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Psalm 114 1
1 When Israel came out of Egypt, Jacob from a people of foreign tongue, 2 Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel his dominion. 3 The sea looked and fled, the Jordan turned back; 4 the mountains leaped like rams, the hills like lambs. 5 Why was it, sea, that you fled? Why, Jordan, did you turn back? 6 Why, mountains, did you leap like rams, you hills, like lambs? 7 Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, 8 who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water.

choiceBackground

This psalm is often referred to as the SONG OF THE EXODUS because of its poetry. It is hard to give credit to a human mind for the creation of this Psalm. God is spoken of as leading his people from Egypt to Canaan, and causing the whole earth to be moved at His coming. Inanimate things are represented as imitating the actions of living creatures as our Lord passes by. It is a most poetic scene: The God of Jacob is exalted as having command over the rivers, seas, and mountains, and causing all of nature to pay homage and tribute before His glorious majesty.

Biblical Truth 2

What happened when the people of Israel left Egypt? Psalm 114 details that several things happened:

  • God led them to the Promised Land, (verse 2).
  • God led them through the Red Sea, which became dry for them, (verse 3).
  • God led them over the River Jordan. It also became dry for them, (verse 3).
  • Mountains and hills like Sinai seemed to jump like animals, (verse 4).
  • God gave them water from the rocks in dry places, (verse 8).

Items for Discussion

  • Why do you think that people today do not describe their God in this majestic and visual way? (e.g. moving mountains, separating seas, etc.)
  • Why should we believe that God did these things for the Israelites?
  • What happens to one’s faith and belief system if they believe God did not do these things? What happens if they believe God did do them?
  • Do you think that God does these things still today? Why or why not?
  • If the psalmist is describing the response of inanimate objects to God, how do you think we should be responding?

 

Romans 14:7-12
7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” 12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Background 3

The apostle Paul is directing our conduct of laws of justice, peacefulness, and order, to be observed by us as members of the Church. Particularly, he gives rules how to manage our different apprehensions about indifferent things, in the management of which, it seems, there was something amiss among the Roman Christians, to whom he wrote. Here in chapter 14, Paul works to fix this problem. But the rules are general, and of standing use in the church, for the preservation of that Christian love which he had so earnestly pressed in chapter 13 as the fulfilling of the law.

It is certain that nothing is more threatening, or more fatal, to Christian societies, than the contentions and divisions of their members. By these wounds the life and soul of religion expire. Now in this chapter we are furnished with the sovereign balm of Gilead; the blessed apostle prescribes like a wise physician. “Why then is not the hurt of the daughter of my people recovered,’’ but because his directions are not followed? This chapter, rightly understood, made use of, and lived up to, would set things to the proper priorities and focus, and heal us all.

Bible Truth 4

Though some are weak, and others are strong, yet all must agree not to live to themselves. No one who has given up his name to Christ, is allowedly to be a self-seeker; that is against true Christianity. The business of our lives is not to please ourselves, but to please God. That is true Christianity, which makes Christ all in all. Though Christians are of different strength, capacities, and gifts, all are to be looking and serving, and approving themselves to Christ. He is Lord of those that are living, to rule them; of those that are dead, to revive them, and raise them up.

Christians should not judge or despise one another, because both the one and the other must shortly give an account. A believing regard to the judgment of the great day, would silence rash judgments. Let every man search his own heart and life; he that is strict in judging and humbling himself, will not be apt to judge and despise his brother. We must take heed of saying or doing things which may cause others to stumble or to fall. The one signifies a lesser, the other a greater degree of offence; that which may be an occasion of grief or of guilt to our brother. We can, however, take comfort in that Christ deals gently with those who have true grace, though they are weak in it.

Items for Discussion

  • Based on these verses, how would you expect a Christian church to resolve differences from within its body of believers?
  • What is the responsibility of a church to avoid the traps defined by Paul, not to become self-seeking?
  • How would you describe what your first “face to face” encounter with Christ will be like? Use our Scripture verse as a guide
  • What is the purpose of standing before God in judgment if we already have been forgiven for our sins?

Discussion Challenge

  • The greatest risk to a Christian is to continue to pursue a church that lives up to their own personal doctrine – What criteria should a Christian use to avoid unnecessary conflict?
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