“Come and see what God has done: He is awesome in His deeds toward the children of man. He turned the sea into dry land: they passed through the river on foot. There did we rejoice in Him.“(Psalm 66:5-6 ESV)
The psalmist invites us to come and see what God has done, to celebrate the Lord’s awesome deeds among His people. So where does the psalmist start? What is the first awesome deed mentioned? There are, after all, so many. The psalmist might have spoken of the creation of the world, when God called light into existence and formed a man from the dust of the earth. Our attention might be drawn to God’s acts of judgment in the Flood or at the Tower of Babel, deeds both awesome and terrible. Another awesome deed was the Lord’s gracious covenant promise made to the patriarch Abraham, whose descendant would be a blessing for all nations.
Those are awesome deeds, but we do not hear about them in this psalm. The psalmist begins with Israel’s exodus from Egypt, when they crossed the Red Sea and finally arrived at the Promised Land’s Jordan River. God “turned the sea into dry land,” and “they passed through the river on foot.” With mighty acts of power God delivered His people from slavery. The blood of the slain lambs saved them on the night God destroyed the firstborn of Egypt. Trapped at the Red Sea and facing certain death, God made a way through the water. The Israelites passed through in safety, and the sea returned to its place, drowning the pursuing enemy. When they came to the flooding Jordan, God caused the waters to pile up so that the people could cross the river on dry ground. These were the awesome deeds of the Lord as He led His people through water into freedom and new life.
Suppose that we extended the same invitation to others: “Come and see what God has done.” Where would we begin? We might choose the place where God’s awesome deeds began in our own lives, at the baptismal font. There, through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the water and the Word, we were buried with Christ and raised to new life. From that day forward, the mighty deeds of the Lord continued in our lives.
But perhaps we should go back to earlier awesome deeds. We might start at the foot of the cross, where the Lamb of God was slain to save us from death and our slavery to sin. In a mighty act of power, Jesus was raised from death, a victory that is now ours by faith. At the empty tomb, an angel said to the women who had come seeking the Lord, “Come, see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead” (Matthew 28:6b-7a). Standing by faith at the cross and empty tomb, we invite others to meet our crucified and risen Lord: “Come and see! This is awesome!”
We pray: Lord God, by mighty acts of power You saved the Israelites. With mighty acts of power You saved me. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on June 27, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. How do you think God actually works in His creation?
2. What are some New Testament examples of Jesus displaying power over nature?
3. Which is more awesome: to move a mountain or to forgive the sins of the world? Which cost God more?