5 What ails you, O sea, that you flee?
O Jordan, that you turn back?
6 O mountains, that you skip like rams?
O hills, like lambs?
7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8 who turns the rock into a pool of water,
the flint into a spring of water..
Reading this psalm, I am reminded of how easy it can become, if we are not careful, to let the supernatural accounts of the work of God feel ordinary. Sometimes we read events that are absolutely incredible, but because we are so accustomed to the stories, we forget that they are indicators of the power and glory of God. That is why, on occasion, it is fabulous to read the same accounts in a place you do not expect to find them, so that you can get a quick picture of how great they really were.
Psalm 114 is a recounting of the Exodus, but in a form that is short, simple, and poetic. The psalmist writes of God leading out the people of Israel from Egypt. He talks about the sea backing off and letting the people pass through. Then, 40 years later, the Jordan River did the very same thing—a waterway just stepping aside to let the people through. The mountains and hills trembled and skipped as the earth quaked at the presence of the Lord. The rocks of the desert turned into pools of clean, cool drinking water.
You have to love, at the end of this telling of God’s story, that the psalmist asks the things of nature, “Why?” “Why do you hills and mountains skip like little newborn calves?” “Why do you waterways step aside for the people to walk through?” And he lets us know that all parts of the world, all nature, trembles and quakes at the presence of the Lord. Our God is so great, mountains bow down. Our God is so great that oceans roll back and give his people dry ground to walk upon. Our God is so great that rivers will stop flowing at his command. Our God is so great that desert rocks will turn into springs of water if he wants them to. That is the greatness and the glory of God.
Today, take a moment to think about the power and awesome might of God. Think of the fact that the ocean slides back from where it naturally rolls when God tells it to. What kind of God is this? What kind of power is this that can make all the world tremble? This is our God, and he is worthy of worship.
Dear Lord, I pause and give you praise. I praise you for your mighty power. I praise you for your awesome deeds. I praise you for being the one who causes the earth to tremble, the seas to move, the rivers to stop, and the rocks to become flowing springs. I praise you that you are full of power and glory. I praise you that you are good, kind, and loving. I thank you for recording for us the accounts of your deeds. I pray that you will remind me each day of your power and your glory. Let me not take your works for granted, but let me be continually awed by your grandeur.