Notes from Meeting Sunday 11th October 2020

Lee Street Church

Notes of meeting for 11th October 2020

We welcomed a total of 11 people meeting at the Church and 10 people on line.

Ken led our worship time.

Psalm 121 begins:


I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from?


My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

The long periods of various degrees of lock-down in our country have had devastating results for many people, affecting health, employment, education, leisure, Church worship etc. So where do we turn in these circumstances?

SONG: I lift my eyes up (221)

I LIFT MY EYES UP to the mountains,

Where does my help come from?

My help comes from You, Maker of

Creator of the earth.


O, how I need You, Lord,

You are my only hope;

You’re my only prayer.

So I will wait for You

To come and rescue me,

Come and give me life.


Brian Doerksen.

Copyright © 1990 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing/Adm. by CopyCare.



Our help comes from the Lord – so we are not alone.


Ken then related some of the background to the hymn “Be thou my vision”


The story behind the Melody of Be Thou My Vision begins with St. Patrick. When he was just sixteen years old, pirates kidnapped Patrick and sold him into slavery in Ireland. This caused him to enter adulthood knowing the Gaelic language and Irish customs. He also became a Christian during this time. Years later, he managed to escape and return home to his family in England. While most would've stayed home forever, Patrick chose to go back to Ireland and become a missionary!

What does all this have to do with Be Thou My Vision? On Easter Sunday in 433, the local Irish king issued a decree in observation of a pagan Druid festival that prohibited anyone from lighting a flame or candle. Patrick, refusing to honour anyone but Christ, stood against the king. That morning, Patrick risked his life by climbing to the tallest hill in the area and lighting a huge fire. As the ancient Irish people woke up, they could all see Patrick's defiance of the king. He could not hide his light. Patrick wanted to show the world that God’s light shines in darkness, and that only He deserves praise.

Years later, an unknown composer wrote a melody in honour of Patrick's heroism. Called, "Slane," the now-forgotten composer named it after the hill where Patrick shined his light: Slane Hill.

While the story behind the melody is legendary, the history behind the lyrics is much more obscure. Tradition tells us that an Irish poet from the 6th century named St. Dallán Forgaill wrote a Gaelic poem entitled Rop tú mo Baile, in honour of St. Patrick. Borrowing from another medieval poem, St. Patrick’s Breastplate, Forgaill's lyrics referred to God as his “battle shield" and “high tower," phrases that still exist in the modern version today.


SONG: Be thou my vision


BE THOU MY VISION, O Lord of my heart,

Be all else but naught to me, save that Thou art;

Be Thou my best thought in the day and the night,

Both waking and sleeping, Thy presence my light.


Be Thou my wisdom, be Thou my true word,

Be Thou ever with me, and I with Thee, Lord;

Be Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son;

Be Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.


Be Thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;

Be Thou my whole armour, be Thou my true might;

Be Thou my soul’s shelter, be Thou my strong tower:

O raise Thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.


Riches I need not, nor man’s empty praise:

Be Thou mine inheritance now and always;

Be Thou and Thou only the first in my heart:

O Sovereign of heaven, my treasure Thou art.


High King of heaven, Thou heaven’s bright Sun,

O grant me its joys after victory is won;

Great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,

Still be Thou my vision, O Ruler of all.


Tr. Mary E. Byrne & Eleanor H. Hull.





SONG: My Lighthouse (Rend Collective)


In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won't walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea


In the silence, You won't let go
In the questions, Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea


My lighthouse, my lighthouse
Shining in the darkness. I will follow You
My lighthouse, my lighthouse
I will trust the promise
You will carry me safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore


I won't fear what tomorrow brings
With each morning I'll rise and sing
My God's love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

(You are my light)

My lighthouse, my lighthouse
Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
My lighthouse, my lighthouse
I will trust the promise
You will carry me safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore


Fire before us, You're the brightest
You will lead us through the storms
Fire before us, You're the brightest
You will lead us through the storms
Fire before us, You're the brightest
You will lead us through the storms
Fire before us, You're the brightest
You will lead us through the storms


My lighthouse, my lighthouse
Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
My lighthouse, my lighthouse
I will trust the promise
You will carry me safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore


A reminder – whatever the situation, He will bring us right through!

