The Abyss

Abyss – n. (uh-bis) 1. a deep, immeasurable chasm; a hollow pit.  2. unending profound knowledge, enlightenment or understanding that keeps growing; endless, unfathomable, infinite.  

Deep calls unto deep. “I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over me. But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs; praying to God who gives me life.” Psalm 42:7-8 (NLT)

These two verses have captured my attention this week. When my husband & I married, we knew that we would be more effective together than we were apart. We know that God is going to use us as a team to calm the storms, so to speak, in the lives of others. We are seeking him daily as we follow his path for our lives. 

We have been through quite a bit in our first ten months of marriage. When we married, he was the associate pastor of a church where he had been for nine years and an administrator of a small private school. Only six short months into our marriage, due to unforeseen circumstances, the church and the school closed. It was not a total surprise, but it was an adjustment for him to go from full-time ministry and seek a position back in ‘the world.’ This doesn’t mean that our ministry is over, it has just been changed, redirected, and there are opportunities every day, if we see them. When we stop seeing our lives as a ministry, we have lost faith in God. I pray that never happens. There is always room to grow, develop, and learn more of God.

Sometimes when we face changes in our lives, it can seem like we are facing an abyss, a deep chasm. When we focus on the change and not the solution, we may become overwhelmed. It is in times like these, that we must step back, from our natural tendencies, and seek what God has in store for us. Every day is an opportunity to learn and grow, no matter what we are facing. When we grow or increase, God increases. We are the harbingers (messengers) of God, if we are following him. I hope that we reflect all that is good and loving, or we have missed the mark.

I would like to break these verses down into what I was seeing as I studied and reflected on them. There is so much beneath the surface; there are parallels, and insights if we only dig. An immediate & simple interpretation of the verses tell me that God is near us when the seas rage and wash over us, that in his unfailing love, he will pull us through. That is an awesome thought process by itself but I knew just from the first phrase, there was so much more to these verses. In the KJV, the phrase is ‘Deep calleth unto deep…’ 

In summary, I will explain in my own words what this passage means to me now:

“To obtain immeasurable knowledge, we must seek from an unfathomable source, and hear the Voice who calls to each of us. That source is God. The voice is springing forth from all who are a conduit of the Living Water. All the storms and trials will pass over me, not necessarily unscathed, but safe, covered protectively when I am following and looking to him as my sustenance, because he made a new covenant with me when the stone was rolled away. He finished it and sealed it with his death, burial, and resurrection. He has now passed the mantle to carry on the work he set forth. The Lord, the eternal one, the creator of the universe will enable me as a messenger to share His favor, mercy, and unchanging Love to all who will hear. As I am spreading his message, he will lavish me with His faithful love in the form of a protective cloud and a mighty pillar of fire which doesn’t go out in the darkest hours. His provision will allow me to provide for others through His abundance. He will give me His songs in great number, the songs of praise and thanksgiving with wisdom from an Almighty God, who is forever present throughout my life, like a springing well full of fresh and flowing water.” 

Prayer: Lord, help my abyss to be one of seeking your wisdom and knowledge for my life and not one of emptiness. Help me to share from your unending supply of living water. Help others to be drawn to your well deposited in me that their thirst might be quenched. Thank you for your unfailing love which carries me daily. Amen!

(Feel free to read the footnotes of my study below. The notes on these verses were brought together by using the Hebrew words and their meanings. In some footnotes, I have also included scriptures which use the same meaning of the word.) 

Psalm 42:7-8 “Deep[1] calleth unto deep at the noise[2] of thy waterspouts[3]: all thy waves[4] and thy billows[5] are gone over[6] me. Yet the Lord[7] will command[8] his lovingkindness[9] in the daytime[10], and in the night[11] his song[12] shall be with me, and my prayer[13] unto the God[14] of my life[15].”

[1] Deep = Hebrew – tehom: an abyss (something immeasurable or unfathomable); subterranean water, which comes from rock & is usually in the form of natural springs.

[2] Noise = H – qowl: voice, to call aloud (in the Garden of Eden, Adam & Eve heard ‘the voice’ walking Genesis 3:18); a trumpet sound “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8 “Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.” Isaiah 29:6

[3] Waterspouts = H – Tsinnuwr – water conduit; hollow culvert – we are hollow without Jesus, he replaces our emptiness with his water

[4] Waves = H – mishbar – breakers, billow, waves; Jonah 2:3 “For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.” (waves of death)

[5] Billows = H – gal – something rolled (stone at the tomb); heap of stones over a dead body or used to confirm a covenant (Genesis 31:48, Joshua 8:29 [king on a tree]; to do away with; spring Song of Songs 4:12

[6] Gone over = H – abar – to cover in an intimate way; to cross over; go beyond; set apart; call forth a sound; pass thru the veil, be purified, go into the promised land. Genesis 12:6 Abram passed thru to Canaan; 2 Kings 2:9 “And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.”; Esther 8:3 King Xerxes passed the mantle to Mordecai, to put away Haman’s evil which had been associated with his rule & passed it over to one who was worthy of leadership – Mordecai; Esther 9 Feast of Purim was to pass over from sorrow into joy

[7] Lord = H – YHVH Yahweh– eternal, unchanging, the existence of all life is derived from Him, the breath of life, the creator of the universe; His name was so revered under the old covenant that only the high priest uttered the name; a name so encompassing that it is difficult to interpret adequately.

[8] command = H – tsavah – send a messenger to carry out; to appoint; to ordain; to command Genesis 42:25 Joseph commanded to fill their sacks

[9] lovingkindness = H – checed – favor; devotion; loyalty; mercy; unchanging love. Isaiah 54:10 ““For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you.”

[10] daytime = H – yowmam – daily, following God daily. Psalm 78:14 “In the daytime he led them by a cloud, and all night by a pillar of fire.”

[11] night = H layil – nighttime as opposed to day; protective shadow. Proverbs 31:15 “She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.”

[12] song = H – shiyr – song. Psalm 69:30 “I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.” [Solomon wrote 1005 songs to the Lord]

[13] prayer = H – t@phillah – intercession, an appeal on behalf of another. Psalm 141:2 “Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”

[14] God = H – Almighty God, Immanuel, God with us.

[15] life = H – chay – living, flowing fresh water; life giving

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts, all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. Psalm 42:7-8

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2 thoughts on “The Abyss”

  1. Beautiful. I too tend to study using original langugage. It takes time, and it’s worth it in spades.

    Kimberly, your willingness to share this is so much appreciated. Thank you. For me, today I think one of the most significant thoughts you shared is, “When we focus on the change and not the solution, we may become overwhelmed.” It speaks to me deeply.


    1. Thank you Dianne! I agree, there has been so much lost in the transliteration. There are words and phrases in the original text which are inadequately conveyed in modern English. I’m sure there were sayings and phrases that had more meaning than we understand.


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