I recently read Psalm 114, and I felt the words strengthening and encouraging my spirit. I’ve been meditating on it ever since.
When Israel went out from Egypt,
the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
Judah became God’s sanctuary,
Israel his dominion.
The sea looked and fled;
Jordan turned back.
The mountains skipped like rams,
the hills like lambs.
Why is it, O sea, that you flee?
O Jordan, that you turn back?
O mountains, that you skip like rams?
O hills, like lambs?
Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turns the rock into a pool of water,
the flint into a spring of water.
The Mountains Skipped Like Rams, The Hills Like Lambs
Sometimes I read a passage of scripture and it’s just so good, but I don’t know why. That is, it feels like it’s feeding my spirit, but I don’t necessarily understand it intellectually at first. Or I don’t understand why it is so encouraging.
The heart understanding comes first, and then my mind usually processes it later.
I didn’t initially understand why “the mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs” felt so encouraging. But then I thought about it some more.
The context is God going with Judah and Israel. The sea didn’t just flee the presence of the Lord, but it fled before the presence of the Lord going with God’s people. The sea, the mountains, and the hills were all things that stood in Israel’s way on their journey.
In the same way, we have become God’s habitation if we have received God’s Spirit. We should expect everything to change because of the Lord’s presence which we carry with us. Every obstacle that is before us will be laid low.
We may not always be aware of what’s changing around us as we carry God’s presence. The Israelites often lost the awareness that the Lord was with them on their way out of Egypt. They faced difficulties. Yet miracles happened the whole way.
God Turns The Rock Into A Pool Of Water
This verse caught my attention the most. God turns the rock into a spring of water.
The rock symbolizes hardship. The Israelites were thirsty in the desert, without water. (Exodus 17:2) Imagine a dry desert, with nothing but rocks all around. But God brought water out of the rock for them! (Exodus 17:5-6)
God brings life out of the hardest things that we face. Our greatest difficulties are opportunities for the Spirit of Christ to be released through us. They are opportunities for us to grow in the Lord.
The apostle Paul was hard-pressed, “between a rock and a hard place.” Yet God brought water out of the rock for him—and also for many others.
2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (NRSV) We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of the affliction we experienced in Asia; for we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death so that we would rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again, as you also join in helping us by your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
Whatever hardships you may be facing, let Psalm 114 encourage you. Become aware of how the Holy Spirit is working to bring life and provision not only to you, but to others, through those difficulties. Remind yourself how God has brought life and deliverance out of places of hardship in your life before. He continues to be the God who raises the dead!
For one story of how God brought life to me out of a difficult time in my life, check out Oil of Kindness. You might also want to read Make the Valley of Weeping a Place of Springs and Experiencing God’s Goodness In The Midst Of Tragedy.