Sunday, 21st June 10.30 am Communion Order of Service

WELCOME

HYMN 3903There is a Name I love to hear

1There is a name I love to hear,

I love to speak its worth;

it sounds like music in my ear,

the sweetest name on earth.

O how I love the Saviour’s name,

O how I love the Saviour’s name

O how I love the Saviour’s name,

the sweetest name on earth.

2It tells me of a Saviour’s love,

who died to set me free;

it tells me of His precious blood,

the sinner’s perfect plea.

O how I love the Saviour’s name,

O how I love the Saviour’s name

O how I love the Saviour’s name,

the sweetest name on earth.

3It tells of one whose loving heart

can feel my deepest woe,

who in my sorrow bears a part

that none can bear below.

O how I love the Saviour’s name,

O how I love the Saviour’s name

O how I love the Saviour’s name,

the sweetest name on earth.

4It bids my trembling heart rejoice,

it dries each rising tear;

it tells me in a ‘still, small voice’

to trust and never fear.

O how I love the Saviour’s name,

O how I love the Saviour’s name

O how I love the Saviour’s name,

the sweetest name on earth.

5Jesus, the name I love so well,

the name I love to hear!

No saints on earth its worth can tell,

no heart conceive how dear!

O how I love the Saviour’s name,

O how I love the Saviour’s name

O how I love the Saviour’s name,

the sweetest name on earth.

PRAYERS.ALLAN LEMON

READINGGenesis 16.ALLAN LEMON

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.

When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”

6 “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.

7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”

“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.

9 Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”

11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:

“You are now pregnant
and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
for the Lord has heard of your misery.

12

He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers.”

13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.

15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

SERMONGod’s Way vs Human Way

There is an underlying themea sub-plot – namely that of God’s Promised Seed.

Something brought out so clearly in this chapter – is the awful delay in the fulfilment of God’s Promise.

Another significant feature of this chapter is the conflict between the characters: namely Hagar and Sarah.

Throughout this chapter you will notice that Abram and Sarai both go through many doubts and difficulties before arriving at a solid strong faith in God.

Although Hagar did WRONG, YET she receives MERCY from God.

Abram, once again, takes matters into his own hands. On this occasion he listens to Sarai’s schemes.

In vs 4, as soon as Hagar knew she was pregnant, she despised her mistress.

The wise writer of Proverbs writing later in history would have THIS to say about these things (Pro 30:21-23)

PR 30:21 “Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up: PR 30:22 a servant who becomes king, a fool who is full of food, PR 30:23 an unloved woman who is married, and a maidservant who displaces her mistress.

This is the only known instance in ancient near eastern literature where the deity addresses a woman by name. And the angel had important news for Hagar regarding the destiny of her unborn son.

So it is that God protects those who have been wronged – the name Ishmael means God hears.

And another unique feature of this angelic encounter is that Hagar is the only person in the Bible to confer a name on God (vs 13) – a name representing God’s special care for her. A name with a double meaning – El-Roi – the God Who sees me .. &.. the God I see.

What are we to learn from this web of happenings?

  1. Don’t imagine you can help God out with some smart scheme of your own invention
  2. Notice the grace of God
  3. Hagar’s flight points forward to another flight – namely the Exodus.
  4. Ishmael’s birth announcement also bears many of the hallmarks of a very special birth announcement (Luke 1)

All this speaks to me of the grace of God to sinners.

COMMUNION

Hymn2903 There is a Redeemer

1There is a Redeemer,

Jesus, God’s own Son,

precious Lamb of God, Messiah,

holy One.

Thank You, O my Father,

for giving us Your Son,

and leaving Your Spirit

till the work on earth is done.

2Jesus my Redeemer,

name above all names,

precious Lamb of God, Messiah,

O for sinners slain:

Thank You, O my Father,

for giving us Your Son,

and leaving Your Spirit

till the work on earth is done.

3When I stand in glory

I will see His face,

and there I’ll serve my King for ever

in that holy place.

Thank You, O my Father,

for giving us Your Son,

and leaving Your Spirit

till the work on earth is done.

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