Psalms 114:1 “Judah Was His Sanctuary”



Psalms 114:1-2 says, “When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.”

        Psalms 114 is a great Psalms about what God has done for Israel. God had a plan and a purpose for Israel: To make Israel the greatest nation on the earth so that it could be a witness to the truth of the gospel to the other nations. Of course that is not what happened to Israel. What happened is that Israel failed and because they failed God set them aside until a future time when God will fulfill this destiny in the nation of Israel.

        With the Gospel comes great freedom. God loves freedom because God loves the way of an eagle in the air. This Psalms begins by remembering When Israel went out of Egypt.” The day God freed Israel from 400 years of slavery was a great day. It’s important to notice What God remembers is not Israel in its slavery but Israel being freed. There are many people in the United States that could learn a valuable lesson here. It is true and it is shameful that black people were once slaves in the USA. But what should be emphasized and remembered is not that they were slaves but that they were freed from their slavery.

        It’s a great thing to be freed from slavery. It’s a wonderful thing. It’s something to be thankful for. When something as great as the freeing of a nation from slavery happens we know it is God’s doing.

        The important thing to remember about Israel being freed from slavery is its spiritual symbolism of a man being saved from sins and freed from the bondage of this world.

        It would be absurd for A Christian to live their life remembering that they were a sinner enslaved to their sins rather than remembering that Christ freed them through His blood.

What is better to remember that you were a slave or to remember that you have been freed from your slavery and be thankful for it.

        Sometimes men love to look back on the past and cast the inward eye with redolences on special moments that have past. God loves to remember too. One of the things He loves to remember is when He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt.

        What a day that must have been. What a time of faith fulfilled and joy and rejoicing in the hearts of the Israelites. The freeing of them from slavery must resulted in the Israelites turning too God with all their hearts, with thankful and humble hearts full of faith just like a newborn Christian.

        Jeremiah 2:2 says, “Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.”

        This same principle is taught in Revelation 2:3-5, “And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

        When ever a person is saved it is because that person has turned to the Lord with all the heart. There is no such thing as half way believing on Jesus and half way not. Perhaps one reason God loves to remember the moment a Christian was first saved just as he loves to remember the day Israel was freed from slavery is because those are the moments when most Christians possess the love for Jesus that they should the love for God for forgiving them of their sins. How often and how quickly this love can fade from the heart of a Christian. Few Christians there are in this world who go through life from the time the time they are saved until the day they go home to be with the Lord and do not lose their first love.

        Oh that we could always cling to the old rugged cross and never let go.

        Psalms 114:1-2 says, “When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.”

        God remembers Israel in that day because Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion. Israel was the place where the presence of God was found. The place where God’s presence is found is a special place because it is a holy place. Such a place is meant to be in the hearts of men.

        Jesus never forgets a heart when it turns to him. Such moments are special to him because of how much love he has for men and because of how few there are that turn to him, that turn towards His love and that accept His free gift of eternal life.

        In the rest of Psalms 114 several of the great miracles when Jesus freed Israel from slavery and led them out of Egypt and through the wilderness are mentioned.

        Psalms 114:3-8 says, “The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back. The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs. What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back? Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs? Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.”

        One of the great miracles of the Bible that is mentioned over and over is the parting of the red sea. The reason it is mentioned so often is because it is a picture of salvation. God makes a way where there is no way. Sometime that is impossible for men to do is possible by the power of God. If God had not parted the red sea the nation of Israel would have perished at the hand of Pharaoh. In the same sense God has parted the seas of judgment, God has divided the flames of fire on the cross of Calvary where Jesus suffered and died and shed his blood making a way for us to cross from sin unto righteousness from death unto life. Such a spiritual parting of the seas of judgment is only possible by the  perfect work of Jesus and not the works of men because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

        This is the great miracle that God wants us to remember, the miracle of the gospel. All other miracles in some way God uses to symbolize and to remind us of salvation by grace through face in Christ Jesus.

        Psalms 115:1- says, “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.”

