Sunday, 20th June 10.30am Communion Order of Service

WELCOME

HYMN As the deer pants for the water

1 As the deer pants for the water,

so my soul longs after You.

You alone are my heart’s desire

and I long to worship You.

You alone are my strength, my shield,

to You alone may my spirit yield.

You alone are my heart’s desire

and I long to worship You.

2 I want You more than gold or silver,

only You can satisfy.

You alone are the real joy-giver

and the apple of my eye.

Chorus

3 You’re my Friend and You’re my Brother,

even though You are a king.

I love You more than any other,

so much more than anything.

Chorus

Martin Nystrom (born 1956)

PRAYER

READING Genesis 46 : 1-27

So Israel set out with all that was his, and when he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.

2 And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

3 “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 4 I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”

5 Then Jacob left Beersheba, and Israel’s sons took their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to transport him. 6 So Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt, taking with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan. 7 Jacob brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons and his daughters and granddaughters—all his offspring.

8 These are the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob and his descendants) who went to Egypt:

Reuben the firstborn of Jacob.

9 The sons of Reuben:

Hanok, Pallu, Hezron and Karmi.

10 The sons of Simeon:

Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman.

11 The sons of Levi:

Gershon, Kohath and Merari.

12 The sons of Judah:

Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez and Zerah (but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan).

The sons of Perez:

Hezron and Hamul.

13 The sons of Issachar:

Tola, Puah, Jashub and Shimron.

14 The sons of Zebulun:

Sered, Elon and Jahleel.

15 These were the sons Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan Aram, besides his daughter Dinah. These sons and daughters of his were thirty-three in all.

16 The sons of Gad:

Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi and Areli.

17 The sons of Asher:

Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah.

Their sister was Serah.

The sons of Beriah:

Heber and Malkiel.

18 These were the children born to Jacob by Zilpah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Leah—sixteen in all.

19 The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel:

Joseph and Benjamin. 20 In Egypt, Manasseh and Ephraim were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.

21 The sons of Benjamin:

Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim and Ard.

22 These were the sons of Rachel who were born to Jacob—fourteen in all.

23 The son of Dan:

Hushim.

24 The sons of Naphtali:

Jahziel, Guni, Jezer and Shillem.

25 These were the sons born to Jacob by Bilhah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Rachel—seven in all.

26 All those who went to Egypt with Jacob—those who were his direct descendants, not counting his sons’ wives—numbered sixty-six persons. 27 With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob’s family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all.

SERMON Jacob’s Journey to Egypt

1-4 Before Jacob went to Egypt, he traveled to Beersheba, built an altar there, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Isaac. The patriarchs all worshiped the same God.

The Lord had said to Isaac, “Do not go down to Egypt” (26:2); but he now said to Jacob, “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt.” Such a change in attitude toward Jacob traveling to Egypt indicates that the Lord was following a specific plan with regard to his people.

The words spoken to Jacob in the night vision remind us of the promise to Abraham (12:2), but they also add that God would perform this in Egypt. He would bring his people into Egypt and be with them there; and after they had become a great nation, he would bring them back to the Promised Land. This was the second “vision” in which God revealed his future plans with the family of Abraham (cf. 15:1, 13-14).

Recently we were thinking of our God as a God of surprises. And who would have thought that God’s plan involved His own special people growing up and multiplying in the land of Egypt? This simply reminds us that we are ALL but PILGRIMS as we walk through our daily lives. We are all in alien and possibly hostile territory. But God’s plans involve us being where we are. We have a task to do for Him right HERE.

5-7 Special attention is given to the journey of Jacob and his household into Egypt. Just as Abraham had left Urand journeyed to Canaan (12:4-5), so now Jacob left Canaanand journeyed to Egypt. Both men were leaving the land of their birth in obedience to the will of God, and the obedience of both plays a pivotal role in God’s choosing of the descendants of Abraham.

Abraham was surprised, doubtless, that he was being told by God to leave his home and his family in Ur – and go to where? He wasn’t told. God just said “Get up and go”. And Abraham did.

Jacob was told where to go – Egypt. Meantime he is happy enough to go – in Egypt he will have plenty to eat – not like the famine-ravaged Canaan in which his family was currently living. And equally importantly he would get to see hi son – his beloved son – his favourite son – the son he was sure was dead – JOSEPH.

***********************************************

But deep down, Jacob knew that God’s promises related to Canaan and not to Egypt. He knew that his family would ultimately have to leave Egypt to go back to the Promised Land. Yet even with all this in his mind – Jacob obeys the will of God and GOES.

8-27 The “seventy sons” represent all the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the sons of Israel. The new nation of Israel is portrayed as a new humanity and Abraham as a second Adam. The blessing that is to come through Abraham and his offspring is a restoration of the original blessing of Adam, a blessing that was lost in the Fall.

Here is a large family travelling – 70 people. But that family will grow in the coming years to around 2 million. Don’t you see that God was working out His plan – even in EGYPT? God is ALWAYS working out His plan – sometimes in strange places – but His plans are truly wonderful – 70 to 2 million – that is pretty spectacular, I think you would agree. God IS working His purposes out – even through His Son going all the way to dying on a Cross…

COMMUNION HYMN How deep the Father’s love

1 How deep the Father’s love for us,

How vast beyond all measure,

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure.

How great the pain of searing loss –

The Father turns His face away,

As wounds which mar the Chosen One

Bring many sons to glory.

2 Behold the man upon a cross,

My sin upon His shoulders;

Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers.

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished;

His dying breath has brought me life –

I know that it is finished.

3 I will not boast in anything,

No gifts, no power, no wisdom;

But I will boast in Jesus Christ,

His death and resurrection.

Why should I gain from His reward?

I cannot give an answer;

But this I know with all my heart –

His wounds have paid my ransom.

Stuart Townend

COMMUNION

Hymn God is working His purpose out

1 God is working his purpose out,

as year succeeds to year:

God is working his purpose out,

and the time is drawing near:

nearer and nearer draws the time,

the time that shall surely be,

when the earth shall be filled

with the glory of God,

as the waters cover the sea.

2 From utmost east to utmost west,

wherever foot has trod,

by the mouth of many messengers

rings out the voice of God:

Listen to me you continents,

you islands look to me,

that the earth may be filled

with the glory of God,

as the waters cover the sea.

3 We shall march in the strength of God,

with the banner of Christ unfurled,

that the light of the glorious gospel of truth

may shine throughout the world;

we shall fight with sorrow and sin

to set their captives free,

that the earth may be filled

with the glory of God,

as the waters cover the sea.

4 All we can do is nothing worth

unless God blesses the deed;

vainly we hope for the harvest-tide

till God gives life to the seed:

nearer and nearer draws the time,

the time that shall surely be,

when the earth shall be filled

with the glory of God,

as the waters cover the sea.

Arthur C Ainger (1841–1919)

Benediction

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