Out of the Depths

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Thomas Tallis lived in turbulent times. Born around the year 1505, he grew up in England during the reign of Henry VIII, who, leading England out of the Catholic Church, formed the Anglican Church (the Church of England). Henry’s successor, Edward VI, embraced a more radical Protestantism.When his half-sister Mary became Queen, she restored Catholicism during her short but violent reign. Then, the pendulum swung back when her successor, Elizabeth I, reinstituted Protestantism.

There were many conflicts during these changing times. Wars were fought and careers were destroyed. Tallis, as a church musician, might have felt like a pawn in this political game, seeking to survive the often dangerous swings. Yet Tallis thrived, becoming the most important English composer of the 16th century. What were the keys to his longevity and success?

Perhaps we gain insight by examining his most highly regarded composition, “Spem in alium.” (The title comes from the English translation of the opening phrase, “I have never put my hope in any other but you, God of Israel.”)

The evidence points to Psalm 130 as the inspiration of this music. This psalm was written by a man, like Tallis, who faced turmoil and life-threatening problems.

The psalmist responded to challenges by crying out to God. It was not a weak, shallow prayer, but a cry from the depths of his soul. If answers didn’t come right away, he didn’t become discouraged or give up. Instead, he continually hoped in God, and waited expectantly for Him. And he humbled himself, and made sure that his hearts was clean and freed from sin.

Today, do you have problems that don’t seem to have solutions? Does it feel that you are drowning in deep waters? Whatever your situation, cry out to God. Commit your needs to Him. Be clean from sin. Wait on Him. Trust Him. And never give up!