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Our call to worship come from the last two verses of the fourth book of Psalms, found in Psa 106:47-48. Psalm 106, though it certainly has its high points (see vv 1-3 and vv 47-48), is filled with repeated confessions of the rebellion of God’s people. We’ll also use the Psalm as our responsive reading in the morning worship service, where the Psalmist describes the nation’s “wickedness,” that they “rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.” The reason the Psalmist keeps returning to the sins of the people is to pivot to “remind” the Lord God of his continued steadfast love and mercy to his people. He is saying, “You’ve been so merciful in the past to us despite our sin.” And this truth of the Lord’s mercy then leads right into the verses that will begin our service this Sunday, vv 47-48: Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the LORD! In other words, show us this steadfast love again. Forgive us again and save us, the Psalmist prays. And the purpose is not that they might return to wickedness. On the contrary, the Psalmist prays for salvation to the end that they may join their voices together in worship: that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. As I have often noted, this is the right response to salvation: worship. God saved you to worship him. Let us keep this great truth in mind as we gather for worship this Lord’s Day.
In the prayer service, I will teach on the next verse in Daniel’s prayer of confession in Daniel 9. We’ll begin the day singing the words of Psalm 46 (Red 84).
The sermon this Sunday considers the crisis between Egypt and Israel at the Red Sea. As I’ll point out, one of the themes of Exodus 14 as a whole is one of seeing. Everything turns on what is seen and not seen, what will be seen, and what has been seen. The captivating narrative, so loved throughout history, is a stirring call to faith in the unseen God, Yahweh (who ironically was manifest in the pillar of cloud and fire). The Red Sea doesn’t teach us that God will always make “our Red Seas” part for us in this life, but it is a reminder that the invisible Almighty God knows exactly what he’s doing, even when our eyes betray other competing “realities” to our senses and finite understanding.
Call to Worship: Psalm 106:47-48
Hymn 328 [Red] The God of Abraham Praise (Stanzas 1-6 & 12)
Congregational Reading: Psalm 106:4-12
Doxology: Doxology, Red 437
Hymn 256 [Blue] It is Well with My Soul
Hymn 121 [Red] It’s Good to Thank the Lord
Scripture Reading: Exodus 23:1-19 & John 13:1-20
Hymn 268 [Blue] How Firm a Foundation In Exodus 14, the people of Israel see the Egyptians coming with their state-of-the-art military technology. They panic with scathing sarcasm and a professed desire to have never left Egypt. Yet, Moses tells them, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of Yahweh” (v 13). So this wonderful hymn, so filled with the precious promises of God, reminds us in the second stanza of the Lord’s words of comfort to us: Fear not, I am with thee—O be not dismayed, for I am thy God, I will still give thee aid; I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, upheld by my gracious, omnipotent hand. Surely one of the lessons of the crisis at the Red Sea is not to fear, but to trust. May the Lord use the ministry of the word this Lord’s Day, both in song and sermon, to cement this truth to our souls.
Sermon: See the Salvation of the LORD from Exodus 14:1-14
Hymn 88 [Red] Be Gracious unto Me, O God
This week, Sunday School will be a Quodlibet, where you get to ask “Whatever” you like. If you already have a question you’d like answered, I encourage you to email it to me in advance.