Confessions on Total Depravity, Part 1

This post and the following ones are written in the form of a confession: theology put to prayer. It is a prayer to God as I exegete his word. Because it is a prayer, I do not have exegetical details in the text. Please see each footnote for exegetical support.


Oh Lord, Yahweh God, King, Sovereign, Master—this, my fledgling prayer, I lift before you. It is weak in your presence. It is nothing before you. For I am nothing before you.

You, the God of the universe who created all things, who is the beginning and the end, who knows the end from the beginning, who deserves all praise and glory—You are so much greater than all who come before you.

The sons of God bow before your throne. Your messengers you send out like flaming fire. The angelic hosts march at your command. And your power and might are unstoppable. You have given the skies to them. And though some rebel, you still restrain them.

And who is man that you are mindful of him? The son of man that you even think of him? You have made him a little lower than the sons of God. But you have crowned him with the glory and honor of ruling the earth. You have made him chief over all earthly creatures. And he rules over your creation. Yet, we too have rebelled. And we have turned from your face.

And still, you created me. In my mother’s whom you knit me. You knew my inward parts. A mystery too great to comprehend. And from my youth, you have kept my tears in a bottle. You have known me. Yet, even among men, I am nothing. My life is insignificant. I am a boy not of noble birth, nor of high academic pedigree, nor of great business acumen, nor of great strength. I weak and despised vessel. And I too, with all the rest, have rebelled. I have turned my face from you.

But you have turned your face to shine on us. And on the sons of men, you cast your love. Your loved us even though we are sinners. And you sent your Son to die for us. He humbled himself to death, even the death of the cross. And with his resurrection, you raise us up—all those who believe in him. You give us new life in his name. You redeem us and justify us. You propitiate your own wrath. And you forgive all our trespasses.

Oh, how marvelous are your works! And my soul knows them very well! Oh, that all men should praise you! That all should glorify you! That all should stand in the congregation of the upright and sing to you!

Praise ye Yahweh! praise the Lord most holy,

Who cheers the contrite, girds with strength the weak!

Praise Him Who will with glory crown the lowly,

And with salvation beautify the meek.

Praise ye Yahweh! for His lovingkindness,

And all the tender mercy He hath shown;

Praise Him Who pardons all our sin and blindness,

And calls us sons, and takes us for His own.

Praise ye Yahweh! source of all our blessings:

Before His gifts earth’s richest boons wax dim;

Resting in Him, His peace and joy possessing,

All things are ours, for we have all in Him.

Praise ye the Father! God, the Lord, Who gave us,

With full and perfect love, His only Son;

Praise ye the Son! Who died Himself to save us;

Praise ye the Spirit! praise the Three in One!

Margaret Campbell

Oh Yahweh, how your praises have no end! How I long to sing them all the day long!

Part 2 of my confessions.

3 thoughts on “Confessions on Total Depravity, Part 1

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