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This week, as you come to worship, take for yourself the spirit of David when he was in the middle of an arid, dry wilderness while running from the mutiny raised by Absalom his son. His words in Ps 63 show that, as he looked around at the wilderness about him, David thought not of physical water, but of how his own literal thirst represented the spiritual thirst he had for the living God. O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. There is nothing on earth that satisfies like the true and living God. Oh, that we were hunger rightly and spiritually for God himself! For it is thus that we would be truly satisfied in worship. Listen to the language David employs: earnestly I seek you, he says. He speaks of thirsting and fainting for God. Our worship should also be characterized by this kind of singularity and zeal.
In the prayer service, we’ll return to Abraham’s prayer for God’s justice at Sodom and Gomorrah. The opening hymn this Sunday will be “Thy Broken Body, Gracious Lord” (Gray 278).
This Sunday, the sermon deals with the “epilogue” to the Sinai Covenant. The text sees a returning emphasis upon the divine “messenger” of the covenant, and we hear the Lord’s commitment to his people as he assures them of multiple blessings. Yet the Lord also severely warns the nation to obey him and worship him exclusively. Probably the most important aspect of the text I want you to appreciate is how important obedience is to the Lord God. We who know freedom from the Law and the promise of the forgiveness of sins through Christ, need to be reminded often of the truth that God hates disobedience and that he wants us to be conformed to his will. In the Old Covenant, obedience was a key element of God’s plan for Israel in the covenant while dwelling in the Promised Land.
Call to Worship: Psalm 63:1-4
Hymn 68 [Gray] When Morning Guilds the Skies
Congregational Reading: Psalm 63:5-11
Doxology: Doxology, Red 283
Hymn 328 [Red] The God of Abraham Praise The epilogue to the Covenant begins as the Lord assures his people, “Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.” Compare the Lord’s gracious and stable protection with the third stanza of this great hymn by Thomas Olivers: The God of Abraham praise, whose all-sufficient grace shall guide me all my happy days, in all my ways. He calls a worm his friend! He calls Himself my God! And He shall save me to the end through Jesus’ blood. One of the blessings of union with Christ is how he mightily preserves his people all the way to the end. There is no one better at this. We are promised that no one is able to take us out of his hand. Such are the joys of knowing Christ.
Hymn 154 [Red] O Come with Thanks, God’s Goodness Praising
Scripture Reading: Zechariah 4 & Revelation 21:1-14
Hymn 14 [Gray] Lo! God is Here; Let Us Adore
Sermon: Do Not Rebel from Exodus 23:20-33
Hymn 266 [Red] Through Every Age, Eternal God
In Sunday School, read Whitney’s 7th and 8th chapters of Spiritual Disciplines. We’ll be talking the role of fellowship and friendship in our spiritual growth.