Announcements & Meditation
– Call to Worship –
Minister: Bless the Lord who forgives our sins.
Congregation: His mercy endures forever.
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!
O, ‘Twas a Joyful Sound to Hear, p. 160
– Confession –
Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God, p. 415
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: In You, O Lord, I put my trust,
Congregation: Let me never be put to confusion.
Minister: Incline Your eat to me, and save me.
Congregation: O God, be not far from me.
Minister: But I will hope continually.
Congregation: And I will yet praise You more and more.
Minister: My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto You;
Congregation: And my soul, which You have redeemed.
Psalm 19, bulletin pp. 9-10
– Consecration –
+ SCRIPTURE READING
Jeremiah 33:10-16; John 2:1-11
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
Graham Everett Shaw (CCD)
Congregational charge: Little child, for you Jesus Christ came to this earth, struggled and suffered; for your sake He crossed Gethsemane and went through the darkness of Calvary; for your sake He cried: ‘It is finished’; for your sake He died and for your sake He overcame death; indeed for your sake, little child, and you—still—know nothing of it. And thus the word of the apostle is confirmed: ‘We love God, for He loved us first.’
My Savior God Is All My Light, p. 50
Opening: Isaiah 54:5
Thanksgiving: Isaiah 51:3
Petitions: Isaiah 52:9-10
The Son of God Goes Forth to War, p. 282
CC: Psalm 101 (Douglas Wilson)Sermon
The most likely occasion for the composition of this psalm is shortly after the death of Saul, when it looked likely that David was going to ascend the throne. This is a psalm that declares what he wanted his administration to look like—he is talking about the kind of behavior that will get a man excluded from his court, and what kind of loyal behavior will result in preferment. Another possible occasion for this psalm is when David was about to become the king of a unified Israel, but the import would be the same.
Older commentators called this psalm “The Mirror for Magistrates.” A prince needs to understand the importance of character as he picks his courtiers, and as he selects his cabinet. Bringing the stakes down a notch, another name for the psalm has been “The Householder’s Psalm,” but the principle is the same. How are employers to make their decisions?
“A Psalm of David. I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: Him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: He that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: He that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; That I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord” (Psalm 101).
Summary of the Text:
The psalm begins on the right pitch exactly (v. 1). I will sing.Of what? Of mercy and judgment both together (v. 1). Mercy and judgment call for music. The psalmist vows that he will walk uprightly, and does this because he wants God to come to him. And this vow begins where it ought to—“within my house” (v. 2). He resolves not to contemplate anything worthless (v. 3), not to be entertained by what is vile, and he hates the contagions of treachery (v. 3). He refuses to be friends with the headstrong and willful (v. 4). He also refuses to deal in slanders, meaning that he will not receivethem (v. 5). Arrogant eyes he will not tolerate (v. 5). By contrast, he is on the lookout for faithful men, and recruits them to join in the work around him (v. 6). He has a low tolerance for liars as well (v. 7). Having begun with his own house, we see that his final goal is the cleansing of the city of God (v. 8).
How a Throne is Established:
When David came to the throne, one of his first thoughts was how he could show mercy to the household of his adversary Saul (2 Sam. 9). This is not inconsistent with righteousness—it isrighteousness. “Mercy and truth are met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Psalm 85:10).
Notice how in Scripture a throne is established by mercy, and how it is also established by righteousness.
“Mercy and truth preserve the king: And his throne is upholden by mercy” (Prov. 20:28).
“It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: For the throne is established by righteousness” (Prov. 16:12).
We generally understand that holiness is good, that it is straight, that it is righteous, that it is spotless, and so on. But we also must understand that holiness is musical. Holiness sings.
Holiness that does not overflow musically is not holiness at all, but rather severity. Proud men are generally hard men, and strictness is often confused with the holy. But holiness is happy, and holiness overflows in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Notice the first verse here again. “I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing” (Ps. 101:1).
But not all that sings is holy. Music that is not holy and happy is simply a gold ring in a pig’s snout. Paul compares high theological pretensions without love to precisely this—jangling and discordant music (1 Cor. 13:1), which means that such music must be a really bad thing in God’s sight.
Holiness at Home:
There are few things worse than “holiness” abroad that will not (or cannot) maintain the façade while at home. This has been a problem in every era, but it is particularlya problem in ours, when people have started to think that God will judge us by what we decide to present to the public with our Facebook profile. “I will walk within my housewith a perfect heart” (v. 2). Are you the same person here at church as you are at home? Has a snarl at the kids ever been transformed into a sweet chirrup because you had to answer the phone?
Cut Them Off:
If you are like most of us, you have probably received emails in the past from marooned Nigerian princes who are trying to unload unspecified amounts of gold bullion. And you wonder to yourself, why do they send these things out?The answer is because some people answer them. Why are certain things for sale? Because there are buyers out there.
So Christians have a responsibility, not only to not slander, but to not listen to it. We have a responsibility not only to not tell lies, but also to not tolerate liars. If you walk with the wise, you will be wise. If you walk with the conceited, you will become conceited (vv. 3-5, 7). If you listen to the snake tongues, after a point you are the one with snake ears. Not only do you nothave a responsibility to be friends with everyone, you actually have a responsibility to notbe. In addition, you have a responsibility to not care what they might think about it, or what they might say about it to others.
What Walking Means:
This psalm mentions the importance of walking several times. I will walkwithin my house with a perfect heart (v. 2). The one who walksperfectly is the man I will employ (v. 6). As one commentator has noted, walking includes the ideas of motion, progress, and moderation. Walking moves, and is not sitting, or lying, or standing. Walking progresses, meaning that it is distinguished from jumping jacks or hopping in place. And walking ismoderate—it is not all in a lather to get there. Just one foot in front of the other.
And where shall we walk? In the light provided by the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).
So where do we walk? If we are following Him, we are always behind Him, and never in the dark.
CCD: (Aaron Ventura)Sermon
Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Now Thank We All Our God, p. 283
– Communion –
Gilead, bulletin pp. 6-7
And Can It Be That I Should Gain, pp. 286-287
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Doxology, to the tune of p. 271
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.