Vol. 2, No. 15 – Monday, 10th April, 2017

(Psalm 114, Exodus 33:12-15)


In human relations, there are many a time when promises of money or other gifts are preconditioned by condition(s). With divinity, the same is often times not different. I do not find any other reason for conditioned promises other than two.

First, there is no doubt that a son-father (humanity/divinity) relationship exists between man and God. Man is human; he is fraught with human frailties such as quick to forget, ingratitude, undermining and undervaluing God’s goodness, etc.

Divine condition(s) therefore attached to any promise of God not only keeps man in remembrance of divine kindness, but equally makes him attach much value to both the condition(s) and the consequent blessings.

You do remember Thomas Paine, don’t you?
It was Thomas Paine who wrote: ‘the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, and gather strength from distress’.

Wow! how so true!. Man, more often than not, by nature, never values that which he has obtained so free and without a sacrificial prize.
Second, the attachment of conditions to promises is the sole test of man’s true innate personality.

Indeed, divine conditions are the triggers of obedience or disobedience. They tell God what our very real intentions and dispositions are towards Him. This therefore further means two things:

(1) that he who will be a carrier of God’s power, presence, gift or blessings of any kind must first and foremost excel in the divine test of the state of the heart, and
(2) obedience is a major condition-precedent for God’s blessings or even His presence in and around man.

Beloved, I find something of a mystery in our first text today. Ps.114 reads: ‘

1. When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;

2. Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion.

3. sea saw it and fled; Jordan was driven back.

4. The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.

5. What ailed thee, o thou sea, that thou fleddest? Thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back?

6. Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs?

7. Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob;

8. Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters’.

Hmmm! what a most powerful scripture. I love this powerful display of God’s awesome power. Nonetheless, I still have a challenge. There seems to me to be a mystery at least between verses 1 and 2 above. Why?

These two verses fail the test of the grammatical syntax of English grammar and usage. The two verses appear on the face of it to have no connection. Consider verses 1 and 2 again. ‘Verse 1 when Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; verse 2 Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion.

Putting on your academic thinking-cap in use of English grammar, do you not think that there is the need for a connecting nexus like the adverb of reason known such as the word (because) or a causal phrase like the words (so that) between verse 1 and verse 2? Doesn’t it appear that that connecting nexus between verse 1 and verse 2 is missing?

Whilst it may be grammatically argued that a connecting nexus is missing, I contend that the use of the punctuation mark (; (semicolon)) at the end of verse 1 is purely satisfactory. In English grammar and usage, semicolons play the role of indication, giving reasons for what had happened or will, as well as serving as a pointer to give further explanations on a foregoing subject or issue.

Technically speaking, semicolons are used ‘to indicate a pause, typically between two main clauses, that is more pronounced than that indicated by a comma (,).

So, if Psalm 114:1 is a main clause distinct from Psalm 114:2 which is another main clause, the insertion of semicolon at the end of the first main clause is for the purpose of explaining the correlation between verse 1 and verse 2.

Spiritually speaking, there is a deep mystery to be learnt here if we will receive and retain the power and the presence of the Lord. In effect, using the rule of semicolons, Psalm 114:2 is categorically stating that the reason Israel got its deliverance from Pharaoh and his people in Egypt was because Judah became God’s sanctuary which in turn gave Israel dominion.

The question is: why Judah? Understand that Judah means ‘Praise’. Understand also that only Judah was found worthy by father Jacob after Reuben, Simeon and Levi had failed (Gen.49). Judah was equally made the lawgiver. He was the very emblem of obedience; or tell me, can the lawgiver divinely chosen be the disobedient one?

Deliverance came after Israel forsook grumbling and murmuring in Egypt but chose to believe, obey and praise God. Do not forget the events of the Passover in Exodus chapter 12 verses 3-39 especially verses 28 and 35.
Was it not laden with all sorts of condition-infested instructions which Israel promptly obeyed to the last letter? That prompt obedience produced two positive effects:

Fulfilment of promise made to their fathers (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and clad them with God’s full presence of glory throughout their journey.
It is a trite and settled spiritual fact that if all things fail in the domain of deliverance from oppression, the power of praise, the power of prophecy and most importantly the power of righteous obedience (holiness) will not.

I assure you that with these three, the power and the presence of God is guaranteed in all seasons of life. Sometimes, life is a matter of give and take. Give the Most High a quality and worthy life and praise which is most expensive spiritually speaking and you will draw out power and His great presence out of His throne-room right down upon yourself.

Worthy praise drives away worry and produces the much ‘expected end’ for man. Are you in long wait and expectation of something from the Lord? Tender your request before Him. Follow it up with immediate quality praise from the soul and never forget holiness.

Our praise forces the hand of God to move in our direction and in our situation. Notice the wonders which emerged from verses 3-8 of our text after praise was given its rightful place. Notice there was no mention of prayer or fasting but ‘the presence of the Lord’which had been activated by praise.

In the end, dearly beloved, remember, king Solomon’s 1000 sacrificial offering of praise earned for him wisdom which surpassed that of all men till this day. Remember, the refusal to give God His rightful glory brought the life and reign of king Herod to an abrupt end.


Hymn: Holy, Holy, Holy

Pray now:
1. Rise early and read Psalms 50, 98, 113, 114, 135-136, 148-150 in great praise and shouts of acclamation to God the Most High.

2. Worship Him again and again with all sorts of songs of praise.

3. Present your needs now.

4. Praise Him with Psalms 8, 29, 129 and 147.

5. O God, infuse your indwelling power into me.

6. O God, make me a carrier of your divine presence.

                                                      Pastor Mike

Posted in TMN.

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