When Israel went out of Egypt, The house of Jacob from a people of strange language, 2 Judah became His sanctuary, [And] Israel His dominion. 3 The sea saw [it] and fled; Jordan turned back. 4 The mountains skipped like rams, The little hills like lambs. 5 What ails you, O sea, that you fled? O Jordan, [that] you turned back? 6 O mountains, [that] you skipped like rams? O little hills, like lambs? 7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, At the presence of the God of Jacob, 8 Who turned the rock [into] a pool of water, The flint into a fountain of waters.PSALM 114:1-8
AT THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD
When we were little I used to dread saying goodbye to my grandmother. She always cried when we said goodbye. It might help to know that she lived in Alabama and we lived in Montana. It took four days by car or bus to make the trip. My sister and I made the trip every summer to live with her and my grandpa for several weeks, but when it came to saying goodbye the waterworks would start. She just had a hard time knowing that we would be so far away. She knew all about Montana (she grew up there too) but she couldn’t stand to know that we would be so far away from her. She wanted to be more present in our lives and while we talked regularly on the phone and got and sent cards in the mail, all that geography got in the way of her really being there for us.
This Psalm is a reflection and celebration of how the Lord was present with His people through the Exodus. It capitalizes on the geographical miracles, not just the timing and events, but how they became a metaphor for how even geography couldn’t separate God from His people. The Red Sea and the Jordan River were divided so the people could flee the Egyptians and enter into the promised land. The mountains shook when the ten commandments were delivered. The rock that Moses struck (he was supposed to just speak to it) provided fresh water for God’s people. In all of this it was God’s presence that was most celebrated!
It reminds me of what we will behold when Revelation 21 is fulfilled and we see a New Heaven and a New Earth. The geography will be different because there will be nothing to separate us from the presence of God ever again. God will dwell with his people, no sin and no separation of any kind.
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them [and be] their God. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”Revelation 21:1-4
Having just spoken yesterday on the command to love one another as Christ has loved us it reminds me also of what Paul wrote in Romans 8:38-39: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I am resting confidently today that nothing can separate me from the Love of God.
Father, What can separate us from your love? Nothing! Indeed I am so grateful for your presence in my life. you have placed your Holy Spirit inside each and every believer and we have a seal, a guarantee of our eternal inheritance which includes your eternal presence! I confess that I cannot fathom the depth, the height, or the magnitude of your love for me, I only know that you love me and in that I rest as a confident son. Thank you for you grace in my life. The more I hear of that celestial city, the more I long for a country to which I belong, but have never been before. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.