Brethren Archive

Deep Places

by Inglis Fleming

In His hand are the deep places of the earth: the heights of the hills are His also” (Psalm 95:4).

This Psalm calls upon the godly to join in Jehovah’s praise, because He is great in majesty and glory—a great God and a great King above all gods.

Depths and heights, sea and dry land, all are His. Thus His people Israel are called upon to worship and bow down before the Lord their Maker, for He is their God and they are the people of His pasture, the sheep of His hand. They are to rejoice that all He is, in His supreme majesty and glory, is on their behalf. “The deep places of the earth are in His hand” (v. 4). And they His sheep are cared for by His hand as well. Greatness and guidance are with Him, and He is on the part of His people.

And shall not we, in these difficult times, comfort our hearts with these thoughts today? All events are controlled by Him. Everything is under His sway. He does as He pleases in “all deep places” as in all others (Ps. 135:6).

And many are the “deep places of the earth” which His loved ones know, and happy shall we be if we remember that these are all and always in His hand.

In “the heights of the hills” we rejoice—the blessedness which is ours “in the heavenlies, in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). All the wealth of the Risen Christ—the true Boaz, He shares with us His own, and we cannot rejoice too greatly in our possessions.

But can we rejoice in the “deep places of the earth” also?

“We boast in hope of the glory of God”; can we add, “we boast in tribulations also” (Rom. 5:3)?

The glory is in His hand—“the heights of the hills” and the way to it (sometimes through “deep places”) is in His hand as well. The heights and the depths alike are ruled by Him.

And is it not so, we may ask ourselves, that we learn Him in the depths as we could not in the heights? We make discoveries of His tenderness and compassion and love in our sorrows here which we could not do in our singing there.

So it was in the days of His flesh (and He is the same today as of yore), the death of Lazarus and the broken hearts of his sisters, brought out that which a marriage feast never could have done. “Jesus wept.” The words telling of our Lord’s deep sympathy then, have comforted His loved ones ever since. His heart of profound feeling told itself out then, as at no other time. The strength of His hand was to be displayed soon, but the sympathy of His heart revealed itself at once, for He ever felt in His spirit the afflictions He dismissed by His power. His heart and His hand were in unison for the good of His own.

Yes, the “deep places are in His hand, and if His loved ones are in those deep places, His heart beats for them while His hand upholds them there. He may not lift them out of the depths immediately, but He will be with them there, bidding them as in days of old, “Be of good cheer,” as He adds, “It is I. Be not afraid.”

He valued the love of the little handful of His own at Bethany, and they knew and valued His. In His love they hid themselves, as their message showed, “Lord, he whom Thou lovest is sick.” And we read, “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” He loved them all, yes; but He loved each individually. Why, then, did He not hasten to them in their “deep place?” Why did He abide “two days still in the same place where He was?” Could they understand this delay? Not at first but afterward they knew right well. It was “For the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified,” and it was for their good in that they would know Him henceforth as they could not have done otherwise. Had He been at Bethany He could have saved Lazarus from death, but His heart of love and His hand of power would not have been disclosed so fully.

And do we sometimes wonder that He does not intervene when we call upon Him today? When we cry to Him out of our “deep places”?

It may be that we have been tempted to question His love. But His love took Him to Calvary for us, and it is the same love that takes us to the deep places that we may know that love in richer measure.

And before long we shall see the Why? and the Wherefore? of all. Then we shall understand how “dragons and all deeps” are made to praise Him, as truly as are the “heavens of heavens” (Ps. 148:4, 7). Then shall we join in the great Hallelujah chorus of eternal praise to Him who has done, is doing, and will do all things well. But while we wait for that day of glory, we, who know Him, may sing:

“My spirit on Thy care,

Blest Saviour I recline;

Thou wilt not leave me in despair,

For Thou art Love divine.

“In Thee I place my trust,

On Thee I calmly rest;

I know Thee good, I know Thee just,

And count Thy choice the best.

“Let good or ill betide,

All must be good for me;

Secure of having Thee in all,

Of having all in Thee.”

And we may add:

“In the deep places, Lord,

I learn Thy love below,

As all the heights of joy above

Could never make me know.”


S.T. 1927

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