Archive for October 2nd, 2018

Psalm 114A Celebration of Escape

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

I am thinking that each of us has a memory of an escape we have made.  Perhaps we avoided a relationship that would have injured us badly.  Maybe we realized with hindsight that a job or assignment we wanted so terribly would have been a dreadful and pain-filled experience.  I continue to marvel at the number of times I have escaped disaster – purely at God’s hands and not from my own wisdom or foresight – to survive well to tell the story of my new freedom.  Perhaps I ought to celebrate these escapes from calamity more.

From commentary: “The hymn in Psalm 114 possesses high literary and liturgical qualities involving parallelism, brevity, imagination, and surprise . . . The psalm may have been composed for the sanctuary at Gilgal near the river Jordan (Josh. 5; 1 Sam. 10:8) and was later transferred to the Jerusalem Temple with its symbolism of water flowing from the rock of sacrifice (Ps. 46:4; Ezek. 47).  (Mays 437-438)

In today’s Gospel (John 8:31-42) Jesus tells us that the truth will set us free – a phrase we may often hear and pass by without giving it much thought.  In the Old Testament reading today we hear again the story we know so well of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3) and we marvel not only at God’s power but also his generosity.  How much we are loved that God creates these many little and big exoduses for us so that we might come to him!

In our current society we celebrate prowess, glamour, power and fame.  In the kingdom it is the broken-hearted, the meek, and the humble who are raised up.  God gives us constant bridges to cross from the world of glitz to the real world – the kingdom.  We are gifted daily with opportunities for exodus from that which pulls us down to that which lifts us up.

If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. 

Jesus says these words to his Apostles; he says these words to us.  Jesus offers us an escape from catastrophe and a deliverance from ruin.  How do we respond?

And so we pray . . .

When we come forth from the fiery furnace, we sing in praise to God who delivers us.  The sea beheld and fled.  The mountains skipped like rams.  The earth trembled before the Lord.  The rock was turned into a pool of water.  This is the truth we have been shown.  It is the truth we see.  It is the truth that sets us free from all that would chain us in.  Let us rejoice and be glad.  Amen. 

Written on April 13, 2011 and posted today as a Favorite.

A re-post from August 30, 2011.

Images from: http://www.seekeronline.org/journals/y2005/nov05.html 

Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. 437-438. Print.

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