Deep Calls Unto Deep

Many of us will be familiar with this verse from Psalm 42 but let’s dig into the first four words a bit.  

7  Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. Psalm 42:7 (NKJV)

Leading up to these four words the first five verses of Psalm 42 are basically an expression of both complaint and deep longing. We have a panting for water brooks, a thirsty soul, flowing tears and the writer, David, being mocked. We then transition to a ‘cast down’ soul. For those of us not familiar with the meaning of the image, David was drawing on his background as a shepherd. A ‘cast’ sheep is one that has rolled over on its back or side and due to pregnancy or heavy wool cannot get up. In this position it cannot right itself, like a turtle stuck on its back. Gas builds up in the stomach and the sheep will die if left in this condition. The sheep needs outside intervention.

It is in this despondent condition that in verse 6 David’s focus shifts.

6  O my God, my soul is cast down within me; Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, And from the heights of Hermon, From the Hill Mizar. Psalm 42:6 (NKJV)

Rather than wallowing in how he feels David shifts his focus from his feelings to his heavenly Father (he repeats this process again in the rest of the Psalm). This leads to him exclaiming, “Deep calls unto deep.” So let’s explore a bit of what that means.

We know is that deep things are not on the surface of the water. We need to go further down in and the scriptures tells us the Lord wants to search the inner depths in us.

27  The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the inner depths of his heart. Proverbs 20:27 (NKJV)

This is what David experienced. In the midst of his complaint, his ‘cast down’ state, the Father touched something deep within David and his perspective began to shift. This required both that the Father was involved and David was involved. Deep touched deep and hope was restored.

So, if we are in this state we can pour out our complaint and in the midst of pouring it out let us look to His heart, receive His touch and let Him shift our perspective.

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I have been walking with Jesus since 1985. I am currently retired from my career in the helping professions but still focused on ministering to others. I completed a Doctorate of Philosophy in Apologetics in September 2020.

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