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Everyone endures times of great inner turmoil. The turmoil can come from a single great calamity or from a complex of physiological, spiritual, and relational concerns. Harsh societal realities like injustice, war, and disease can result in “tears” being one’s “food day and night.” When our souls are cast down within us, the answer is found in the Scripture that also serves as our call to worship this coming Lord’s Day: Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God: for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Life will bring turmoil, but hoping in God brings praise. As we gather for worship each week, different life struggles and difficulties may be weighing upon us, but each week we have the privilege of turning our eyes to the one in whom we hope. This is what the godly man does; he hopes in God when life turns out the lights on him. Indeed, he trusts God even when it seems like God has forgotten him. This truth remains unshaken. And when we hope in God, we can praise him who is our salvation and our God.
In the prayer service, we return to Psalm 119 for our Scripture for meditation. We will begin our prayer service singing with the words of Psalm 66: “Let All the Earth with Loud Rejoicing” (Red 94-95).
During our worship service, Pastor Siefkes will be preaching Psalm 23. I trust you are looking forward to his ministry as much as I am. This is one of the best loved Psalms in Scripture, and Pastor Siefkes handles the Scriptures with great care. In the Psalm, David speaks of Yahweh’s love for and guidance of his people. Besides singing the actual words of Psalm 23 (“The King of Love My Shepherd Is”), the hymns that we’ll be singing rehearse these beautiful themes of the Psalm.
Call to Worship: Psalm 42:11
Hymn 291 [Blue] Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
Congregational Reading: Psalm 42:1-8
Hymn 35 [Red] The King of Love My Shepherd Is
Hymn 304 [Red] Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken
Scripture Reading: Daniel 3 & Ephesians 2:11-22
Hymn 354 [Red] If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee I chose this hymn for this service because it communicates so well a key theme in Psalm 23: God’s loving guidance of his people. David says that Yahweh “leads” him “in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” He says that Yahweh is with him, and that his “rod and staff … comfort me.” We find these truths in this wonderful hymn by Georg Neumark. The very title speaks of God’s guidance: “If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee.” The third verse articulates especially well the trust a believer has in God: “Only be still, and wait his leisure, in cheerful hope, with heart content to take whate’er thy Father’s pleasure and all discerning love hath sent; nor doubt our inmost wants are known to him who chose us for his own.” Just as the believer in Psalm 42 when in turmoil throws himself upon the mighty care of Yahweh, so the soul that knows that Yahweh is his Shepherd is ready to trust him completely at all times of life.
Sermon: The Twenty-Third Psalm from Psalm 23
Hymn 509 [Blue] The Sands of Time are Sinking
In Sunday School, we will sit under Pastor Siefkes competent instruction again, as he teaches us from Psalm 42.