From Nalani Cushing
In Psalm 114, the words “dominion” and “sanctuary” stand out to me. Even though they aren’t words we use a lot in our day-to-day lives, in the context of God’s work and history with His people, both words are filled with so much meaning. When I hear of “dominions”, I think of kingdoms and kings, and the rule and realm of these kings, whereas “sanctuary” makes me think of the temple, the tabernacle, of holy places where God dwells and is worshipped. What does it mean, then, that Israel and Judah have become the sanctuary and dominion of God?
God chose and set apart a people for Himself. Throughout the Bible, the phrase “I will be their God, and they will be my people” reminds us of this amazing reality. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, forgiveness and new life in God’s kingdom are offered to all people. God is present with them, even as they wander through the desert. God rules and has dominion over His people. He is King, and He is where they are.
As we read further in Psalm 114, we see more of what God’s presence is like through some vivid imagery: God’s presence is AWEsome, and all of nature recognizes and trembles at his presence. God’s presence is life-giving, creating springs of water from dry, hard rock. God cares for his people, doing amazing works such as parting the Red Sea.
In my fear, distrust, distraction, and idolatry, I need to be reminded of this almost continually: There is nothing greater than God to hope in. There is nothing else that is truly life-giving, and nothing else deserving of our worship. No one else is as fully present, even in the darkest darkness, as our God, who became human and suffered for us. We belong to God.