DEEPER AND DEEPER
Words and Music by Oswald J. Smith, 1890–1986
I delight to do Thy will, O my God: Yea, Thy law is within my heart. (Psalm 40:8)
These beautifully worded lines with their soulful melody flowed from the heart of Oswald J. Smith after many difficult experiences during the early years of his ministry. He related in his book, The Story of My Life, that he was carried through these troublesome times by what he called his “morning watch.”
It was when I walked alone with God that I learned the lessons He would teach. I set aside a time and a place to meet Him, and I have never been disappointed.
Dr. Smith was one of the great evangelical preachers and missionary statesmen of the 20th century. For many years he was the pastor of a church he founded, the People’s Church in Toronto, Canada. He described the inspiration that came to him for “Deeper and Deeper:”
Arriving in Woodstock, Ontario, I was invited to preach one Sunday morning in the largest Methodist Church in that city. As I walked along the street on my way to the church, the melody of this hymn sang itself into my heart and with the words, “Into the heart of Jesus, deeper and deeper I go.” I can still recall the joy and buoyancy of youth, the bright sunshine overhead, and the thrill with which I looked forward to my service that Sunday morning, as again and again I hummed over the words. After preaching, I returned to my rented room, and the first thing I did was to write out the melody as God had given it to me. The verses were much more difficult. It was three years later, in the First Presbyterian Church of South Chicago, of which I pastor, that I completed them. The writing of the hymn afforded me much joy. I still love it and always will, for it was the child of my youth. It proves conclusively that God can impart His deepest truths to the hearts of the young, for I doubt if I have ever written anything more profound since.
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Into the heart of Jesus deeper and deeper I go, seeking to know the reason why He should love me so—Why He should stoop to lift me up from the miry clay, saving my soul, making me whole, tho I had wandered away.
Into the joy of Jesus deeper and deeper I go, rising, with soul enraptured, far from the world below; joy in the place of sorrow, peace in the midst of pain, Jesus will give, Jesus will give—He will uphold and sustain!
Into the love of Jesus deeper and deeper I go, praising the One who brought me out of my sin and woe; and thru eternal ages gratefully I shall sing, “O how He loved! O how He loved! Jesus, my Lord and my King!”
For Today: Psalm 42; 16:8, 11; Lamentations 3:26; Isaiah 40:31; 54:2; 1 John 2:17
Determine to know God in a deeper way than ever before. Sing as you go—
Osbeck, K. W.
- As the Hart brayeth for the rivers of water, so panted my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, even for the living God: when shall I come and appear before the presence of God? Mine tears have been my meat day and night, while they daily say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remembered these things, I poured out my very heart, because I had gone with the multitude, and led them into the house of God with the voice of singing, and praise, as a multitude that keepeth a feast. Why art thou cast down, my soul, and unquiet within me? wait on God: for I will yet give him thanks for the help of his presence. My God, my soul is cast down within me, because I remembered thee, from the land of Jordan, and Hermon, and from the mount Mizar. One deep calleth another deep by the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy floods are gone over me. The Lord will grant his loving-kindness in the day, and in the night shall I sing of him, even a prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God, which is my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning, when the enemy oppreseth me? My bones are cut asunder, while mine enemies reproach me, saying daily unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? wait on God: for I will yet give him thanks: he is my present help and my God. Psalm 42
- I have set the Lord always before me: for he is at my right hand: therefore I shall not slide. Psalm 16:8
- Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is the fullness of joy: and at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
- It is good both to trust, and to wait for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:26
- Even the young men shall faint, and be wary and the young men shall stumble and fall. Isaiah 40:31
- Enlarge the place of thy tents, and let them spread out the curtains of thine habitations: spare not: stretch out thy cords, and make fast thy stakes. Isaiah 54:2
- And this world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that fulfilleth the will of God, abideth ever. 1 John 2:17