Saturday, September 13, 2014

Our own Egyptian Hallel

"Miracle at the Red Sea" - Artist unknown
"Miracle at the Red Sea" from Artwork from the Bible and Its Story - 2

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 114:1-8

TO CHEW ON: "When Israel went out of Egypt,
The house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
Judah became His sanctuary,
And Israel His dominion." Psalm 114:2

Psalm 114 is one of the Egyptian Hallel psalms*. It celebrates Israel leaving Egypt—an event that put God's stamp of ownership on them: "Judah became His sanctuary,
And Israel His dominion."

After stating this the psalmist recalls specific incidents that we could say symbolize facets of the relationship between Israel and Yahweh:

God delivered them: "The sea saw it and fled; / Jordan turned back." Twice God turned back water for Israel—once at the Red Sea, taking them forever out of the Egyptians' clutches, and again when they crossed the Jordan River into Canaan (Exodus 14:21; Joshua 3:13-16).

God communicated with them. He told them His will and what pleased and displeased Him when He dictated the law to Moses on Sinai. "The mountains skipped like rams, / The little hills like lambs" refers to the mighty earthquake that rocked the Mount Sinai when God's glory cloud settled there (Exodus 19:18).

God supplied their needs: "Who turned the rock into a pool of water, / The flint into a fountain of waters." Twice during their wilderness wanderings God supplied water from rocks (Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:11).

There is a wonderful parallel for us in this psalm.
  • For when we leave our Egypt of slavery to sin, we too become "His sanctuary" (1 Corinthians 6:19), under "His dominion" (John 20:27,28).
  • He communicates to us through the Bible (Joshua 1:8), a revelation that may lead to earth-shaking changes in attitudes and lifestyle for us (Hebrews 4:12).
  • We can also trust Him to supply our needs (Matthew 6:31-34).

PRAYER: Dear God, may it truly be said of me, Violet (insert your name here) has become His sanctuary. She is His dominion. Amen. 

*Egyptian Hallel Psalms:
"Hallel means praise. It is the name given to the group of Psalms 113-118, which are preeminently psalms of praise. It is called "The Egyptian Hallel," because it was chanted in the temple whilst the Passover lambs were being slain. It was chanted also on other festival occasions, as at Pentecost, the feast of Tabernacles, and the feast of Dedication. The Levites, standing before the altar, chanted it verse by verse, the people responding by repeating the verses or by intoned hallelujahs. It was also chanted in private families at the feast of Passover. This was probably the hymn which our Saviour and his disciples sung at the conclusion of the Passover supper kept by them in the upper room at Jerusalem (Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26)" - Easton's Bible Dictionary (accessed through Related Resources to Psalm 114 on

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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