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Scripture call to worship this Lord’s Day comes from Psalm 44. This Psalm is powerful, for it is the earnest prayer of a people who have struggled to remain faithful to the Lord, and yet have seen nothing but affliction from his hand. Yet, the sons of Korah still hope in the Lord and his steadfast love. This hope is seen throughout the Psalm, but in v 8 we see the earnest plea of the people: In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever. Even though it seemed to the saints in Israel that God had “rejected” and “disgraced” them (v 9), though God had made these saints “like sheep for slaughter” (v 11), the “taunt” of wicked men (v 13), and objects of “disgrace” and “shame” (v 15), and even though all this happened while these saints could say, “we have not forgotten you, and we have not been false to your covenant,” they still held out hope for God and his salvation. They were “afflicted, but not crushed” (see 2 Cor 4). The last verse of the Psalm shows the vibrancy of this hope during the darkness of the people’s affliction: “Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!” (v 26). Our God is so faithful, we can still trust him in the midst of the darkest days. It reminds us of the words of William Cowper’s great hymn: Behind a frowning providence he hides a smiling face. So, in times of affliction or prosperity, let us say in worship to our God, “In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever.”
In the prayer service, we will return again to Acts and its instances of prayer. We will begin that service by singing the hymn we’re learning this month, “How Bright These Glorious Spirits Shine!” (Red 206).
Call to Worship: Psalm 44:8
Hymn 345 [Red] Come, Thou Almighty King
Congregational Reading: Psalm 44:1-7
Doxology: Doxology, Red 437
Hymn [Insert] Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy It is important that we read Psalm 90, not only in light of the realty of Israel’s wilderness wanderings and the struggles of the nation under the leadership of Moses, but also in light of the whole Psalm’s context. The grace that Moses prays for in vv 12-17 is not simply about the Lord’s chastisement of his wayward people during their sojourn in the wilderness, but about the grace that every believer needs in light of their sinfulness and depravity. This reality is especially plain as we consider those middle verses of the Psalm, vv 5-11. The satisfaction, joy, gladness, and steadfast love that Moses prays for in vv 12-17 represent the great need of sinners. This Psalm reminds us that we in coming to God, we come to him, seeking his grace, as sinners. Christ has not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. So the profound prayer of Moses reminds us that God’s grace is for those of us who have sinned against him. This is the invitation of this hymn that so richly extols the free grace of Jesus Christ. Let not conscience make you linger, nor of fitness fondly dream; all the good that he requireth is to feel your need of him. Likewise, as Moses lays out the grim reality of their sin, he comes to the Lord for the grace that comes out of his freely distributed love for his people. The refrain of the hymn could serve as a great summary of the teaching of Moses in Psa 90:12-17: I will arise and go to Jesus; he will embrace in his arms! In the arms of my dear Savior, O there are ten thousand charms.
Hymn 54 [Blue] For the Beauty of the Earth
Scripture Reading: Daniel 4:19-37 & Ephesians 4:1-16
Hymn 343 [Red] Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word
Sermon: The Covenant Love of God, Part 3 from Psalm 90:12-17
Hymn 321 [Red] O Worship the King
During the Sunday School hour, we will have a Communion service.