“Out of the depths” (Ps 130) the psalmist cries to the Lord, and he is not alone. Again and again in the scriptures we find men and women turning to God when as another Psalmist put it, “the waters have come up to my neck . . . the floods engulf me” (Ps 69). Most of the references to “the depths” in scriptures are pretty ambiguous. We’re rarely told of the specific circumstances that have brought the writer to his knees. But do we really need to know the details? Almost all of us have experienced “the depths” at one time or another. Shorthand for the depths of the grave or the depths of the sea, “the depths” in Hebrew poetry represents any situation in which a person feels overwhelmed by the bottomless troubles of life. Who of us hasn’t been there?
I am overwhelmed with troubles and my life draws near to death . . . But I cry to you for help, LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you – Psalm 88:3, 13