Sometimes things that are impressive can be intimidating.
God is the standard for what is righteous. He always plans what is right, and He also always does what is right. He tells us that He is holy, and that He expects us to strive to be holy.
To say that God's righteousness, and His holiness, are like the mighty mountains is to say that His standards are massive - immovable - impressive, because these are rooted in His character.
When David says God's judgments are like a great deep, he means that they may be unfathomable. Hard to understand. God's ways are not our ways. We have difficulty sometimes, understanding what He does, or getting our heads around the "why" of what He does. It's hard to understand many of the trials that He brings into our lives. And when we read of a drunken Herod chopping off the head of a godly John the Baptist, we ask why? Why does He allow James to be executed, and other martyrs to be killed? It is hard for us to get the words out, "It was for His sovereign purpose, for His plan."
But David's next words offer us comfort:
I think the reason that David mentions God preserving both people and animals, is that he wanted to stress that if he looks after the animals, then surely He will care for our needs. Jesus repeated the concept:
I wonder if in his mind, David was picturing some of the highest mountains. Perhaps he was thinking of looking into the deepest water he had seen, that seemed to go down, down, and no one knew how far it was to the bottom. He felt that God's righteousness and justice were just that large, just that incredible. But in spite of how impressive these characteristics of God were, David was overwhelmed with the fact of how delightful God is -- how precious and how inviting His lovingkindness is! It's as if he "shifts gears" from things that are so immense they are difficult to comprehend, to the personal details of God's love. How foolish of the sinner to miss out on God's immense and intimate love. To pursue sin instead of His blessings is the greatest of follies!
God's love is inviting. David pictures for us a mama hen, opening out her wings and clucking tenderly to her chicks. She is inviting them to come and nestle against her feathers, to take refuge and protection from danger underneath her wings as she closes them gently over the babies. It's a picture of God's love. It's incredible; it's impressive. But it's also intimate and inviting. God opens His arms and speaks to us tenderly, inviting us to find refuge and protection in His love.
This is His promise:
Let this be our prayer: