Ep.244: Psalm 114: What’s Wrong with the Sea?

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.

Psalm 114 asks: 
   What is wrong with you, Red Sea, that you flee,
      River Jordan that you turn back,
  mountains, that you dance like rams,
      hills, like a flock of lambs? (vv. 5-6)

Clearly, something has disrupted nature. Creation has become unpredictable. Mountains dance, seas flee, the river Jordan reverses itself. How so? 

Because when God marched Israel out of Egypt into the Promised Land, he created something new. He reversed the physical laws of the old creation. The world was disturbed by God’s power as he called out a people of his own. Pharaoh and Egypt bowed before a greater king. The Red Sea waters got out of the way of God’s awesome presence and let his people pass. The mountains danced an earthquake as God gave the law from Mt. Sinai. The river Jordan reversed its flow when Joshua marched in. 

The poet says,
  Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord,
      at the presence of the God of Jacob  (v. 7). 

Clearly, God’s creative power did not end at creation. His work continued in the world.

The poet concludes with the greatest and most stunning reversal of all. God:
    Turned rock into a pool,
      flint into springs of water (v. 8).  

In the Middle Ages, alchemy was supposed to turn lead into gold and wood into silver. Alchemy failed as a science. But when God wanted water, he produced it from a rock. When God finds that the old rules don’t accomplish what he wants, he overrules them, and does something new.

Let’s pray. 

Our father, we read the old stories of the Red Sea and Jordan and Sinai, but we hear them as yesterday’s news. They don’t connect us with your power and awesomeness as the poet did. 

O Father, show us that you are indeed the same God who created a new people in Israel, and a new people in Christ. Lead us through our Red Sea, across our wilderness, through mountain and earthquake and fire to the land you are preparing for us. Make us part of your new people today. 

You displayed your power at the Red Sea and Mt. Sinai. You displayed your power at the empty tomb and we rejoice in your great works of the past. Look on our present day, with all its mediocrity, its lack of power, its spiritual lethargy. Teach us in our modern day to live in the nearness and power of your presence that these stories teach us. 

Teach us the power of your truth, that we may discern the lies of consumerism and militarism and nationalism.  Teach the power of your righteousness so we can resist the temptations of legalism and individualism and arrogance. Teach us the beauty of your creation, that we may worship you as the maker of seasons and the God of life and light. 

Paul said, “If you are in Christ, you are a new creation. The old has passed, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17). But Paul also says the old creation groans with birth pangs, longing to be reborn (Rom 8:22). We too long to be recreated, to put on new bodies that will reveal our identity as your sons and daughters (Rom 8:23). Draw us fully into your new creation, we pray. Do something new for us in this life and the next.


I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.