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A Song of Corporate Worship

This entry is part 3 of 13 in the series

"Out of the Depths"

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Last week in our discussion of Psalm 130 for today, we saw that this is one of seven of the penitential psalms, psalms that express repentance from sin and a call to God for mercy.

Yet this is not simply an expression of individual repentance; this psalm is meant to be used in the context of the community of God’s people. As the opening inscription indicates, Psalm 130 is a “Song of Ascent.” That is, it was a psalm sung as the Jews traveled toward Jerusalem for one of the three major feasts, Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. Not only that, portions of Psalm 130 were included as part of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of Temple. Second Chronicles 6:40–42 is composed from verses 2 and 8 of Psalm 130. This shows that Psalm 130 is not just an expression of personal repentance, it is meant to be used in the context of the corporate worship of God’s people.

And this point is made clear in the final stanza of the psalm, verses 7‑8. After crying out to the Lord for mercy, after confessing his sin and finding hope and assurance in the forgiveness promised to him by God, the psalmist turns his attention to the corporate body. He admonishes the whole congregation, Hope in the Lord! With the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him in plentiful redemption. He will redeem all of his people from their iniquities.

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About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.