June 4, 2017
Preparing for the Lord’s Day Worship
We do not know the particular historical setting of Psalm 85. However, we can see from it that the nation was reeling from an event, or a series of events, that impressed upon them that God was disciplining them. “Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations?” It seems they were alerted to God’s wrath from a failed harvest. Thus their prayer includes, “Yes, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase” (v.12).
In a modern and industrialized society we do not feel the ramifications of agricultural productivity very deeply. We have a surplus of everything! But for Israel, as with virtually all societies throughout history, just one failed harvest could mean a significant suffering. And Israel, faced with the reality of trouble, gathered together to seek God’s grace and help.
But what are they exactly asking from God? They are certainly asking for a good harvest (v.12). Yet Ps 85 also shows they were wise enough to understand that a failed harvest is not their deepest problem, and a good harvest is not their most urgent need. The overwhelming focus of the psalm is not on the lack of food, but on the lack of peace with God. Their deepest longing is captured in v.9. “Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.”
God’s glory is often described as “shekinah glory.” The Hebrew word “shekinah” is the word behind “dwell” in v.9. In other words, shekeniah glory is the glory of God that dwells with his people. Psalm 85 is keenly aware that while hunger is a problem, the absence of the God who dwells with them is the greater problem. Their sin had driven God’s presence away, and until his presence is restored, there can be no true peace with God.
We often misinterpret troubles of life. Life’s troubles certainly need to be resolved. But God ordains life’s troubles to disturb our self-confidence and self-sufficiency, all so that we may at last see the deepest problem of our broken communion with him. Indeed, how does it profit us if we have food, but not the Lord?
In time, the longing of Ps 85 was fulfilled in the Glory of God who came to dwell with us, Jesus Christ. Let us draw near to him. For in Jesus “Steadfastness and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.”
Call to Worship
Psalm 84 (reading responsively from TH p. 814)
“This Is Not My Place of Resting” (Bulletin p. 4)
Trinity Hymnal 731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
James 2:14–17 (p. 1012)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” (Isaiah 53:10)
“Here Is Love” (Bulletin p. 10)
Confession of Faith — The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Exodus 20:13 (p. 61)
The Sixth Commandment: Free to Live
Rev. Ken Han
The Sacrament of The Lord’s Supper
We participate in the Lord’s Supper weekly. We welcome to the Lord’s Table all baptized believers who have sincere faith in Jesus Christ, and regularly worship in a Reformed or evangelical church.
The Lord’s Supper is a sign and a seal of the new covenant blessings. When we participate in the Lord’s Supper with faith, it strengthens our bond with our covenant Lord, Jesus Christ. Thus we participate properly when we come to our Savior with faith and repentance as we renew our resolve to forsake sin and live for his glory.
The Lord’s Supper also renews our bonds with God’s covenant community, the body of believers in the local church. As we receive the Lord’s Supper, we renew our pledge to give ourselves away in loving service.
During the distribution of the bread we will sing Trinity Hymnal #371 “O Lord of Hosts, How Lovely” stanzas 1–2, and stanzas 3–4 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #441 “Jesus Shall Reign”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 11. What are God’s works of providence?.
We have some new resources for you at the information table, including several new CCEF mini books, as well as other edifying books. Be sure to check them out!
Upcoming Events and Notices
Every Lord’s Day 10:15 AM: Please join us for Hymnsing, a time of preparing our hearts for worship in praise, and for learning new hymns for worship.
June 4 (Lord’s Day): The Children’s Bible lesson (First Catechism Qs. 38–39). And adult Shorter Catechism (Q. 11) lessons will meet after the worship service. Today we discuss God’s eternal decree & predestination.
June 11 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for our monthly fellowship potluck lunch.
June 4: Kelly & Rebecca Rogers
June 11: Liza Beede