We welcomed Phil Cook as our speaker. Phil regularly comes to our meeting and we all enjoy his teaching. As an introduction, Kath spoke about presents and had brought along one of her great grandson’s favourite toys – Thomas the Tank Engine. It was discovered after about a year of playing with the engine that a particular button made Thomas come alive so that it spoke and moved! Kath then showed us a beautiful Bible she had been given after retiring from Girls’ Brigade in 1992 and said that it is no good if you leave it in the box and don’t open it up and read it! So true!
This set the tone for a lovely afternoon of hymns/songs:
- May the mind of Christ my Saviour especially verse 2, May the Word of God dwell richly in my heart from hour to hour.
- When the road is rough and steep.
- Blessed Assurance.
- Jesus lover of my soul – the old Charles Wesley hymn – chosen by our speaker, Phil Cook to close our meeting.
Kath read Ruth chapter 1 and Phil referred to this passage and others as his message was on El Shaddai – which is translated, “The Almighty God”. Phil told us that this is correct but literally translated, it is “I am God who provides for you as my child with a breast to lean on and from which to feed. I am your sufficiency in your helplessness.”
Our God is the Mighty One of resource and sufficiency – to make us strong for our earthly pilgrimage.
In Ruth 1 although Naomi professes that the Lord has afflicted her, she uses the words El Shaddai – a note of hope that the Lord is with her. And God proved Himself to her, as Ruth, her daughter-in-law, a pagan woman came into a believing family, was transformed and became a descendant of David and of Jesus. What a wonderful story of God’s redeeming grace!
Phil told us that El Shaddai appears 31 times in the book of Job – the most of any book. Things happen that we don’t have an answer to. Job didn’t understand why he suffered so much but he knew God to be El Shaddai – “I am God who provides for you as my child with a breast to lean on and from which to feed. I am your sufficiency in your helplessness.” Job rose above his anguish…”Though He slay me, yet, I will trust in Him (Job 13 v 15).
Phil encouraged us to lean into Him completely. Sometimes we are tested – we are being proved. He has done all things well!
Below is a hymn Phil wrote which he has given permission to reproduce here:
El Shaddai, The Almighty God,
Perfect and pure and right and good.
On You we lean - Protective Arm -
Divinely shielded from all harm.
You are our Lord and You provide
Shelter and refuge where we hide;
Shielded from every wild alarm,
Within Your arms just peace and calm.
You're our sufficiency and care
When helplessness is all we share.
You succour us and keep us strong;
For You, O Lord, we seek and long.
You're altogether lovely, fair,
Bridegroom and Saviour, Friend just there.
And in the desert when we roam
You gently seek and bring us home.
Wilderness days are in the past,
We'll lean on Him while life shall last.
"For I am His and He is mine" -
Redeeming love the eternal theme.