Study Guide – Psalm 114


1 When the Israelites escaped from Egypt—
    when the family of Jacob left that foreign land—
2 the land of Judah became God’s sanctuary,
    and Israel became his kingdom.

3 The Red Sea saw them coming and hurried out of their way!
    The water of the Jordan River turned away.
4 The mountains skipped like rams,
    the hills like lambs!
5 What’s wrong, Red Sea, that made you hurry out of their way?
    What happened, Jordan River, that you turned away?
6 Why, mountains, did you skip like rams?
    Why, hills, like lambs?

7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
    at the presence of the God of Jacob.
8 He turned the rock into a pool of water;
    yes, a spring of water flowed from solid rock. NLT


Readers of Psalm 114 are invited to watch an unfolding drama, as the writer gives personality to specific geographic features. Read through this psalm and think about the following questions:


What is this psalm supposed to make feel?


What is this psalm supposed to make you realize?


What is this psalm supposed to make you do?



Read the account of the Israelites going through the Red Sea in Exodus 14, the Jordan River in Joshua 3, and the mountain giving up water in Exodus 17. You could also read Psalm 29:5-6 where the mountains skip and leap. If you have time, do a quick search on "mountains tremble" on a site like Biblegateway. After studying these things, how does having this background knowledge impact your comprehension of this psalm?


After reading this psalm, do you believe God is to be feared or to be sought? Explain your answer.


Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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