The Story Behind Hillsong United’s “Oceans”

One of the songs that was implemented this past summer at CBLI (at least in the Young Adult Community), and one that we plan to use throughout this coming Prayer & Praise Night Season, is Hillsong United’s “Oceans.” It’s an incredible song, one with great lyrical depth. The whole idea of the song is about stepping out in faith and and trusting and depending on God more than ever. Take a look at the two videos above, one from Worship Together, and the other straight from Hillsong United. They both take a behind the scenes look at how the song came together, both in terms of its Biblical foundation, and how they wrote it (and almost didn’t finish it!) as a band.

A Scripture that is referenced in the Worship Together video as the basis for the song is Peter being called out on the water by Jesus in Matthew 14:

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

For me personally, I really find deep connections to 2 Corinthians 9:

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

To listen to a full version of the song, watch this video here:

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “The Story Behind Hillsong United’s “Oceans””

  1. JasonJanuary 31, 2014 at 7:57 am #

    Thanks, it’s a Great song! But I think the second verse is from 2 Cor 12 not 2 Cor 9, just wanted to point it out. 2 Cor 12:9 is my memory verse 🙂 God bless!!!

  2. Arlene CastroJanuary 27, 2016 at 4:33 pm #

    Thanks for sharing the story behind the song Oceans. it’s a great inspirational song and no doubt the Holy Spirit has inspired tne creation of this wonderful music. Truly the Lord Jesus is with us all through life’s difficulties and God doesn’t want us to be just tossed here and there by the waves but He wants us to have faith in Him and be strong and walk on waters just like treading on solid ground. Praise be to God!

Leave a Reply