SONG: God will make a way (1799)


Where there seems to be no way.

He works in ways we cannot see,

He will make a way for me.

He will be my guide,

Hold me closely to His side;

With love and strength

For each new day,

He will make a way,

He will make a way.


By a roadway in the wilderness

He’ll lead me,

And rivers in the desert will I see.

Heaven and earth will fade,

But His word will still remain;

He will do something new today.


Don Moen

Copyright © 1990, 2006 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music/Sovereign Music UK


Brian’s Talk - Elijah

Last week we rightly gave our thanks to God for his continuing faithfulness to us in the bountiful provision for all our needs – food, water, and a wonderful world of nature around us. Great is his faithfulness to us indeed!

But if we take another look at our world today – what do we see? Sadly, a world filled with bitterness, strife, wars, injustices, immorality, and evil, where the rich get richer and the poor get even poorer. A sad world that has for the most part totally ignored the commands of its creator, where men and women go their own way, determined to live their lives as they choose.

You might say it’s never been very different – certainly in some ways it wasn’t very different at the time of the Old Testament prophet that I want to think about briefly this morning.

The northern kingdom of Israel had been badly led for many years by a long line of kings who did nothing but evil in God’s sight – rejecting His authority and commands and worshipping solely man-made gods including Baal. They had got rid of the priests from the tribe of Levi, and had appointed their own so-called prophets who were corrupt and totally ineffective in bringing the nation back to God. What the nation needed was something dramatic to make them realise that God wasn’t going to allow them to continue in this way for ever. It needed someone to confront the nation and its leaders to bring about change.

As so often in history, God had his man for the task. He was a man who was later to be revered as one of the greatest men of the OT by the Jewish people of our Lord’s time. When Jesus came on the scene, some people really thought he was Elijah come back, as they were expecting him to – from Malachi’s prophesy from 400 years earlier.

All that we do know about Elijah is recorded for us in just a few chapters of 1 and 2 Kings. One thing I particularly like about the Bible account of Elijah is that it records times of immense faith on his part, but also shows up his weaknesses and times of failure. Yes, even the great men of God that we so highly respect did at times have moments when even they were prone to disappoint both God and themselves.

We don’t know anything about Elijah’s background, his education or his family history, except that he came from a town named Tishbe, which we believe was situated east of the Jordan river valley in an area called Gilead.

He was very recognisable to others by his clothes – described as “hairy with a leather belt around his waist”. And we know too that most importantly he was a servant of the Lord.

In the first biblical reference to Elijah, we find him in the presence of Ahab the king, probably in Samaria, bringing some bad news. We’ve no idea how he came to be able to see king Ahab – but I would guess he must already have made himself and his calling known to the people. Somehow he’d managed to get an audience with the king.

The message was a stark one - it wasn’t from him but from the God of Israel “There will no dew or rain for the next few years – until I say so”.

From the New Testament, we find that Elijah had prayed earnestly that it wouldn’t rain for 3½years – he knew what a devastating effect this would have on the nation, and believed it was the only way that they might come to their senses and heed God’s voice.

No doubt Ahab would have been stunned by this news - 3½years is a long time without rain – how would his nation survive? Would his people turn against him? Under him the nation had become rich and powerful, but what would happen now?

So Elijah wouldn’t exactly have been flavour of the month in Ahab’s eyes when he brought this message.. It must have taken a lot of courage for Elijah to bring this bad news to Ahab, so I guess that, emulating the way we are asked to give marks out of 10 to footballers for their performance in a match, you could give him high marks for his bravery and actions so far.

But what was to affect Ahab’s people would also affect Elijah himself. He was also a marked man, with Jezebel in particular being after his blood. He would feel safer out of the reach of Ahab.

So God ensures his safety by sending him away to hide east of the river Jordan by Kerith brook. There he was to be able to drink from the brook, and bread and meat were to be provided by ravens in the morning and evening. A bit different to having an on-line delivery by Ocado or Tesco – but the food kept him alive, and he was at a safe distance from the eyes of Ahab and his terrible wife Jezebel. It’s a wonderful picture of God’s provision – taken up by many artists especially in children’s books and bibles. God’s provision for the daily needs of his servant Elijah, using the skills of another part of his creation.

