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Downtown Sunday Morning Service (9:30)
August 4 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am
Announcements & Meditation
– Call to Worship –
Minister: Grace, mercy, and peace to you, from God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Congregation: And also to you.
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!
O Lord, Our King Rejoices, p. 30
– Confession –
How Long, O Lord, Will You Forget? p. 14
CONFESSION OF SIN
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
+ ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Minister: Your sins are forgiven through Christ.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
Minister: Christian, what do you believe?
Congregation: I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the virgin, Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hades. On the third day He rose again from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Minister: Do not keep silence, O God:
Congregation: Do not be still, O God.
Minister: For Your enemies make a tumult,
Congregation: And those who hate You have lifted up the head.
Minister: They have taken crafty counsel against Your people.
Congregation: O my God, make them as stubble before the wind.
Minister: Persecute them with Your tempest, and make them afraid with Your storm.
Congregation: Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek Your name, O Lord.
Minister: Let them be confounded and troubled forever.
Congregation: That men may know that You, whose name alone is Jehovah,
Minister: are the most high over all the earth.
Come, Thou Almighty King, p. 345
– Consecration –
+ SCRIPTURE READING
Judges 7:1-17; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!‘
Gavin and Katie Meyer (CCD)
I to the Hills Will Lift Mine Eyes, p. 159
Opening: Psalm 30:1-3
Thanksgiving: Psalm 136:1
Petitions: 1 Timothy 2:1
Psalm 19, bulletin pp. 7-8
CC: Psalm 109: God is Not Mocked (Douglas Wilson)Sermon
This psalm has been a challenge to many Christians for centuries. It is an imprecatory psalm, and of the most bracing variety. Many commentators have been reduced to saying something like, “We know it is inspired, but we don’t have to like it.” The great C.S. Lewis stumbled over it, saying that God put it in Scripture so that we might have an example of how not to behave. And even Charles Spurgeon said the psalm represented “no small difficulty,” and that “we have need of all our faith and reverence to accept them as the voice of inspiration.” This psalm, he says, “tests our teachableness.” And so it does.
“Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: They have spoken against me with a lying tongue . . .” (Psalm 109:1–31).
Summary of the Text
The psalmist begins by asking God to not hold His peace (v. 1), and the reason given is that the wicked are not holding theirs. Theyare speaking, they are telling their lies (v. 2). For no good reason, they surrounded David with words of hatred (v. 3). They turn David’s love into their grievance, but David gives himself to prayer (v. 4). They returned evil for good, and hatred for love (v. 5). This ends the first section, which is a statement of David’s dilemma. He then uncorks, and the next section contains some of the fiercest words in all Scripture. Let the accuser be at his right hand, and let Herod have a Herod rule over him, and Stalin a Stalin (v. 6). When he comes to judgment, let the verdict be guilty. When he prays, let that prayer be sin (v. 7). Cut his days short, and let another take his position. This is the verse that was quoted when the apostles replaced Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:20). Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow (v. 9). May those children be turned out into the street, hunting for scraps in waste places (v. 10). May an extortioner take everything, and may strangers pillage him (v. 11). May no one show mercy, whether to him or to his children (v. 12). Cut his posterity off, Lord (v. 13). May the Lord remember the sins of his fathers, and also of his mother (v. 14). May God remember them all, such that He cuts off their memory from earth (v. 15). And why? Because he was merciless (v. 16), and no, this is not lack of self-awareness. He loved to curse, and so may it all return upon him (v. 17). He wore clothing dyed in venom; may that venom sink down into his bones (v. 18). May he be covered with a garment like that (v. 19). Let this be the return that my adversaries receive from the Lord (v. 20). This is the conclusion of the second section, the imprecatory section.
The third section is a plea for deliverance (v. 21), for the sake of the Lord’s name. For David is poor and needy, and his heart is wounded (v. 22). He dwindles like a declining shadow; he is tossed like a locust in a stiff breeze (v. 23). His knees are weak because of fasting, most likely forced on him through adversity (v. 24). He was a reproach to his foes, they shook their heads at him (v. 25). He pleads for God to save him, according to God’s mercy (v. 26). He wants his foes to know that God undertook for him (v. 27). If God blesses, then let them curse. Let them be ashamed when David rejoices (v. 28). May his enemies be wrapped up in confusions (v. 29). The psalmist will praise God with his mouth in the midst of the multitude (v. 30), for God will stand at the right hand of the poor in order to deliver him from those who condemn his soul (v. 31).
Surrendered to Christ
We are supposed to sing this. To the end of the world, the Christian church is supposed to sing this (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). And we are not supposed to sing bad attitudes back to the Lord. And Peter was not shy about applying the imprecatory section of this psalm to the desolation that Judas brought down upon himself (Acts 1:20), and this means that if the antagonist in the psalm was Judas, then the protagonist is Christ. David in his troubles served as a type, but this is really about Christ. And Christ responded to His foes in two stages—in the first, He was like a sheep before the shearers, answering not a word (Is. 53:7). In the second, He was the one who destroyed His enemies with the breath of His coming (2 Thess. 2:8). We want to reverse that order (Luke 9:55), but we must not. We are invited to turn it all over to Him, therefore. Psalms of imprecation are a surrender to the judge of the whole earth who will do right.
God is Not Mocked
We sometimes complain about psalms like this on the grounds of “injustice,” but what really troubles us is the sheer justice of them. We have quietly and surreptitiously switched the categories of mercy and justice. We think that mercy is owedto us, and that if we don’t get it, then that is somehow unjust. But grace that is owed is no grace at all. So the wages of sin is death, and the gift of God is eternal life (Rom. 3:23). Note that death is the pay check, death is the wage, and death is what we have earned. There is an asymmetry between death and life that extends beyond the categories of death and life. There is also the asymmetry of wageand gift.
God is not mocked. A man reaps what he sows (Gal. 6:7-8). If you plant thistles, you will harvest thistles. If you sow cursing, then your crop in the fall will be cursing, and your barns will be full of it. Of course, this is not talking about salvation (Eph. 2:8-10). We are notsaved by our works—but we are most certainly damnedby them. Never forget the stark difference between law-righteousness and faith-righteousness. The former is damned by works while the latter is saved by grace.
In addition to all of that, remember the fact that justification is by grace through faith. This does not abrogate the principle that God is not mocked with regard to your sanctification. Let us assume that a man is a converted man, by grace through faith. Now consider two other realities of the Christian life—the blessings that come from obedience and the obedience itself. These are joined together in Christ and only in Christ. The temptation to separate them (by various means) is always the attempt to obtain the blessings of obedience without the obedience itself. The name of this sin is—at the foundation—sorcery.
“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king” (1 Samuel 15:23).
CCD: (Ruth #1: Harvest of Sorrows (Ty Knight)Sermon
“Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. 2 The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion—Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. 3 Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4 Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. 5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband. 6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread” (Ruth 1:1-6).
The Judgment of the Judges (v. 1)
Famine in the House of Bread (vs. 1-2)
Exile in Moab (vs. 3-5)
A Harvest of Hope (vs. 6)
Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
He Which Soweth Sparingly, bulletin pp. 9-10
– Communion –
And Can It Be That I Should Gain, pp. 286-287
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, pp. 322-323-
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Doxology, p. 437
CHARGE & BENEDICTION
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. Amen. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17