The Depths

__________Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!
_________________O Lord, hear my voice!
__________Let your ears be attentive
_________________to the voice of my pleas for mercy! (Psalm 130:1-2)

The depths are mentioned 24 times throughout the Bible in a variety of different contexts, most prominently in the book of Psalms.  They are often  poetically associated with sin, misery, despair and profound need.

I thought of the Bible’s use of the word depths when I saw these incredible pictures from the January 2011 issue of National Geographic.

A half-mile block of 40-story buildings could fit inside this lit stretch of the Hang Son Doong Cave in Vietnam, which may be the world’s biggest subterranean passage.

Images like these can enhance our appreciation of the poetic language of the Bible.  For instance, in Psalm 71:19-20, praise is given to God as perfect deliverer:

__________Your righteousness, O God,
_________________reaches the high heavens.
__________You who have done great things,
_________________O God, who is like you?
__________You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
_________________will revive me again;
__________from the depths of the earth
_________________you will bring me up again.

In Psalm 95:1-6 there is a call to worship:

__________Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
_________________let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
__________Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
_________________let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
__________For the LORD is a great God,
_________________and a great King above all gods.
__________In his hand are the depths of the earth;
_________________the heights of the mountains are his also.
__________The sea is his, for he made it,
_________________and his hands formed the dry land.
__________Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
_________________let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!

In 1 Corinthians 2:6-10, the apostle Paul provides this fascinating insight:

Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away.  But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.  None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.  For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
What an awesome and mighty God we serve!

More from the January 2011 issue of National Geographic.

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