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Read His Words Before Ours!
When Israel came out of Egypt
The house of Jacob from a people
Who spoke a foreign language
Peter: I could feel the gruffness in my voice, as the chilled air lodged in my vocal chords, but still I sang … I sang with my brothers, and with Jesus as we sat together in the Upper Room, the smells from dinner still wrapped around us.
“When Israel came out of Egypt,” I thought, “freedom. Freedom for my ancient fathers who were slaves for four hundred years. Freedom, only from Yahweh.” It’s what we’d been celebrating with our Passover meal, remembering the night our ancestors were freed from bondage.
“Judah became his sanctuary,
Israel, his dominion”…
I thought of the ancient tabernacle, and the temple here in Jerusalem where Jesus taught. I remembered witnessing Jesus cleanse the temple shortly after I began following Him. The temple had become a place of business instead of worship, and Jesus drove out the money changers and animals from the dwelling place of God. (John 2:13-17)
Jesus: His Sanctuary, His dominion. Our will from the beginning, Abba, has been to dwell among Our beloved children, so they would not walk alone.
In the Scriptures, specific building instructions were given to Our people for the tabernacle so We could dwell with them.
Then the Father sent Me to live and dwell among Our people, and to fulfill the great rescue plan in motion since sin first entered this world.
Soon, the Spirit will be living and dwelling among and within Our people (John 14:26)…
“The sea looked and fled;
The Jordan turned back.
The mountains skipped like rams,
The hills, like lambs”…
Jesus: I’ve often heard my earthly father, Joseph, tell of the days when my Father freed them from slavery in Egypt before they came face to face with the Red Sea, an obstacle they could not cross on their own. They couldn’t be freed from slavery on their own. They couldn’t cross the Red Sea on their own. And now, our people cannot have access to the Father alone. They need a Savior in order to cross over Jordan into the Promised Land of life eternal.
The commandments given on Mount Sinai were but an example
of rules impossible to follow,
laws impossible to keep,
a Red Sea impossible to cross,
a Jordan impossible to reach …
Old laws for an old covenant, but a new covenant is coming.
Peter: My eyes were fixed on Jesus, who sat with us; His eyes deep and reflective, but lost somewhere else. He was with us, yet He wasn’t. I could almost see the words we were singing penetrating His soul and I wondered what He was thinking.
I thought of the Red Sea my forefathers crossed only because Yahweh parted the waters and made the earth completely dry. As the former slaves walked through the parted sea, they looked back and saw their Egyptian pursuers stopped first by fire, then by water. (Exodus 15:4)
Then I thought of the Jordan River, crossed many years later by the next generation of Israelites as they finally stepped into the land promised to them by Yahweh. They already possessed the Ten Commandments, which they had not kept, and yet the Lord allowed them to cross the Jordan just as they crossed the Red Sea, with water parted before them (Joshua 3:13-17).
Imagining His thoughts matched my own, I continued singing along …
“Why was it, sea, that you fled?
Jordan, that you turned back?
Mountains, that you skipped like rams?
Hills, like lambs?”
Peter: I’ve sung this song my entire life, but I never fully believed these words could be true. But now, I’ve seen Jesus perform miracles upon miracles. I’ve seen creation obey His voice. (Mark 4:35-41)
“The seas must have fled, the Jordan must have turned back, the mountains must have skipped because creation obeys its Creator,” my scattered thoughts come together as I sing a little more loudly, a declaration mixed into the questions asked in this psalm.
“Why? Because all of creation must bow to the Creator. To Yahweh. To Jesus.” I look back at Him, with a deep stirring in my heart. This man whom I’ve called friend, who has been patient in my bluntness, gentle in my lack of faith, and who changed my name and told me to follow Him.
Even still, He tells me I will deny Him, but how could I? This man to whom creation bows? My Lord?
Jesus: Why? Why did the sea flea? The Jordan turn back? The mountains skip?
Because nothing, nothing will stop My Father from delivering His people. Nothing will stop Him from loving His people, and certainly nothing created will stand in the way of His love. His very creations will declare His goodness and His power and His glory.
“Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord,
At the presence of the God of Jacob,
Who turned the rock into a pool,
The flint into a spring.”
Peter: As the melodies swirl around me, I began to tremble. I could feel myself joining with the rest of creation, who cannot help but tremble when in the presence of the Lord, and I, I was in the presence of the Lord.
Here, before me.
Whose voice I can hear rising above my own. My voice fades as I grasp the full enormity of the words I’m singing.
Tremble at the presence of God. He’s here. Before me. With me. Right here, right now.
Jesus: As Abraham struck the rock and water poured out, I can feel the Father speak to me.
I will be struck, and I, the Living Water, will be poured out.
Out of the Rock, the Living Water flows. (Isaiah 28:16, John 4:14)
We will dwell among Our people.
Peter: “Jesus is here. He’s here and He is with us.” As the song ends, we allow a few moments of quiet to lapse before we begin singing the next Hallel . . .
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