Journey of Hope
Psalm 114 When Israel came out of Egypt, Jacob from a people of foreign tongue, Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel his dominion. The sea looked and fled, the Jordan turned back; the mountains leaped like rams, the hills like lambs. Why was it, sea, that you fled? Why, Jordan, did you turn back? Why, mountains, did you leap like rams, you hills, like lambs? Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water.
Reading and understanding Scripture is a way to grow faith in order to bring about peace and to increase understanding and hope. It is good to fill our minds with holy words and images. This psalm points to the power of a force, God, who works for our greater good, a force, God, who can even turn a rock into a spring of living water.
Reading the word foreign in Psalm 114 reminds me how I left England, and how I’ve never felt fully American but not English either. A friend, who was born and raised in Spain and Switzerland, explained to me that immigrants are hybrids always on the outside looking in.
Could it be that all people since time immemorial have struggled for acceptance? Jacob's muddled family history was so full of betrayal, loss, rape, hateful brothers, slavery, being sent away from home, and ultimately a ladder to heaven. This Biblical family was flawed with lots of problems, yet their experiences point to a deeper reality of a process of God.
This psalm tells of Israel escaping from slavery in Egypt, and how Jacob eventually returned to his family from a foreign land. Both are examples of a movement into greater freedom, physically and emotionally.
This psalm is a poem about hope that can be experienced when we put our faith in God who is a force of love and power that can be trusted to accompany us up the difficult and steep hills of life. Even when our families betray us, or we betray them, God's love never abandons us.
Even when we are feeling lost, even when life seems nothing but drudgery, we have the hope of something greater than ourselves to see us through.
It is good, indeed, to study and remember words from the Book of Life, the Bible.
Meditation and Prayer--resting in God of Love and Wholeness
Read psalm 114 a couple of times and choose a word or phrase or image.
Invite God to teach you about hope in your life.
Sit in silence for ten minutes or more.
Journal your experience.