Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This coming Lord’s Day we are returning to the amazing, if not bewildering, passage we began considering last week. As you remember, it concerns Saul, the first king of Israel, the king that the elders of Israel had demanded, and the one whom the Lord had specifically commanded Samuel to anoint.
And as we discovered, Saul very quickly proved to be a disobedient king, failing to carry out the command of the Lord regarding the total destruction of the Amalekites—the fierce enemy of Israel, and the very nation who was to become the object of God’s wrath as executed by the covenant people. As 1 Samuel 15:9 makes clear, king Saul led the Israelites to disobey the Lord. The material wealth of the Amalekites and their abundant flocks and herds were too much of a temptation for the people of Israel. So they did not “utterly destroy them” as the Lord God had ordered (v. 9).
Well, in the light of Saul’s tragic failure to listen to and obey the voice of the Lord, we are confronted with the mystifying words of verses 10 and 11:
The word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.” And Samuel was angry, and he cried to the Lord all night.
Of course, the obvious difficulty we have with this verse—that asserts the Lord’s “regret” that He had made Saul the king in the first place—is that it seems to suggest that God has, as we say, second-guessed His previous decision. And this would appear to contradict something that we affirm to be true about Him; namely, that our God is unchanging and unchangeable. Theologians speak of this quality, or attribute, as His immutability. And Divine immutability is a fundamental belief about God that all orthodox believers share, as we find it explicitly declared in the Bible.
So what are we to do with this perplexing statement about the Lord’s regret? And are there some essential lessons here about our Heavenly Father that will move us to love and serve Him with greater faithfulness?
Let’s unite our hearts in prayer that the Spirit of the Living God will open the Word to us, revealing our Savior, and blessing us with sanctifying power as we come under its gracious influences.
Let me also share with you our plans for Holy Week 2018.
As you know, during the week of Easter we also gather together for worship on Maundy Thursday (March 29), and Good Friday (March 30). On each of these blessed nights we will assemble before the Lord at 6:00 PM for worship. Each service will last one hour, and a nursery will be provided. And then we will meet for Sunday School at 9:15 AM on Easter Sunday, followed by Worship at 10:30 AM.
I will be preaching an Easter Series of messages from Ephesians 2:4-7—
Maundy Thursday: “But God Being Rich in Mercy”–Ephesians 2:4
Good Friday: “Even When We Were Dead In Our Trespasses”–Ephesians 2:5
Easter Sunday: “Made Alive Together With Christ”–Ephesians 2:5-7
I hope you will be able to be with us for each of these special times of worship. And, as always, please invite guests to join us as well.
May our Lord bless you all with a restful weekend, and I can’t wait to see you on Sunday!
In His love,
March 18, 2:30 PM – Men’s Spring Bible Study
March 18, 3:30 PM – Alleluia Choir at Church House
March 20, 6 PM – Women’s Evening Study
March 21, 9:00 AM – Senior Fellows Downtown Rescue Mission painting project.
March 21, 9:30 AM – Women’s Morning Study
March 21, 6 PM – Diaconate Meeting
March 29, 6 AM – Men’s Morning Study
April 5, 11:30 AM – Women’s Monthly Lunch
April 7, 10:00 AM – Mother/Daughter Tea Party
April 21, 11:00 AM – Providence Presbytery Spring Youth Event at Westminster Pres
You can access this week’s Order of Worship by clicking here
The songs for this week are:
O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought – Hymn 600, vs 1,3-4
I Need Thee Every Hour – Hymn 674, 1-3, 5
Doxology – Hymn 731
Meals for Townsley Family:
Youth Group: Youth Group meets again on March 18 at the church at 4:30 PM for all students in grades 6-12. Invite friends and neighbors!
Women’s Bible Studies: The Women’s weekly studies are ongoing. The Tuesday evening study is at 6 PM, while the Wednesday morning study is at 9:30 AM.
Men’s Bible Study: The Men’s Morning Bible Study is also back in action, meeting every other Thursday. The next meeting is February 15 at 6 AM.
Men’s Spring Bible Study: The Men’s Spring Bible Study of the Psalms continues Sunday at 2:30 PM. All men are encouraged to attend. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mark Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-698-6556
Women’s Monthly Lunch: The next Women’s Monthly Lunch is April 5 at 11:30 AM.
Alleluia Choir: Alleluia Choir for students in Second through Sixth Grades meets from 3:30-4:20 PM upstairs in the Church House. New choristers are always welcome.
Senior Fellows: The Senior Fellows will work on a painting project at the Downtown Rescue Mission (DRM) every Wednesday of this month. The project days are March 14, 21 and 28. Carpool from the church at 8:00 AM or arrive at DRM at 9:00 AM. The DRM is located at 1400 Evangel Drive. Drive in the main gate, and park near the main entrance.
Mother/Daughter Tea: Mothers/daughters, Grandmothers/granddaughters: You are invited to “Muffins & Manners” on Saturday, April 7th, at 10 am at the church. A sweet team of ladies will present a short program on manners & table etiquette, pretty flowers, and how you were created to be a daughter of the King! Put on your favorite spring outfit and come ready for a fun morning of food and fellowship together! If you would like to help with food or decor, please see Libby Loose or Debi Walker. They’ll be in he Narthex the next few weeks before church to answer any questions. There will be a planning meeting on Friday, March 9th at 10 am at Libby’s house for those interested.
Healing: Please pray for the health of the following individuals: Debbie Hill, Allison Randall, Perry Calvert, Suzanne Nimon, Robin Holloway, Chris Smotherman, Elizabeth Holton, Janet Chou, Ramona Edwards, and Nolan Osmer.
Expecting: Please pray for the the Stafford and Dean families, expecting in April, and the Elliott family, expecting in September.
Ministries: Please pray for the following missionaries and ministries: Seth and Jessica Lewis (Ireland); Steve and Rita Williams (New Zealand); Vinnie and Molly Athey (RUF at UAH); RUF at Alabama A&M; Ken and Angie Burnett (FCA); Franky Garcia (seminary student).