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Without question, Psalm 51, David’s penitential psalm after his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, is one of the most beautiful Psalms in inspired Scripture. Of course, the whole episode, in all its ugliness, teaches us that our God is a God of great longsuffering and forgiveness. What kind of a God casts even sins such as these as far as the East is from the West? Our God is such a God, brothers. He treats his people in this way purely of his mercy and grace. Our own sins, as black as they are, are likewise forgiven when we turn in faith to Jesus Christ. This is a most precious promise. And how is it that people who have been so gloriously forgiven respond? The same way David responds in Psalm 51. Psalm 51 is not only about confession and forgiveness, it is about worship and praise. The section we are using in our service this Lord’s Day demonstrates this. Our call to worship also comes from this portion: O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. This is what Christ’s righteousness does for us. It opens our lips with praise. God’s grace is what draws us in worship, not only in fitting us, but in evoking from us the sincere expressions of adoration in our hearts.
In the prayer service, we will begin our day returning to Psalm 119. We’ll also revisit our new hymn for the month of January, Psalm 46 (Red 84-85).
This Sunday’s sermon continues in God’s revelation to Moses in Exodus 3. This week, we consider God’s revelation of his faithfulness to Moses, Moses’s response to God’s revelation, and God’s reaffirmation of his love for Israel. The Most High God has come down from heaven to deliver his people. He reveals himself to be the same God with the same promises that spoke to Moses’ father Abraham so long ago. The God who acted in history to deliver Israel is the same God who has acted in history for our salvation, when he sent his Son Jesus Christ to bring us salvation. This passage has been given to us so that we might believe and love the God who dwells in the bush.
Call to Worship: Psalm 51:15
Hymn [Insert] God Himself Is with Us
Hymn 255 [Red] Ah, Holy Jesus
Congregational Reading: Psalm 51:13-19
Doxology: Doxology, Red 437
Hymn 45 [Blue] Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim I chose this hymn because one of its lines, though an allusion to the seraphim in Isa 6, reminds us of Moses’s response to God’s self revelation in Exod 3. The third stanza calls us to join all created beings in song: “Salvation to God who sits on the throne,” let all cry aloud and honor the Son; the praises of Jesus the angels proclaim, fall down on their faces and worship the Lamb. Charles Wesley speaks of angels … falling down on their faces in worship, and this is much like Moses, who hid his face before God in his self-revelation. When the Creator and Most High God reveals himself to weak and sinful men, they are not glib or casual. The gracious love of the Most High only heightens the reverence and awe we have for him. The familial ties given to us in our union with Christ (such as our adoption and “Abba, Father” cry [see Rom 8]) do not make God less high or poewrful or awesome. That this high and holy God condescends to save us and make us his people makes us revere and fear him all the more.
Scripture Reading: Exodus 1 & Colossians 3:18-4:6
Hymn 120 [Red] How Lovely, LORD of Hosts, to Me
Sermon: Holy Ground, Part 3 from Exodus 3:1-6
Hymn 313 [Red] Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
In Sunday School, Eric White will teach on Articles 6 & 8 of the Conservative Declaration.