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.
What an extraordinary picture. It’s not just that even inanimate objects obey God’s voice. They’re positively enthusiastic: The hard rocks of the mountains don’t just produce water, the whole mountains skip like lambs; The Red Sea doesn’t just part, the NLT says it “hurries out of the way”. Why? Because the Lord has come. That’s enough to have the whole of creation rushing to obey him.
The God of Jacob comes to live amongst his people Judah, amongst Israel, and made them his holy place. It’s ironic to think how his chosen people (with ears to hear him, minds to understand him, and hearts to seek him) reacted to the presence of God: grumbling, questioning, wanting to leave his presence and go back to Egypt.
Now the God of Jacob chooses to live in us, and to make us (God’s people together and individually) his holy temple (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19). So how will I respond?
The challenge for me is to be even more enthusiastic than the mountains and seas and rivers in my obedience to him, to be part of everything he is doing; to be even more obvious than an earthquake that the presence of God is here, amongst his people, in me; to allow him to turn the hard rocks in me into springs of living water (John 7:38).
Written by David Cornell