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“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits!” says David in Psalm 103:2. The American Thanksgiving provides a natural way for Christians to do what ought always to characterize them. We are always to give thanks. This is the command of Christ. When we are expressing thanks to God as we ought, we will never “forget all his benefits.” Most wonderful of all God’s gifts to us is the grace of Jesus Christ, who suffered for us so that we might have communion with the eternal God. This week, we will see how the Israelites, upon God’s first testing of them, quickly abandoned such an attitude of thanksgiving. Our souls are at war with selfishness and unbelief. Far better for us is to forget not all God’s benefits. This is true every Lord’s Day, but perhaps more so this coming Sunday: the Thanksgiving holiday will continue as we gather for worship this Lord’s Day.
In the prayer service, we’ll return to Daniel’s prayer of confession in Daniel 9. The prayer service will begin with the hymn Thou Hidden Love of God, Whose Height.
The sermon this Sunday considers the people of Israel’s entry into the wilderness. The story takes along the eastern coast of the Red Sea. The episode is a time of testing and difficulty, but the Lord wants to teach his people to look to him for all they need. It is a passage both of great conviction and wonderful comfort. Above all, the lesson is that we trust God at all times, whether at the bitter pools of Marah or the refreshing oasis of Elim.
Call to Worship: Psalm 103:1-3
Hymn 284 [Red] Come, Ye Thankful People
Congregational Reading: Psalm 100
Doxology: Doxology, Red 437
Hymn 40 [Blue] Great is Thy Faithfulness
Ministry of Music: Sanctus, by Franz Schubert
Hymn 139 [Red] All People That on Earth Do Dwell This Sunday, we sing several hymns of thanks to God in our distinctively Christian celebration of Thanksgiving. This beautiful paraphrase of Psalm 100 is most appropriate, for it is subtitled “A Psalm for Giving Thanks.” We actually use Psalm 100 for our congregational reading as well. And yet the text of the hymn is appropriate for our passage where the Lord tests the faith of his people. Consider the second stanza: Know that the LORD is God indeed; without our aid He did us make; we are His folk, He doth us feed, and for His sheep He doth us take. He does feed and take care of his people. Our God is Yahweh Rophe, “the LORD our healer.”
Scripture Reading: Exodus 28:31-43 & John 18:19-40
Hymn 283 [Red] Now Thank We All Our God
Sermon: Into the Wilderness from Exodus 15:22-27
Hymn 285 [Red] We Gather Together
In Sunday School, I will be teaching catechism question 51:
Q. What summary of the moral law did God reveal to Israel?
A. The summary of the moral law that God first revealed to Israel for their obedience are the ten commandments,1 which still instruct believers today.2
1 Deut 10:4; Matt 19:17 2 1 Cor 10:6; 2 Tim 3:16-17