April 29, 2018
Before We Worship
Psalm 127 is a cautionary tale, written by the young King Solomon during the early years of his reign when he was still guided by wisdom. Note Ps 127 begins with a concern for building a house: “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” and continues with his concern for the city: “Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” When Solomon became king, he faced an almost impossible situation. After all, how does he (how does anyone) fill David’s shoes? Naturally, Solomon felt inadequate (1 Kings 3:7; 1 Chronicles 29:1). Solomon’s concern for building “the house” expresses his trepidation for building both the “house” of the LORD and for building of the “house” (or, dynasty) of David. The question, indeed, is with whose strength and wisdom will Solomon do the work to which he is called?
Solomon wisely recognized that nothing can be achieved by man. Only the LORD can build. Only the LORD can guard. Only the LORD can accomplish work, “for he gives to his beloved sleep.” “Solomon” was his official name; his given name was “Jedidah”, “Yahweh’s Beloved” (2 Samuel 12:24–25). God’s love and power gave Solomon rest against the anxiety and fear of stepping into David’s shoes. It is no use for him to lose sleep over with anxiety, since rising early and staying up late are not what builds a house. Rather, it is trust in the LORD, in his gracious and sovereign care, that we find rest for our weary and anxious souls. In other words, this Psalm is both Solomon’s prayer, and the Spirit’s answer to that prayer, in which the LORD says to Solomon, “Do your best and work hard. But you are not God. Trust me, and get some sleep!”
But, sadly, Psalm 127 is a cautionary tale, for Solomon did not long walk in the wisdom of the LORD. He became almost a caricature of the very person this psalm warns against, a self-trusting, self-promoting, self-driven man who did not lean on the LORD. How easy it is to begin a race well, only to end badly? The same is true for us. It is far easier to begin our pilgrimage well than to finish it well. If we have any hope of finishing our journey well, we had better listen to this “Song of Ascent.”
You are not God. Get some rest. This applies as equally to our weekly Sabbath as to the general pattern of our anxiety filled life. How often do we forego worship for fear that worshiping the LORD would put us behind schedule, that we have to work (catching up, preparing, etc.) in order to survive? But nothing you “build” that way will ever survive. Do you doubt this? What was the result of Solomon’s striving when he did not rest in God? Everything he built was ruined mere days after his death. Actually, if we have the wisdom to see it, his life began to fall apart long before his kingdom fell apart.
Rest in God. Both on the Lord’s Day, and throughout your life. Face all your life’s task and joy in trusting dependence on God, and believe that he will build and accomplish. You are his beloved for Jesus’ sake. Now get some sleep.
Call to Worship
‡ Psalm 127 (Trinity Hymnal p. 832)
‡ Trinity Hymnal #304 “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
1 Timothy 6:17–19 (p. 994)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4–5 ESV)
10 “Upon a Life I Have Not Lived”
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 17
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Galatians 6:2–6:5 (p. 975)
I Will Be My Brother’s Keeper
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 #507 “Approach, My Soul, the Mercy Seat” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #355 “We Are God’s People”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 36.
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.
Join us for “12 for 18” as we read 12 great books in the year 2018. For April we are reading “Mere Christianity” by C. S. Lewis. And for May, “Martin Luther: A Spiritual Biography” by Herman Selderhuis. Please let Janny Ligtenberg know if you would like to order a copy of the book.
April 29: The children’s catechism lesson (Qs. 90–94) will meet.
April 29: Please join us as we discuss the April “12 for 18” book, C. S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” after the worship service.
May 6 (Lord’s Day): The children’s catechism lesson (Qs. 95–96) and the Shorter Catechism lesson (Q. 37) will meet.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
April 29: Yoori Han
May 6: Kelly Rogers