Why did nature fear Yahweh? (Ps 114:5-114:8)

“Why is it?

O sea!

Why do you flee?

O Jordan!

Why do you turn back?

O mountains!

Why do you skip like rams?

O hills!

Why do skip like lambs?

O earth!

Tremble at the presence of Yahweh!

Tremble at the presence of the God of Jacob!

He turns the rock into a pool of water.

He turns the flint into a spring of water.”

This short psalm concludes with wondering why nature was so submissive to Yahweh. Why did the Red Sea flee and spread apart? Why did the Jordan River turn back? Why were the mountains and hills skipping like rams and lambs? The answer was, of course, they trembled at the presence of Yahweh, the God of Jacob. Yahweh was able to turn rock and flint into water.

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The land was happy (Ps 114:3-114:4)

“The sea looked.

The sea fled.

Jordan turned back.

The mountains skipped like rams.

The hills skipped like lambs.”

The Red Sea got out of the way of the Israelites. The Jordan River turned back. The mountains and the hills were so happy that they skipped like rams and lambs. The sea and the land accepted the Israelites.

Recall the Passover events (Ps 114:1-114:2)

“When Israel went forth from Egypt,

The house of Jacob,

From a people of strange language,

Judah became God’s sanctuary.

Israel became his dominion.”

Psalm 114 begins with a long sentence of remembrance since there is no title to this short psalm. Israel left Egypt. The house of Jacob left the land that had a strange language. We must remember that any language not your own is always strange. Judah was God’s sanctuary for them. Israel was his dominion. Once again the favorite spot is where the tribe of Judah settled.