After a period of time, we don’t know how long, the brook dried up because of the drought. So it was time for Elijah to move on to somewhere else. God sent him to the home of a widow about 100 miles away on the coast of the Mediterranean, in the village of Zarephath, with the promise that he would be supplied with food when he got there.

His journey would have been a hard one – in the heat, little if any water available, and remember too that he was travelling through Israel, where the king was definitely not his best friend. So again, top marks to Elijah for obeying God’s direction for the next stage of his career.

I will read the account directly from scripture in 1Kings 17: 10- 16:


So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, "Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?"


As she was going to get it, he called, "And bring me, please, a piece of bread."


"As surely as the LORD your God lives," she replied, "I don’t have any bread —only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it —and die."


Elijah said to her, "Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.


For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ’The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.’"


She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.


For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.

So Elijah, the brave prophet of God, was looked after during the drought which his God had sent – a drought which affected all the people of the nation. And see how this woman was blessed for her generosity to this stranger who had suddenly turned up. She and her son had given up hope – but then God comes into her life, through the faithful actions of his servant Elijah.

See what she had to do first – make a small loaf for this stranger, before making one for herself. What would our priorities have been in her place? I think she must have been a believer in the Lord, and was therefore willing to trust that Elijah’s words were indeed trustworthy. She was literally putting her life on the line as she provided food for Elijah, but God rewarded her faith multiple times over, as “the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry”; her faithful obedience was well rewarded.

I won’t go into details for the sake of time, but God then went on to use Elijah to restore life to a young lad in the widow’s house, yet another blessing Elijah was able to bring to the household after he had cried out to the Lord for help.

I now want to move forward about 2 years, when we find Elijah again being told by God to go and see Ahab, before He sends rain on the land.

En route, Elijah happens to meet one of Ahab’s trusted staff, a man named Obadiah who had been an active believer in the Lord from his youth, and had protected the lives of 100 prophets of God by hiding them in caves, and providing food and water for them during the drought. Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel had been killing off as many of the Lord’s prophets as they could find. Obadiah was naturally fearful of his own life, if Ahab came to hear he had met up with Elijah.

So Elijah continues his journey to meet with Ahab, who immediately puts the blame on Elijah as the “troubler of Israel”. It was allegedly his fault that the whole nation was still suffering from drought and famine.

But Elijah replies (v18)


"I have not made trouble for Israel,". "But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the LORD’s commands and have followed the Baals.”

Elijah didn’t mince his words – he puts the blame fairly and squarely on the shoulders of Ahab and his predecessors for ignoring God’s commands for his people.

So Elijah challenges Ahab and the prophets of Baal to determine once and for all who is God – is it Elijah’s god, the Lord, or Baal, who the so many people including Ahab were now worshipping?

The contest was to take place on mount Carmel. It would take some days to set up, as Ahab needed to martial all the 450 prophets of Baal, together with the animals for a sacrifice.

It didn’t at first appear to be a very even contest – 450 Baal prophets versus just 1 prophet of God. Elijah allowed the prophets of Baal to bat first, and for the whole morning they cried out to their god to answer them by sending fire to consume their sacrifice. By the afternoon, they were getting even more frantic, even slashing themselves with swords and spears, and continuing to shout even louder in the hope that Baal would respond. But no such luck. We read “there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention”.

It was already evening by the time Elijah had his innings. And what a contrast it was to be.

He gathered everyone around, he built an altar with 12 stones, each one representing one of the 12 tribes of Israel. He prepared the animal sacrifice, and then poured 12 large jars of water (probably brought up from the sea) all over the altar.

We then read:


At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.


Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."


Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.


When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD —he is God! The LORD —he is God!"

What a contrast between the frantic cries of the Baal-worshippers, with the calm prayer of Elijah. God of course heard and responded to Elijah’s prayer

God honoured Elijah for not only his faith, but for putting his very life on the line as he endeavoured to bring the nation of Israel back to faith and obedience to the one true living God whom he served.

So I think we can again give top marks to Elijah for his complete trust that God would show in such a dramatic way that HE IS GOD.

It wasn’t long before the rain started, and Elijah was given special power from the Lord to enable him to run all the way back to Jezreel, while Ahab rode his chariot to the same city. When he told his wife Jezebel how all the prophets of Baal had been slaughtered following Elijah’s victory, she immediately vowed to kill Elijah within the next 24 hours. Her prophets of Baal that she so depended upon to tell her what she wanted to hear, rather than what God was saying, they had all been killed following the contest on Carmel.

