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

Love and Potential

(For those who follow my blog, sorry for my absence. I have been dealing with some health issues, but I am being restored! Praise God!)

Along with wisdom and knowledge, King Solomon also had Love & saw Potential!

He asked for wisdom and knowledge, but first he demonstrated love towards the people he was placed over to govern and he saw their potential. He also recognized they belonged to God. Dig deeper into 2 Chronicles 1:10…

“Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?”

He asks God for wisdom & knowledge to govern the people who belong to God!

God answers him in verses 11 & 12: 

Then God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king—wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.”

God granted Solomon’s desire because that desire of leading with wisdom and knowledge to govern and judge fairly was in Solomon’s heart (his bosom, his deepest understanding). Solomon already recognized what was required of him. He did not seek riches nor wealth and saw the people belonged to God. This was Also God’s desire to have a leader after His own heart (the heart of God – a heart of fairness, of Divine judgment, of discernment, of Love, of the ability to see potential in everyone). Then to top it off, blessing upon blessing, riches, and wealth, and honor, which were not asked for were added in abundance, more than any other king, before or after. So, when we capture the heart of God and see with His vision the potential of others, and show Love to everyone, blessing upon blessing is stacked upon us. 

Prayer: Father, help me to see everyone with your vision, help me to see the Potential in everyone I come in contact with and help me be able to demonstrate Your Love, not my limited love, but Your Love, all consuming, which has been imparted to me through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ to each individual. May Your Love, Grace, and Mercy shine through me and may I see that everyone belongs to you and that you are calling us all back as your Word says in 2 Cor. 5:20-21. Please give me wisdom and knowledge in every situation of my life. In Jesus’ mighty name, I ask. Amen!

Fragrance and Beauty

Hosea 14:4-9 “The Lord says, Then I will heal you of your faithlessness; my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever. I will be to Israel like a refreshing dew from heaven. Israel will blossom like the lily; it will send roots deep into the soil like the cedars in Lebanon. Its branches will spread out like beautiful olive trees, as fragrant as the cedars of Lebanon. My people will again live under my shade. They will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines. They will be as fragrant as the wines of Lebanon. “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.

Thoughts on these verses:

God says he will be like the refreshing dew. = There is no end to the dew, it is new every morning, it is continually replenished. We should Look for Him, Expect Him, Feed on Him and His Word.

Then you will bloom like the lily. = The lily is compared to great beauty.

Your roots will go as deep as the cedars of Lebanon. = The cedars of Lebanon were more fruitful as they aged and their roots held firm, as we are to hold firm to our faith and in our relationship with God. (Also, the cedars were resistant to rot and decay and repelled insects. We should be resistant to sin and repel the enemy.)

Your branches will spread like a beautiful olive tree. = Branches will provide shade for others, to guard them, nurture them, teach them in the knowledge of God.

Flourish like grain. = Each stalk of grain produces many seeds and grain feeds others.

You will be fragrant like the oil of the cedars of Lebanon. = Fragrance attracts

You will Blossom like grapevines. = Constantly bearing fruit again and again, season after season and make new wine. Be an example of the true grapevine, Jesus Christ and our Father is the Gardener. (John 15:1)

Fragrant as the wines of Lebanon. = Again, fragrance attracts and wine quenches thirst.

The Lord answers our prayers, He cares for us. = We should have a prayer relationship with God. Not a ‘laundry list’ of our desires but prayers of thanksgiving and worship, we should care for him as He cares for us.

He is the tree that stays green. = The cedars of Lebanon are evergreen, we should not wither, but have life continuously.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord  and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”

He is the source of our fruit. = Our fruit can only ripen and be fully formed through Him. How can any bad fruit come from God?

Matthew 7:16-20 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

When we are wise in the Lord, we understand. = When our wisdom comes from God, we have understanding.

When we have discernment, we listen carefully. = When we perceive what is true and good, we will listen intently to the Word of God.

Proverbs 4:10-13 My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life. I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths.  When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble. Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.

Righteous walk in the true and right paths the Lord has prepared, however sinners will stumble and fall in the very same paths. In the NIV, it says the rebellious will stumble. If you are not following God, you are rebelling.

Prayer: Father, help me to seek you daily and worship you, to recognize your refreshing ways Every day. Help me be firm in my faith, to attract with the beauty that comes from inside of me, which is your light. Help me to guide others to you and show them the fruit which you have given me. Help me to be an instructor, an encourager, and a protector of those who are less mature in their faith. May I be fruitful and fragrant with your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen