The Earth Trembles
1When Israel went out from Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
2Judah became his sanctuary, Israel his dominion.
3The sea looked and fled; Jordan turned back.
4The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs.
5What ails you, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back?
6O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs?
7Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8who turns the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water.
It isn’t lost on me that we would have this particular Psalm to read today when the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is still paramount in the lives of Texans, the historical power of Hurricane Irma stands poised to devastate the state of Florida, and an earthquake that measured 8.1 hit southern Mexico last night, followed by fears of a Tsunami. And the northwestern United States has been on fire for the last month. The earth shakes and groans in anticipation of the Lord’s return. And I’ll confess, I wondered to myself if today would be the day. Of course, people have thought that thought for centuries now, so I am certainly not the first. The psalmist looks back over the God’s history with Israel and sees His mighty hand over it all. Ultimately, it is God and God alone who is in full control of everything, including hurricanes and earthquakes. And while God never trembles in the face of such things, we do.
What I’m seeing in these disastrous events is the love of God being played out in real time through real people. This isn’t a disaster movie but instead regular folks showing the world what it means to love your neighbor. No one is asking the color of your skin or your socioeconomic situation, your education level or your political leanings. Instead people are just reaching out to people and that is because the love of God fills the world. Without out that love, we would already be gone.
God reached out to this broken world in the Persons of Jesus Christ and the earth trembled that day too. In Jesus we find our only hope for the future, both here on earth and in the life after this one. He has not left us to our own devices and for that we are eternally grateful - literally.
So, while the whole world groans, God remains Lord over all. Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord.” Come, Lord Jesus, come!