“Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.” (Psalm 42:7)
One of my favorite hymns is “Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus”. We will refer to a stanza or two of it as we look at the amazing metaphors for God in Psalm 42. There are four water pictures in this psalm; water is often used a metaphor for the Spirit of God. The presence of God with us is exactly what the psalmist is longing for in this prayer.
Are you there? Feeling the need for more of Him? David begins the psalm telling us of his deep need for flowing streams. He is dry, worn out, empty; he is missing the main ingredient of life sustenance. He is missing communion with God (vs. 2) so he calls out for flowing streams. His soul is needy and wanting, the enemy has taken him away from times of great communion with God, times in the house of worship. Without those times of communion with God, our lives can seem like “dry beds.”
Maybe it is during those times that your heart is heavy and you are crying “tears of hurt; loneliness; pain; longing.” Depression can set in when we feel far away from and disconnected from God. Tears can also represent grieving for a lost relationship – If you are feeling disconnected from God, are you grieving that loss? David reflects on the sweetness of His times in the house of the Lord (vs. 4). What about you? Do you long for times with His people in the house of worship, and do you grieve the loss when you are kept from it? David did…
Waterfalls — I love waterfalls, they are powerful, refreshing and beautiful. They can also be dangerous if we don’t take them seriously and get too close – over we may go. David’s soul (Deep) is calling out to God (Deep) to the one who can keep us from the dangerous waterfalls and bring us to the powerful and refreshing ones. David is calling out to God to bring him back into that wonderful fellowship. Psalm 18:16 tells us that God comes running, reaching down, and drawing us out of deep waters that might consume. “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still” (Corrie Ten Boom).
Psalm 42:7B the metaphor of waves and breakers crashing around us is used. You know that feeling right? Like being in the ocean and you get hit by a wave that just takes your feet right out from under you. David is feeling like he has lost his footing, like life has just taken him out and he is feeling weak in comparison. He is calling for God to wash over him, to bring the waters of God back to him. David wants to be washed and carried away by God’s blessings and love.
There are two songs that really speak to the meaning of this psalm and the positive water images God desires for us to be bathed in. You may want to youtube them and listen. Here are the words.
All who are Thirsty
All who are thirsty All who are weak Come to the fountain Dip your heart in the stream of life Let the pain and the sorrow be washed away In the waves of his mercy as deep cries to deep. Come Lord Jesus come, Holy Spirit come, as deep cries to deep
Deep, Deep Love
O, the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free! Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me! Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore! How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore! How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own; How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best! ‘Tis an ocean full of blessings, ’tis a haven giving rest! O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me; And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!
The Good news – Hope will return, God will bring us back to him. We will find our Hope again, because God is right there with us. “By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life” (Psalm 42:8).
Are you thirsty and longing for His water? To be refreshed and saved from the dry beds and harsh waves of life? Draw unto Him, enter into His Holy temple, and remember to join in with the fellowship of His people in worship.
Dr. Lynne Jahns