9 February 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. 8Yet 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. 9I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
(Psalms 42:7-9; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
I believe the wonder and mystery of this passage is lost to many commentators – “Deep calleth unto deep.” I am not remotely as qualified as the great masters of the past to disagree; however, this is a matter of spiritual meaning that can have many facets. It reminds me of Jonah who rose from his watery grave on the third day. “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40) Was Jonah actually in the whale’s belly for three days and three nights in the same way the Lord was in the heart of the earth? “The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. 6I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God. 7When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.” (Jonah 2:5-7) This language suggests that Jonah was indeed in the belly of the whale in the same way our Lord was in the heart of the earth. This remains a mystery in our understanding, and it leads us to search deeper for spiritual understanding.
The Word of God is a great Deep just as the Ocean Seas are a great deep. We behold the ocean with its tides, tranquility and storms, but we have only observed the surface. The greater mystery lies in its great unseen deep. This is much like the Bible. Many read the words of Scripture, and some boast of having read the Bible many times over, and, yet, have not even a fundamental understanding of its meaning. I believe the reason for this is our motive and spiritual purpose in the reading thereof. G.K. Chesterton suggests that man has come to learn in reverse order from that which is efficacious: “We tend to learn through the mind to the heart when we should be learning through the heart to the mind.” Perhaps the one thing missing in motive is an insatiable love for God and His Word as we search out the mysteries of His Word. Chesterton also said: “Once we presume to abolish God, the government becomes our god.”
Though there are many mysteries in God’s Word, there are also the simplest of truths – so simple that a child can comprehend them. The fundamentals of salvation are examples of that simplicity. But our joy in salvation drives us deeper into that depth of God’s Word – constantly seeking to learn more.
As many Christians grow in sincerity and devotion to God’s Holy Word, our mainline churches are rife with compromise and apostasy. They desire to be accepted more by the world than by their Maker. They even seek to amend the very word of God with the new and perverse version of the Bible that compromise to the extend that they can no longer be called the Word of God.
Just as the oceans are never overfull, so is the depth of the Word of God never wholly mastered by men’s understanding. It challenges us to grow in wisdom and truth. It invites us to try all things by its sound doctrine. Its tantalizing beauty keeps the faithful Christin searching its pages to satisfy a great spiritual thirst. Unfortunately, the only access to the pages of Scripture many Christians experience is the hearing of a twenty-minute sermon each Sunday. The old home altars are almost non-existent today, and so is family prayer and Bible study fading from the spiritual landscape. We see the great loss and hurt caused by this neglect in our modern society.
The Scriptures assure us that the elect of God will have their names written in the book of Life. But if not written there, those names shall be written on the earth which will be the inheritance of all who reject the Lord. “O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.” (Jeremiah 17:13)
QUESTION: Where is YOUR name written?