The fourth of the "hallelujah" psalms (111-118), 114 was probably composed by a priest or Levite for use in the temple liturgy. It stands second in the "Egyptian Hallel" used in Jewish liturgy at the annual religious festivals prescribed in the Torah. At Passover, Psalms 113 and 114 were sung before the meal; 115 through 118 were sung after the meal. With vivid metaphor (mountains skipping like rams) and masterful compression, this little hymn celebrates the mighty power of God displayed in the Exodus, at Sinai, in the Israelites' desert wanderings, and at the entrance to the promised land. God united with Israel at the time of the Exodus, taking up residence with them (st. 1). Earth's imposing and powerful features mountains and sea–yielded in awe to the redemptive purposes of God (st. 2), and the psalmist asks them to reflect on why they submitted (st. .3). The psalmist then calls upon all creation to tremble before Its Maker, who can still bring water out of dry, hard rock and provide for his people's every need (st. 4).
The exodus from Egypt has become the key paradigm for God’s gracious deliverance. Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 5 shows God’s response to this event as evidence of the fact that “God holds this world with fierce love,” and paragraph 21 points to the fact that ”God chose Israel to show the glory of his name, the power of his love, and the wisdom of his ways.”