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Israel’s first commandment was, You shall have no other gods before me. That is, there is to be no created thing or supposed god in the hearts of the people of Israel before the living God. Nothing, be it any imagined rival deity, or earthly possession, or any other creature, was to compete with Yahweh, the God had delivered them and made his covenant with them. Why? God has exalted himself above all. That’s the spirit of our call to worship for this Sunday from Psalm 138:1–2: I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. God has set himself above all. He has no rivals. He was to remain so in the hearts of his people. His name and his word were to be the greatest worldly good to them. They were to be the source of their constant pleasure and delight. We too should purpose to express regular thanks to this God with our whole hearts. Out of this spirit of true worship, let us gather together bringing our sacrifices of praise this Lord’s Day.
In the prayer service, we’ll return to Psalm 119. We’ll begin the service singing together Hark! The Voice of Love and Mercy (Gray 166).
This week, my sermon comes from one of the great Psalms, Psalm 1. It has been said that Psalm 1 serves as a preface to the book of Psalms. The Psalm tells us, this is the way the man who loves God’s Law lives and this is the result. It’s a Psalm filled with vivid imagery that lights up our imagination as it expresses God’s truth in affective ways. At the same time, the Psalm highlights a simple truth that is very difficult for most people to accept. There are really only two ways to live. We are either among the congregation of the righteous, or among the counsel of the ungodly. We need to choose. By God’s grace, we will be among those who delight in God’s Word by faith.
Call to Worship: Psalm 138:1-2
Hymn 6 [Gray] Holy God, We Praise Your Name
Congregational Reading: Jeremiah 17:5-10 I chose this Scripture for our congregational reading because it shows that Jeremiah knew Psalm 1. Consider how the prophet expands on the Psalm and as it were preaches to the people of Israel during time of great moral decline in Judah.
Hymn 307 [Red] How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds
Hymn 65 [Gray] We Praise Thee, O God, Our Redeemer
Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 6:16-23 & Philippians 2:12-30
Hymn 355 [Red] In God, My Faithful God Psalm 1 talks about two ways, the way of sinners (later called the way of the wicked) and the way of the righteous. These are two paths for life. This hymn speaks of trusting the Lord on this path, even when the way is difficult: In God, my faithful God, I trust when dark my road; though many woes o’ertake me, yet He will not forsake me. His love it is doth send them and, when ‘tis best, will end them.
Sermon: Two Ways to Live from Psalm 1
Hymn 238 [Gray] That Man is Blest Who, Fearing God
In Sunday School, I will give some background on the Corinthian epistles.