        It’s very important that the name of God is glorified and not men. We do not need to glorify ourselves because God will glorify us in due time.

        There are two reasons the name of God needs to be glorified: Mercy and truth. Mercy is God withholding His judgment upon sin and instead of punishing us giving us opportunity and time to repent. Truth is like light. It shines forth so that we might see the right decisions to make in life in every particular circumstance.

Mercy and truth are closely associated with the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the truth. And through the blood of Jesus which was shed on the cross some 2000 years ago mercy can be found for those who are repentant of their sins. There is great power in the name of Jesus Christ; the power to save a soul from the darkness of sin, the power to open the eyes of the blind, the power of the forgiveness of sins. It is no wonder the name of Jesus should be uplifted and we should not.

        Psalms 115:2-3 says, “Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”

        Now this is a statement an unbeliever will readily say in any circumstance good or bad to a Christian: Where is your God? Such a question is in a way rhetorical and sarcastic, accusatory it is a way of saying God is not helping you. But such is not true. When the lost people of the world look at your circumstances in life and attack your faith by saying, where is your God? The proper answer to give them is My God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.

        In other words God is in control. There is never a time God is not in control of a Christian’s life. Jesus holds you by the hand very jealously and He will never let you go. Jonah learned this the hard way when he tried to run away from God and from the will of God.

        Where is my God? My God is in the heavens. He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased. Another way of saying it is Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God; to them that are the called according to His purpose.”

        Psalms 115:4-8, “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.”

        Even the unbelievers have their gods. Maybe their gods are little statues made of gold or silver. Or maybe their gods are sports figures, political figures, movie stars, religious leaders or even family members. Yes everyone has there gods.

But what a difference there is between all the false gods and the one true living God, Jesus Christ. The false gods are not all powerful, all knowing, all present and holy like Jesus Christ is. Jesus can answer your prayers and be there for you in the time of need. What can false gods do for you?

 In fact the next 7 verses of Psalms 116 tell us what the one true living God can do for you.

Psalms 115:9-15 says, “O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron. He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great. The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children. Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth.”

Basically the picture given here is that the things which God can do for you are limitless. He can help you in anyway that you need help. Jesus can protect you, love you, comfort you, guide you, give you companionship and be your friend. Jesus can cause your fears to cease and those who lean not unto their own understanding but in all their ways acknowledge the Lord will find they will never have shattered dreams but their dreams will always come true because such a person will be a person with a heart given to the gospel of Jesus Christ. If your life’s dream is a dream of the gospel then that is a dream in life that will not disappoint no matter how much you fail and no matter how much this world crushes you down.

Psalms 115:16-18 says, “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD'S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men. The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.”

These verses teach us some very practical things about life. Heaven is God’s. Earth is man’s. God has given the earth unto man. It is a great responsibility. The earth is man’s to take care of and develop. God has given man great freedom and great power in regards to this. But notice the next two verses which say The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.

The purpose and the result of man ruling over the earth should be that men praise the Lord. To praise the Lord simply means to say things that are good. Instead of using the name of God as a curse word talk about the great things that God has done, such as sending His Son Jesus to die for your sins.

If you consider what goes on in this earth then you will realize that man is failing miserably. God gave the earth to man and man should be using it to praise the lord. How little praising of the Lord goes on in this world. You will hear very little good said about Jesus from Hollywood or from the news media or from your neighbors or coworkers. What a shame. God gave man the earth so that we can praise Jesus.

The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. What then is the difference between a dead person and a living person who does not praise the Lord. There is little difference. Because those who are lost, those who do not know Jesus are dead in their sins. It’s no wonder they do not praise the Lord. They are spiritually blind to all the good things and great things and graceful things that God has done.

There is nothing worse than to be dead in sin, blind to the truth, ignorant of all the marvelous works of God. Oh if only God would touch your heart and reveal to you your need of a Savior. If you do  not know Jesus as your Savior then turn to Him today. Pray to Jesus right now to save you from your sins and He will.

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