August 16, 2020
We'll continue our overview of Ezra and Nehemiah this week with an intro to Nehemiah. Our liturgical theme for the week will be God as King. Our songs are about his reign over all creation and about our hope as people of the risen King. If you'd like to meditate on Scripture in preparation for our theme on Sunday, I'd highly recommend reading through Psalm 47. Here's a link to make it easy: Psalm 47
"All Creatures of Our God and King"
We'll begin with the corporate singing with a sung call to worship of sorts as we exhort each other and all of creation to worship the King who made us and reigns over us. "All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voice and with us sing, 'Alleluia!'"
"Your Great Name"
This song is full of references to how God reigns in his sovereign goodness over his people. Note the language of command issued from God that must be obeyed by everything – including Satan himself! "Every fear has no place at the sound of your great name. The enemy he has to leave at the sound of your great name." The bridge also sings of God in many of his adjectives including of him as King. "Redeemer, my Healer, Lord Almighty. My Savior, Defender, you are my King!"
There are two references in this song worth noting. The first is in the second verse. It speaks of God coming down to us from his heavenly throne as a King to save us. "Who could imagine so great a mercy? What heart could fathom such boundless grace? The God of ages stepped down from glory to wear my sin and bear my shame. The cross has spoken: I am forgiven. The King of kings calls me his own. Beautiful Savior, I'm yours forever. Jesus Christ, my living hope." The second reference is a small one in the third verse that is really powerful. Christ is called the "Roaring Lion" here. Without getting into the weeds, this is a reference to the Lion of Judah. Judah was the tribe of kings and was set apart to rule by God. The Messiah would be a Son of David and serve as a king like him from the line of Judah. So the reference here is to Christ as the foretold King in the picture of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. "...out of the silence, the Roaring Lion declared the grave has no claim on me."
Response – "Behold Our God"
We'll be sent back into the world with the gospel and the proclamation that God reigns even now from his throne. What a great assurance for the believer in an age of uncertainty – that God reigns. "Who has felt the nails upon his hands, bearing all the guilt of sinful man? God eternal, humbled to the grave, Jesus, Savior, risen now to reign! Behold our God seated on his throne. Come, let us adore him. Behold our King. Nothing can compare. Come, let us adore him!"