28th June 2020 - Special Names of God

Welcome to worship on another Sunday when we are unable to meet together.

We do miss you all, but Peter & I pray for you individually, especially those of you who live alone. We pray that it will not be too long now before we can worship at our hall once again. Our theme for today is the ‘Name of God’. So I have chosen for our band piece ‘How sweet the Name’


Let us pray together:


Dear Lord, as we come to worship You again, we thank You for Who you are and for all that You mean to us. Help us to discover more of your character through considering Your Name today and how it can impact our lives.

We praise You and thank You because You can be to us all that we need.

You comfort us when we are distressed.

You guide us when we are perplexed.

You strengthen us when we are weak.

Your Presence gives us assurance when we are fearful.

Help us Lord to trust You more, especially through these difficult days.

Help us to be a real support to one another.

As we worship you today, may we be very much aware of Your Presence right now.

In the Name of Jesus.


Amen.


Let us listen to a beautiful Songster piece – Bow the Knee.


Suggested bible readings:

Genesis 16:1-15 & 21:8-21.


I wonder if you like the name your parents chose for you?

I wonder too if you know what your name means?

Names in the bible were usually chosen for their meaning.

I have been blessed during this time of lockdown, meditating upon the Names of God & what each one can mean for us.


So today, I would like you with me to consider one of those special names of God

& realise afresh how that particular name can help us in our daily lives and bring us closer to the One who loves us deeply.


It is found in the book of Genesis, where we read how Abram & Sarai had been promised a son in their old age. However, having waited for several years and nothing had happened, Sarai gave her Egyptian slave, Hagar, to Abram, hoping to build a family through her.


When Hagar knew she was pregnant, she despised Sarai. As a result, Sarai ill-treated Hagar who ran away into the desert. But God saw her predicament and assured her He had seen her misery and promised many descendants through her son, whom she was to call Ishmael. So she gave this name to the Lord who had spoken to her and said, “You are the God who sees me – Jehovah Roi.


Hagar was asked by God to do something very hard – to return to her mistress even though she was despised by her. Assured of the knowledge that God cared, gave her the strength to obey. This same knowledge can enable us to do what God asks, however difficult.


The reason the story about Hagar resonates with me is because of a time when my younger son, Graham, at the age of 10 or 11 years, became very ill. He was normally a very active boy, but suddenly lost all his energy and was confined to his bed for a long period of time. The doctor was unable to diagnose the cause, though he suggested that it could be Glandular fever.



Graham was normally a very happy boy, but eventually his health wore him out and we were very upset to hear him crying. Of course, we cried out to the Lord for him and for his recovery. Then one day, when I was reading from my bible about what happened later to Hagar and I read the words, (Genesis 21:17)


“God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.”

These words really stood out for me.


They were spoken to Hagar when she was banished because Ishmael had been mocking Isaac. When the food and water Hagar had been given ran out, she put

her boy under a bush and went further away, because she did not want to watch her boy die. It was then that God assured her that he had heard the boy crying.


Just as those words were a comfort to Hagar, they became a tremendous comfort to me. Even though Graham did not recover immediately, (he did eventually, thank God) but just to know that the Lord had both seen and heard our cries and was very much in our situation, brought great peace and genuine comfort to our hearts.


Hagar was a foreign slave, living at a time when women where viewed as property, and yet God made her feel valued.

No wonder that Hagar called God ‘Jehovah Roi’.

Then she exclaimed, “I have now seen the One Who sees me!”

Jehovah Roi, our God is so watchful that He is said to notice even when the smallest sparrow falls to the ground.

This is the God who watches over you today, whether or not you recognize His Presence. Aware that you may find yourself in desolate places, He is always near, helping you find a path through your troubles, working out His plans for your future.


Remember this when you fail for a time to find God’s help or to receive answers to your prayers, ask ‘Jehovah Roi’ the One who sees and hears you to open your eyes to His working in your life and to increase your faith even, and especially, when His promises seem impossible to fulfil. Remember He is aware of your situation and loves you with an extravagant love.


Today, as you pray, cry out to the God from whom nothing is hidden.


Let us allow the Lord to speak to us as we listen to another lovely Songster piece:

‘Become Aware of Him’ (Wellington Citadel Songsters)



Benediction:


Let nothing disturb you.



Thank you for reading

Written by Major Carol K

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