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One of the ways that the Lord glorifies himself is in the gracious redemption of his people. The reason that God’s redemption of his people brings God glory is that it magnifies his free and undeserved grace. Whenever God saves, he is acting graciously. This is the theme of our call to worship this coming Lord’s Day, taken from Psalm 108:5-6: Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! That your beloved ones may be delivered, give salvation by your right hand and answer me! In David’s mind, God’s exaltation and glory is connected directly to the deliverance of his “beloved ones” and his “giving salvation.” So it is in our passage for the morning message. When the Lord put a wall of separation between Goshen and Egypt, not plaguing the one while judging the other, he demonstrated his grace and brought himself glory. The Lord delivered his beloved ones by his grace, and so exalted himself and brought himself glory. And as those who have trusted him, it ought to be our fervent prayer that God would glorify himself by continuing to lavish upon us his grace in Christ.
In the prayer service, we’ll return again to Jonah’s prayer in Jonah 2. To begin the service, we’ll return to David Oestreich’s .
This Sunday’s sermon will continue looking at the plagues. Before this Lord’s Day is the second triad of plagues: flies, the death of livestock, and boils. Once again, God’s glory is prominent, not only judging the Egyptians, but also in his covenant love for Israel, demonstrated in his protection of his people from the plagues he brought upon Egypt. Along the way there are many other lessons in this passage. But the meat of the message comes in the distinction God made between Israel and Egypt. As he did this, he made it unmistakable that he, the God of the Hebrews, was the one bringing the plagues, and that he was bringing the plagues in judgment against the Egyptians for their sins against him and his people.
Call to Worship: Psalm 108:5-6
Hymn 175 [Red] Praise God, for He is Kind
Congregational Reading: Psalm 105:26-33
Hymn [Insert] My God, I Love Thee
Hymn 39 [Blue] This is My Father’s World
Scripture Reading: Exodus 14 & John 8:12-30
Hymn 355 [Red] In God, My Faithful God
Sermon: In the Midst of this Land from Exodus 8:20-9:12
Hymn 124 [Red] God of Vengeance, O Jehovah It certainly not in vogue to discuss, let alone sing, the so-called “imprecatory Psalms,” but that’s what we will do together this Lord’s Day morning. In light of the plagues, it is somehow fitting that we sing a Psalm like this. And that’s why I chose it. The truth is that God’s people had been violated and unjustly injured by the Egyptians during their sojourn in that land. Their children had been slaughtered, and they had been treated like cattle, all for the wealth and comfort of the Egyptians. We can easily imagine a child of Israel taking up the words of this Psalm, had it been composed before their affliction in Egypt, and singing it in mournful hope to the Lord. This paraphrase of Psalm 94 puts the judgment of the wicked right where it should be: in the hands of the Lord. And while it does sol, the afflicted soul finds his hope of deliverance in God alone. Thus stanza 5: Who for me withstands the wicked? Who against wrong pleads for me? If the LORD were not my helper, soon my soul would silent be. If I say, ‘My foot is slipping!’ LORD, Your mercy, will uphold. When my anxious thoughts are many, how your comforts cheer my soul! Among the many lessons the plagues teach us is that God will not let sin go unpunished. He sees his people when they are violated. He, the “God of Vengeance,” makes things right. And while we marvel at the impeccable justice of God, let us stand amazed that we, who deserved his vengeance, have been made his people by the grace of Jesus Christ.
In Sunday School, I will be holding a Quodlibet. Be sure to send your questions to me!