Psalm 114 – Tremble at the Presence


God moved mightily in the story of Israel, using the earth at every step.  Whether parting the Red Sea or the Jordan River or bringing water out from rocks, God’s commands make the earth jump in response.  Will we see his power in these earthly miracles and respond?

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.
Psalm 114

The psalmist is having a conversation with the earth about God’s power in the life of Israel.  Why, Red Sea, did you flee?  The question is why did the sea part so that Israel could walk through on dry land? 

The answer is that this is God we are speaking of.  Psalm 24:1 teaches us that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. 

When the Lord speaks, the earth obeys.  It was created with God’s voice speaking the words, and ever since and ever more it will obey his voice.

Jesus calmed the seas and the winds with his voice.  Colossians 1 tells us that in Jesus everything is held together.  And so it isn’t surprising that the earth responds to God’s commands.

What is surprising is that we do not.

Our free will to choose to follow God or to go our own way is our blessing and our demise.  With it we thumb our noses at God and with it we bless God with our obedience.  When we see his power in the world around us, however, it ought to bring us to our knees before him…

Tremble, earth,
Tremble, people,
At the presence of the Lord.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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