corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.10.20
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Psalms 114

 

 

Verses 1-8

Psalms 114:1-8. When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion. The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back. The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs. What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back? Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs. Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.

I did not interrupt the reading of the Psalm by any exposition. It is a perfect whole, and could not well be divided without spoiling it. We may admire the poetry as well as the inspiration of this Psalm. It begins with rugged abruptness: “When Israel went out of Egypt.” It only gives just a hint of the discomfort of the Israelites while in Egypt, arising from the fact that they did not understand the Egyptians “strange language.” No doubt they were often beaten by their taskmasters, for not obeying orders, when they really did not understand what must have seemed to them the barbarous speech of their Egyptian oppressors. But God led them up out of the house of bondage, the tribe of Judah leading the van, and all the people following in due order.

How beautifully the psalmist describes the dividing of the Red Sea! He represents the waters as perceiving the presence of God, and fleeing away, not because Israel came to the bank, but because God was in the midst of his people: “The sea saw it, and fled,”-as if abashed at the presence of its Maker, alarmed at the terror of Jehovah’s might. So was it with the Jordan; that swiftly-flowing river was “driven back” by a very special miracle. The dividing of the Red Sea was a marvelous act of God’s power, but the driving back of that rushing river has some extraordinary points about it peculiar to itself. And all this happened because God was there. The sea flees before him, the river is driven back by him. In like manner, my brethren, if God be in the midst of our church, nothing can withstand its onward march. If the Lord he in any man, that man need not even think or talk of difficulties; for, with God, nothing is impossible.

So mighty was the influence of God’s presence that the mountains themselves began to move, and even to skip like rams, and to leap like lambs. There was some fear there, for they trembled in their solid sockets, “at the presence of the God of Jacob.” There was joy, too. We speak of “the everlasting hills,” yet the psalmist depicts them as moving as easily as the lambs frisk in the meadows in the springtime: “The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.” How grand is the poetic utterance!

“What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back?” “Thou couldst no longer rush in thine accustomed channel, but must needs return to the source whence thou didst come.

What ailed you, O ye mountains, that ye trembled as if a palsy had seized upon you? ‘What ailed you, O ye little hills?’

Now comes the answer, which yet is not given in the form of an answer.

The inspired poet, in order to heighten the grandeur of his language, kept the name of God out of the Psalm until he came to the end, when he thus answered his own riddle: “Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters;”-another miracle, for God multiplied his marvels. Having brought his people out of Egypt, and led them through the wilderness, and made the hills to move at his majestic presence, now he performs a converting work, changing the rock into a mere, or lake, so plenteous was the effusion of water, and making the flint to gush into a veritable river, which followed the children of Israel through the wilderness, for, as Paul says, “they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, (the margin is, “that went with them,”) and that Rock was Christ.”

This exposition consisted of readings from PSALMS 114. and 48.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Psalms 114:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/psalms-114.html. 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology