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  • Writer's pictureVicar Matt Doebler

Matins Devotion: June 30, 2023

Our Psalm for this morning—Psalm 114—describes the spiritual significance of Israel’s exodus from Egypt. When the people of Israel left Egypt behind, they left more than a life of making bricks for Pharaoh. They left “a people of strange language” to become a people who received God’s very Word. They left a land of worthless idols to become a sanctuary and a dwelling place for the one true and living God. This awesome display of God’s election of his people even sets nature abuzz. The sea and the Jordan river are not pictured as parting so much as fleeing in terror. The mountains and the hills skip around like sheep. The whole earth trembles—not because of the presence of this tiny nation—but because of the God who goes with them—who makes his dwelling place in their midst—who is powerful enough to crush the very rocks and transform them into pools and streams of water.

This psalm, of course, ultimately points us to the person and work of Christ. You were once a slave in captivity to your sin. You were once under the yoke of bondage to death. You were once subjected to the tyranny of the Devil and his language of lies. But then God gave you his Word. Through his Word he called you out of slavery and declared you to be his people. Through his Word, he made his presence to dwell with you. Though he could have chosen to dwell among the mountains and hills that danced with joy at his coming, he didn’t. He chose to make you his temple. He assumed your weak human flesh as his abode. He identified himself with your suffering. He offered his back to the cruel tyrant who had scarred your back with lashings. He took the yoke of death off your shoulders and carried it on his own. He freed you from your slavery to sin by becoming a slave himself—obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. But when his body was laid in the ground, the rocks could not hold him. Three days later, the earth trembled once again at the presence of the Lord, trembled at the presence of the God of Jacob, trembled at the glory of the risen Christ who did all this for you. So that he could free you. So that his presence could be with you. So that he could take your stony heart and transform it into a spring of living water.

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