Out of the Depths
Psalm 40:12-15
For innumerable evils have compassed me about: my iniquities have taken hold on me, so that I am not able to look up…


1. He is made to see the countless number of his sins. It is wonderful what a ray of light will do; the sun suddenly shines into a room, and the whole air seems full of innumerable specks of dust, dancing up and down in the sunbeam. The light does not make the room full of dust; it only shows you what was always there, but which you did not see until the sun shone in; and if a beam of God's true light were to shine into some of your hearts, you would think very differently of yourselves from what you have ever done. I question whether any one among us could bear to see himself as God sees him.

2. He is greatly perplexed by a sort of omnipresence of sin. When conscience wakes up the whole hive of our sins, we find ourselves compassed about with innumerable evils; sins at the board and sins on the bed, sins at the task and sins in the pew, sins in the street and sins in the shop, sins on land and sins at sea, sins of body, soul, and spirit, sins of eye, of lip, of hand, of foot, sins everywhere, every way sins.

3. He is so beset with sin that it seems to hold him in a terrible grip. If you have a number of sins which have once taken hold on you, you will be something like a stag when the whole pack of hounds has seized him, and his neck and his flanks and every bone in him seem to feel the hounds' teeth gnawing at them.


1. He did not dare to look his sins in the face.

2. He is unable to excuse himself.

3. He dare not look up to read God's promises.

III. A SOUL FAINTING. "Free grace and dying love" — I delight to ring those charming bells; oil, that every ear would welcome their blessed music! Poor fainting heart, do thou specially hear the gladsome tidings of free grace and dying love, and catch at the message, and rejoice in Christ to-night! The Lord grant that it may be so!


1. It is a prayer distinctly to God.

2. It is an appeal to the good pleasure of God. Divine sovereignty is not to be denied. No man has any right to God's grace; if it be given to any one, it is given by the free favour of God, as He pleases, and to whom He pleases. But do thou, as a suppliant, take this lowly ground: "Be pleased, O Jehovah, to deliver me, for Thy mercy's sake, for Thy goodness' sake! Universal Ruler as Thou art, and able to save whom Thou wilt, for the rights of life and death are in the hands of the King of kings, be pleased, O Lord, to deliver reel" That is the way to plead with God. And then you may, if you like, use that last sentence: "Make haste, O Jehovah, to deliver me!" You may plead urgency; you may say, "Lord, if Thou dost not help me soon, I shall die. I am driven to such distress by my sin that, if thou dost not hear me soon, it will be too late. O Lord, help me now!"

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.

WEB: For innumerable evils have surrounded me. My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up. They are more than the hairs of my head. My heart has failed me.

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