This is one of the psalms called songs of ascent.
The pilgrims, Jewish men, would sing while ascending the hill of the Lord as they came to worship at the temple at Jerusalem during the three festival seasons.
I. ACKNOWLEDGING THE GUILT (Verses 1-3)
A. A Deep cry from the depths of the heart
C. S. Lewis once said that “When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less.”
These pilgrims were going to the holy temple – all gripped with fear and guilt to go before a holy God.
B. A deep cry for MERCY
No one can stand in God's presence because of the magnitude of one’s own sins.
There is no real consciousness of sin today because many eliminate God from their thinking and lost the consciousness of sin in their hearts.
God is omniscient and He knows every thought before a person thinks or speaks or does.
Unless the person is forgiven and redeem by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ he/she is doomed forever because God keep all the records of the sinner whose sins were never forgiven.
The salvation is one time experience of the forgiveness of sin by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The forgiveness the pilgrim is talking about is different from salvation experience.
Every time a forgiven sinner approaches a Holy God he/she needs forgiveness
II. AWARENESS OF FORGIVENESS (Verses 4-8)
A. Forgiveness leads to fear of the Lord
Once tasted the forgiveness, the forgiven sinner fears the Lord most and worships HIM.
The more we are aware of a holy God the more we are constrained by our sinful nature.
So we go before HIM with trembling and fear and worship HIM.
B. Wait and Hope in the Lord
The word of God declares there is a way out, a way of salvation, and that there is hope for every sinner.
Creation does not declare this fact that God forgives our sins.
Initially God revealed it through HIS prophets and finally through HIS Son, Jesus Christ.
God planned this salvation before anything HE created in the world.
So this forgiveness (gift of salvation) is limitless, ageless, immediate, eternal and irreversible for all who accept the gift of salvation through Lord Jesus Christ.
C. An anticipation of brand new morning
The main idea is as the night watchmen look forward to another day the repenting sinner can hope expectantly and with certainty.
D. Redemption for all
When we are in the depths of guilt and despair we have experienced God’s forgiveness.
We want others to experience the same forgiveness of sins.
The basis for our hope is God's unfailing love and kindness.
The pilgrim says that no matter how great our sin is God’s redemption is so vast and huge.
The journey to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem points one’s own sinful and miserable condition.
It was the time for them to reflect upon it once again and seek God’s forgiveness.
It was the time for them to draw close to a Holy God in preparation for a corporate worship.
It was like stepping into a bright new morning after a dark night of burdensome sin.
The pilgrim prepared his soul during the journey to the temple in Jerusalem.
So also every Christian has to prepare for the corporate worship even before coming to Church.
The pilgrim is telling us never to lose the sight of a Holy God.