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The Earth Trembles Before God’s People 

The Earth knows who we are

Psalm 114

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • December 11, In the year of our Lord, 2016

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Larry Amberg – “This Is My Father’s World”


  1. Yahweh God made the Earth. 
    1. The Earth knows it.
    2. Therefore, the sea, the rivers, the mountains, and the hills,
      1. flee from His presence,
      2. not in guilt, but as unworthy before Him.
        1. Psalm 114 shows these wonderful truths, but
        2. the Psalm also shows another for whom the Earth trembles.


  1. Psalm 114.1–2 | God Dwells in His People

    1 When Israel went out of Egypt,
    The house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
    2 Judah became His sanctuary,
    And Israel His dominion.

    1. The God of all creation led Israel out of Egypt.
      1. Having done so, Israel and Judah, the leading tribe,
      2. became the sanctuary/dominion of this great and awesome God.
    2. Even as the Lord God dwelt in ancient Israel
      1. so He dwells with the church.
      2. First Corinthians 3 refers to the church as His dwelling place,

        16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1Co 3.16).
      3. First Corinthians 6 also argues that He dwells in each Christian,

        19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (1Co 6.19).
  2. Psalm 114.3–6 | Why Does the Earth Tremble?

    3 The sea saw it and fled;
    Jordan turned back.
    4 The mountains skipped like rams,
    The little hills like lambs.
    5 What ails you, O sea, that you fled?
    O Jordan, that you turned back?
    6 O mountains, that you skipped like rams?
    O little hills, like lambs?

    1. Even as man cannot survive seeing the face of God,
      1. so the Earth cannot remain when He shows His face, and
      2. the Bible shows what the Earth will do in the end,

        11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them (Rev 20.11).
    2. How did the Earth react to the birth of Israel?
      1. The Red Sea parted.
        1. God had chosen this new nation
        2. to bring the blessing of Abraham
          1. fulfilled in Jesus Christ,
          2. into the world.
            1. Therefore, the Red Sea opened up
            2. that Israel might escape the pursuing Egyptians, for
              1. if the Egyptians had either killed or re-enslaved Israel,
              2. the world would never receive the Lord Jesus Christ.
      2. The Jordan River cut itself off for the children of Israel,
        1. standing up in a heap upstream,
        2. that Israel might cross on dry ground.
      3. The Mountains quaked at the presence of the Lord of heaven and Earth,
        1. who came down upon the Mountains of Sinai, and
        2. at the presence of the people at the foot of the mountain,

          16 Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly (Exo 19.16–18).
        3. Psalm 68, like Psalm 114, commented on this event,

          7 O God, when You went out before Your people,
          When You marched through the wilderness,
          8 The earth shook;
          The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God;
          Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
          (Psa 68.7–8)
        4. One London preacher said in the 19th century,

          “Men fear the mountains, but the mountains tremble before the Lord” (Charles Spurgeon, p. 42).
      4. The hills also quaked.
        1. Psalm 29 speaks of similar things,

          4 The voice of the LORD is powerful;
          The voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
          5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars,
          Yes, the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon.
          6 He makes them also skip like a calf,
          Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.
          7 The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire.
          8 The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
          The LORD shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.
          9 The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth,
          And strips the forests bare;
          And in His temple everyone says, “Glory!”
          (Psa 29.4–9)
    3. Psalm 114 asked: What ailed the waters and the mountains that they so fled?
      1. The presence of God and His people.

        “It is said that man is affected by his environment. It is true; but it is equally true that man’s environment is affected by him” (G. Matheson, IN: The Expositor’s Dictionary of Texts, Volume 1, Part 1, page 478).

      2. When Jesus died, the Earth shook and the sun did not shine.
    4. Now get this: We are the Israel of God.
      1. How do I know that Christians and the church are the Israel of God?
      2. In Galatians 6, after stating
        1. that by Jesus Christ the world had been crucified to him, and
        2. that he had been crucified to the world,
          1. Paul said that in Jesus circumcision or uncircumcision
          2. avails nothing, but being a new creature does, he said,

            16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God (Gal 6.16).
      3. In Romans 2, Paul explained further,

        28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God (Rom 2.28–29).
      4. Anyway, my point is this:
        1. What was said of ancient Israel of the flesh,
        2. can now be said of the modern church in the Spirit.
          1. The Earth knew of the Lord’s presence in Israel, and
          2. the Earth knows of the Lord’s presence in the body of Christ.
            1. Therefore, if the Earth reacted to Israel,
            2. the Earth also reacts to the church, for
              1. even as Revelation 12 shows ancient Israel
              2. as a woman bringing Christ into the world, and then
                1. once He was born, the Earth helped the woman,
                2. now seen in the story as the church,

                  13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev 12.13–17).
  3. Psalm 114.7–8 | The Earth Trembles at the Presence of God

    7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
    At the presence of the God of Jacob,
    8 Who turned the rock into a pool of water,
    The flint into a fountain of waters.

    1. Not just the Red Sea, the Jordan River, and Mount Sinai, but
      1. let all the Earth tremble at the presence of the Lord, and
      2. let all the Earth tremble at the presence of the God of Jacob, for
        1. God traveled with Jacob, the children of Israel,
        2. as they traversed the wilderness for 40 years.
    2. Not only the planet, but
      1. the wicked of Earth trembled at Israel,
      2. as Rahab testified to the spies,

        9 “I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. 10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath (Jos 2.9–11).

        1. The people of the Earth also respond strongly to the church,

          6b “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too” (Acts 17.6).
        2. Thus, the people of the Earth have always persecuted the church.
    3. Psalm 114 declares
      1. that not only should the Earth tremble for God and His people, because
        1. He separated the waters of the Red Sea and of the Jordan, but
        2. He also turned rock into abundant water for Israel.
      2. The Earth should tremble before a God who can do such things.
      3. The Earth should tremble before a people for whom God does such things.
        1. Twice the Lord God Almighty brought water from rock for Israel.
        2. For Israel, the Creator of the Earth
          1. turned the waters of Egypt into blood,
          2. separated the waters of the Red Sea,
          3. sweetened the bitter waters of Marah,
          4. brought water from rock twice, and
          5. stopped the waters of the Jordan during its flood stage.


  1. I once read, 
    1. that Satan trembles at our presence, but
    2. under the right condition, saying,

      “Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, ‘Oh no, he’s awake.’”
  2. The Earth and all creation knows something 
    1. that God’s own children often forget, or
    2. that we just do not take in the full force of this knowledge,

      19 …The earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now (Rom 8.19–22).

      1. The Earth knows that it exists for God and His people, and
      2. it anticipates that time when God shall release it from man’s corruption.
  3. It should not surprise us 
    1. that the Earth knows of us, and
    2. that it has certain reactions to man and his behavior, and
    3. that it reserves its greatest responses for the people of God.
      1. God created the Earth as our habitation.
      2. Man is not an afterthought,

        18 For thus says the LORD,
        Who created the heavens,
        Who is God,
        Who formed the earth and made it,
        Who has established it,
        Who did not create it in vain,
        Who formed it to be inhabited:
        “I am the LORD, and there is no other.”
        (Isa 45.18)

        1. The Earth knows the truth of this passage.
        2. We can show that we know the truth of this passage
          1. by living our lives on the Earth for the Creator.
          2. We should bless the Earth,
            1. just as we do our homes, and
            2. we should bless the Creator.