Sunday 3rd May, 10.30am Order of Service

WELCOME

PSALM 121 I to the hills will lift mine eyes

1

I to the hills will lift mine eyes:

from whence doth come mine aid?

My safety cometh from the Lord,

who heaven and earth hath made.

2

Thy foot he’ll not let slide, nor will

he slumber that thee keeps.

Behold, he that keeps Israel,

he slumbers not, nor sleeps.

3

The Lord thee keeps; the Lord thy shade

on thy right hand doth stay;

the moon by night thee shall not smite

nor yet the sun by day.

4

The Lord shall keep thy soul; he shall

preserve thee from all ill;

henceforth thy going out and in

God keep for ever will.

PRAYER

READING GENESIS 9 : 1-29

God’s Covenant With Noah

9 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. 3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

4 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

6

“Whoever sheds human blood,
by humans shall their blood be shed;
for in the image of God
has God made mankind.

7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”

8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

The Sons of Noah

18 The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19 These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the whole earth.

20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.

24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said,

“Cursed be Canaan!
The lowest of slaves
will he be to his brothers.”

26 He also said,

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Shem!
May Canaan be the slave of Shem.

27

May God extend Japheth’s territory;
may Japheth live in the tents of Shem,
and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.”

28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died.

SERMON – God’s Immense Kindness

We are staggered to see that God’s overwhelming characteristic in these verses is His grace – His kindness.

Firstly, in verses 1-7 we see what God puts in place to safeguard his purposes of grace.

  1. vv 1,7 He is : the Giver of life
  2. vv 2a, 4-6 : the Protector of life
  3. vv 2b-3 : the Sustainer of life

Secondly, we see that God gives a sign of His grace (in vv 8-17). God’s Covenant Sign

It is GOD Who makes and keeps promises towards His people (even His wayward people).

The sign is this case was a rainbow – although the Hebrew word is simply “bow”.

Now that is interesting, because the bow is a weapon of war – you might think it inappropriate for a sign of God kindness towards the world – but you will notice that the rainbow, or bow, points AWAY from the earth.

Thirdly and finally, we see God’s future purposes for Noah’s family spelled out – and although one of the three boys turns out to be a rotten apple in the barrel – God promises to bless the other two.

Gen. 3: 7,21 makes clear that nakedness involves shame.

Ex 20:26 – do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it

The world was going to go on with godlessness and godliness side by side, but the overwhelming truth of chapter 9 is that God was showing His grace to all humans.

PRAYER

PSALM 23 The Lord’s my Shepherd (Brother James’ Air))

1

The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want:

he makes me down to lie

in pastures green; he leadeth me

the quiet waters by,

in pastures green; he leadeth me

the quiet waters by.

2

My soul he doth restore again,

and me to walk doth make

within the paths of righteousness,

e’en for his own name’s sake,

within the paths of righteousness,

e’en for his own name’s sake.

3

Yea, though I walk through death’s dark vale,

yet will I fear none ill;

for thou art with me, and thy rod

and staff me comfort still,

for thou art with me, and thy rod

and staff me comfort still.

4

My table thou hast furnishèd

in presence of my foes;

my head thou dost with oil anoint,

and my cup overflows,

my head thou dost with oil anoint,

and my cup overflows.

5

Goodness and mercy all my life

shall surely follow me;

and in God’s house for evermore

my dwelling-place shall be,

and in God’s house for evermore

my dwelling-place shall be.

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