclamation of the Gospel to all the faithful.


  • From this psalm, we learn how to view sin aright: it is as if our sin has cast us into a deep pit. This is certainly the case. The psalms often speak of being in a pit–an image closely associated with hell itself. There are times in this mortal life where our sins overcome us to the point that it seems as if God is very far from us.
  • In this psalm, a few of God’s gracious promises are highlighted for us. First, God promises to hear our prayers for the sake of Jesus (vv. 1-2, 50:15, John 14:13-14, etc.). As the introduction of the Lord’s Prayer reminds us, “God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear father.”
  • Second, we also see that God remembers our sins no more–also for the sake of Jesus and His holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death (vv.3-4, Isaiah 43:25, Luke 24:46-47, etc.). As we pray in the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look at our sins, or deny our prayer because of them. We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment. So we too will gladly do good to those who sin against us.”
  • These hinge on God’s steadfast love and redemption, which are found in Christ and His Person and work for us miserable sinners. What comfort to know that our God is not out to destroy us, but is a good of mercy and forgiveness.


  • Luther famously penned a hymn based on this psalm. You can find a video with lyrics here:
  • A bible study on Psalm 13o can be found here:

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

-Rev. Jordan McKinley, pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church, Vallonia, IN

Learn more about Trinity:
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