Forgiveness, Who Needs It?


LORD, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?

~Psalm 130:3, NLT


The only way to cover sin is to uncover sin: confess it to Christ our Redeemer.

~Richard Sibbes

Psalm 130 is the sixth of seven penitential Psalms and the eleventh of 15 ascent Psalms. The author is unknown but it sounds a lot like David. It contains some wonderful theology. Psalm 130 was to John Wesley what Romans 1 was to Martin Luther, the scripture that lead to his conversion. It contains four graphic metaphors or word pictures. The first picture is a man drowning at sea; the second is of a guilty man in a courtroom; the third is that of a watchman or sentry in a watch tower and the last is that of a slave at an auction. Who needs forgiveness? Everyone!

  1. A DROWNING MAN, IN OVER HIS HEAD. A drowning man is a desperate man and a desperate man is a praying man crying out for help. Peter knew the feeling and he prayed this simple prayer, “LORD save me.” The sea that the Psalmist is drowning in is not water, nor grace: he is drowning in sin, shame and despair. Sin is pulling him down. Sin is overwhelming him. His sin is bigger than life: it is an intimidating force pulling him toward his own destruction. He realizes that his sin will destroy him and he cries out for help.
  2. A GUILTY MAN IN A COURTROOM, CONDEMNED TO DIE. The Psalmist realizes that God the righteous Judge is holy and he stands condemned by his sin. If God kept a record of all his sins, he had no chance of salvation. God does keep records. We are accountable for our sin and our bill is far greater than we can pay. Some people believe that we have to deal with our sins personally one sin at a time. Some believe that all sin must be confessed or else any one particular sin can be our undoing. This is insane: it is stinking thinking, horrible theology. First, you are not aware of all your sins. Second, your sins are not atoned for by your repentance, how dare you think so highly of yourself. There is only one remedy for sin and that is judgment. Sin deserves to die. The solution is to execute sin which God did in Christ on the cross. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that blots our our record of sin.
  3. A SENTRY IN A TOWER, WAITING FOR LIGHT. Since sin is overwhelming and intimidating, a problem far too big for us to solve, we wait on the LORD. The night can be long for a sentry; it was natural for them to pray for dawn. The sentry has a lonely job, while the entire city sleeps, he guards the city. Everyone is depending on him, lives are in the balance. He breathes a sigh of relief when the sun comes up. There is a lot of waiting to the Christian life. At this point we cannot see clearly. We are merely seeing shadows of heavenly realities but when Jesus comes, we are going to see clearly.
  4. A SLAVE AT AN AUCTION, HOPING TO BE REDEEMED. Sin is dark like the night, deep and overwhelming like the sea, intimidating like the courtroom but it is also enslaving. Slaves had no hope other than redemption from a third party. Gomer, the unfaithful wife of Hosea lost her freedom and was forced into slavery. Practically every town of any size had a slave block were slaves were auctioned. It was very common in the Old Testament. Hosea found his adulterous wife at a slave auction: Her harlotry had cost her freedom and now she was a helpless and hopeless slave. Some would say, “she got what she deserved.” When Hosea saw her, his heart melted, he had compassion on this wretched woman. He had to pawn his groceries to pull it off but he dug deep in his pockets and bought his wife’s freedom. He redeemed her from slavery. It is not enough to repent: you can repent from now until Jesus comes but you need a redeemer. Call on Jesus, your go’el {Kinsman Redeemer}, He and He alone can save us from out sins.


Bill Wood

Bill Wood
Tunnel Rat

My policy has been to feature the deceased vets but I’m going to make an exception with Bill because he is exceptional. Bill was a tunnel rat, he went down into tunnels head first with only a pistol. They would have had to have shot me before I would have went in head first or even feet first. What is wrong with dropping a hand grenade in the hole, or two or three grenades. Bill is an anomaly, an aberration, a normal man would not have the courage to stick they head in a hole filled with Viet Cong. Bill is rarity in other ways. You don’t see many Viet Nam vets that are not messed up. The war got to most of them: the ones who did return had trouble assimilating back in to the culture. Bill is a successful business man. He is anything but a victim. You will not here him whine and complain. He may be short in statue but don’t let that fool you, he is a giant when it comes character and courage. Honor to whom honor is due: we salute Bill Wood, my hero and friend.



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