1 When Israel went out from Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
2 Judah became his sanctuary, Israel his dominion.
3 The sea looked and fled; Jordan turned back.
4 The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs.
5 What ails you, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back?
6 O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs?
7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8 who turns the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water.
In this psalm the psalmist looks back on the history of the Hebrew people to times where God intervened supernaturally to bend nature and its laws to His will. Other examples are more figurative, but the message is clear: God is the Lord of all the earth. When Jesus spoke of “faith like a mustard seed moving mountains” (Matthew 17:20) He was likely standing in the vicinity of a man-made mountain upon which sat a temple to a pagan god. If the Roman’s faith in a god who does nothing for them can achieve such greatness, to ‘move a mountain’ as it were, how much more would the disciples’ faith in the Living God be able to achieve?
Not that Jesus wanted his disciples to literally move mounds of earth to build religious centers to their own glory. In every corner of the world humanity has “moved mountains” creating great monumental works that rival mountains in order to appease what they thought the heavens demanded of them.
Today we still need to acknowledge that the world is God’s to command, and if it is His will he can move mountains, push back seas, stop the sun, whatever it takes to bring about the spread of the Gospel and the Glory of His name. Too often however we look to our God who is so vastly powerful and ask that He bend His will to our own.
Can you move this mountain? Slay this giant? Part this sea? We may think perhaps that since we use biblical sounding analogies in fashioning our idols we will be heard by God. That we can point to God’s glory and provision in the past and expect the same be done for us. In doing so we are no better than the pagan civilizations of the past who moved the earth to align with the heavens to try and force their will upon the universe. As James said “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” (James 4:3)
It is ignorant to believe that we can find a verse in Scripture, an example of God’s glory in the pages of scripture and use it to bend the will of the Living God to our own. As Paul told the Athenians, “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,” (Acts 17:30) We too are called to repentance in this matter. We cannot believe that God’s mighty will is ours to command, or that His miracles can be expected, if we just know the right words to say.
No, as the psalmist declares, even the realm of nature must bow before God if He sets his will upon it. We too must submit to God, to praise Him for His mighty works, but to also acknowledge we are His to command as well! So today let’s give up the habit of thinking we can move mountains of our own will, to command nature and God to our will, to mold the universe in our image. Let’s allow the Creator to mold us in His image instead.
Prayer for Today
Father I glorify your name for your mighty works done amongst the ancients. I am witness to the glories and mercy that you have blessed me with in my life as well. Build in me a faith that will move mountains if it be your will, or sit still and silent if that is your preference. Teach me to walk humbly before your Father, Jesus that I may hear the instructions of the Holy Spirit and live a life of submission and service before my God. Amen.