Elijah had experienced two great spiritual victories – the defeat of the prophets of Baal, and the return of rain when he asked God to provide it. The physical and mental fatigue of these two victories took its toll on him – he would have been shattered and well due a rest.

When he heard of Jezebel’s threat to kill him, he was quite naturally frightened, and quickly decided he needed to get away, so he ran southwards for his life to Beersheba, about 100 miles away, after which he took a further solitary journey into the wilderness.

He found a tree to provide some shelter for the night, sat down, and prayed that he might die. “I’ve had enough, Lord” – and then he went to sleep.

Well, perhaps we should now score Elijah a low mark for running away in fear of his life. Shouldn’t he have trusted God to protect him from the hands of Jezebel? Easy for us to pass judgement, but we shouldn’t really be too tough on him. What would we have done in those circumstances I wonder?

God of course heard his cry of despair, and promptly sent an angel with a supply of fresh bread and a jar of water. This gave him the energy to take yet another 40-day journey, this time to Mount Horeb, taking him even further away from Judah.

Having then hidden himself away in a cave, God again spoke to him. “What are you doing here?”. So Elijah pours out his heart to the Lord, telling of his concern for the godless state of the nation, and how all the prophets except him had been killed. Poor Elijah – in the depths of despair. He was shattered – he’d had enough.

Again, God hears his cries of anguish – and tells him to get up and stand on the mountain. Probably the last thing Elijah wanted to do.

But he obeyed God – and as he stood there, we read that “The Lord passed by – and then sent a mighty windstorm to hit the mountain. He then sent an earthquake and then fire. What was going on? Where was God in all this? Well, he wasn’t in these dramatic natural events.

Then Elijah heard God in the sound of a gentle whisper – “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Elijah then repeated his response, and God simply responded by giving him instructions for the next stage of his journey – he was to go back all the way he had come, and to continue his roll as a prophet. And by the way, there are still 7,000 people in Israel who haven’t bowed down to Baal – so you are NOT alone!

I don’t know what Elijah really thought about returning to Judah, but at least the knowledge that he would't be alone must have been an encouragement.

And God hadn’t given up on him.

God speaks to us today in many different ways. I wonder sometimes if we are all guilty of expecting God to single us out and present himself to us in some dramatic way? Sometimes of course he does – but for most of us we just have to listen to what he has already said, be it in the scriptures or through his agents, his witnesses – be they fellow believers or preachers.

Elijah’s biggest problem was that he thought he was the only person left in the land of Judah who was faithful to the Lord. Yes, he got on with his job – full marks for that – but there were in fact thousands of others who were faithfully being obedient to God in their own lives, in spite of the opposition from the country’s leadership. Covid-19 has had the sad effect of isolating many people during the various lockdowns that have occurred, and will no doubt continue well into next year. We need to encourage one another as we seek to continue to serve the Lord as His witnesses – yes, that’s what we’re called to be.

We may not have the same sort of problems that Elijah faced, but we’ve still got a God who knows all about our troubles, and who promises to take us through – to come along side us when we are lonely or feeling defeated. But we do need to make time to listen for him to speak.

Elijah was a man who boldly confronted sin in the nation, and pointed people to God.

Closing Hymn: These are the days of Elijah

These are the days of Elijah,

Declaring the word of the Lord:

And these are the days of Your servant Moses,

Righteousness being restored.

And though these are days of great trial,

Of famine and darkness and sword,

Still, we are a voice in the desert crying

Prepare ye the way of the Lord.’


Behold He comes riding on the clouds,

Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;

Lift your voice, it’s the year of jubilee,

Out of Zion’s hill salvation comes.


These are the days of Ezekiel,

The dry bones becoming as flesh;

And these are the days of Your servant David,

Rebuilding the temple of praise.

These are the days of the harvest,

The fields are as white in the world,

And we are the labourers in the vineyard,

Declaring the word of the Lord.


Robin Mark.

Copyright © 1997 Daybreak Music Ltd.





  • Don’t forget offerings today for Tearfund – contact Bob or Brian if you need help.

  • Wednesday evening – Zoom Bible Study – 2Timothy 4