No strain, no gain…

Psalms decorative

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob…
Psalm 114:7 ESV



20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
John 16:20-22 ESV

In Christ, it is no bad thing to tremble ‘at the presence of the Lord’, because so much that Jesus wants to do for us, only comes with such trembling, as Dr. G. Campbell Morgan commented on Psalm 114:7….

Dr. Morgan writes “… the theme is that of the Exodus, forever associated with the Passover (and) the Exodus is thought of in its completeness; not only escape from Egypt, but entrance to the land, for both Sea and Jordan are seen as passed…. (Here) Jehovah is seen as Adon, the Sovereign Lord, and as Eloha, the Mighty One. In order to the accomplishing of His delivering purpose, He is revealed as producing convulsions in Nature, making the sea to flee, Jordan to turn backward, and the mountains and hills to quake. This convulsive action is interpreted in these particular words, and specially in the word ‘tremble’ … Our translations, Authorized and Revised, miss the point. … Rotherham, with his customary accuracy and daring, helps us, as he renders, ‘Be in birth-throes, O Earth.’

“When Jehovah, acting as Sovereign Lord, and in His might thus convulsed Nature, it was that a nation might be born. Out of the strain and stress and agony, produced by such action on the part of God, new life emerges, a new order is introduced.

“In the Upper Room, in connection with the celebration of the Passover, our Lord used the same figure of speech in connection with the sorrows which would come to His disciples as the result of their association with Him (see John 16:20-22).

“Not without strain, convulsion, agony, can new life be born out of conditions of bondage and evil; but for the accomplishment of His high purpose, God will Himself enter into those experiences. He did so in Christ, and Christ sang the song that praised Him for so doing.”

From Dr. G. Campbell Morgan in Searchlights From the Word.

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