Read Psalm 114
1 When Israel came out of Egypt,
Jacob from a people of foreign tongue,
2 Judah became God’s sanctuary,
Israel his dominion.
3 The sea looked and fled,
the Jordan turned back;
4 the mountains leaped like rams,
the hills like lambs.
5 Why was it, sea, that you fled?
Why, Jordan, did you turn back?
6 Why, mountains, did you leap like rams,
you hills, like lambs?
7 Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8 who turned the rock into a pool,
the hard rock into springs of water.
There are two major concepts that can be learned from this psalm. First, Psalm 114 is a psalm of praise. Clearly the author is reflecting on the mighty works of God, praising His name among the world, reminding their readers of who God is. This almost seems like a redundant observation, but this is something many Christians don’t regularly remember to do. Throughout the Scriptures we see a call to remember the works of God and to remember His faithfulness from generation to generation. This isn’t because God is on some ego-trip, but rather because Christians must be reminded daily of His love and mercy that sustains us every moment of every day.
Along with this, the author is also reflecting on God’s absolute power. With a beautiful display of the literary device known as personification, we see nature’s response to God’s commands. It has no choice but to obey!
“The sea looked and fled, the Jordan turned back; the mountains leaped like rams, the hills like lambs.” (Psalm 114:3-4)
The waters moved to the side; the very mountains jumped out of the way! Isn’t that literally the definition of awesome? The most mind-blowing part of this psalm, however, is how it starts:
“When Israel came out of Egypt, Jacob from a people of foreign tongue, Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel His dominion.” (Psalm 114:1-2)
Just as Israel came out of Egypt, so too have Christians of today come out of the world and into the family of God through the act of Christ on the cross. By His blood, we are made new, passing from the old world to the new! Don’t think we do this alone, however.
We see in these first two verses that God goes with the Israelites. That’s why mountains and oceans sidestep when they come through. Nature doesn’t fear humanity but God. It is this same awe-inspiring power that goes with us as God, in His Holy Spirit, lives within all followers of Christ. Because of this, we have nothing to fear, as God goes with us. This doesn’t mean life will always be easy, but God will always be with you, and that will be more than enough.
- You may not write psalms, but you can still praise God for who He is. How can you go about showing your love for Him today?
- What is one aspect of God you are thankful for (His power, goodness, love, mercy, etc.)?
- What is one area of your life where you need to be reminded that God is with you? Pray that this will be so, and share it with a trusted fellow believer.
By the Way
At the end of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is quoted as saying what we now refer to as the Great Commission. Take special note of His last thought here:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
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