Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 1 December, 2013
“But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and
longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth” (Psalm
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
The Prophet Jonah (2)
Jonah Flees From God’s Presence
Scripture Reading: Jonah 1
Text: Jonah 1:3
I. The Meaning
II. The Reason
III. The Cost
Psalms: 148:5-13; 55:1-9; 139:1-10; 32:6-10
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
The Prophet Jonah (3)
Jonah Flees to Tarshish
Scripture Reading: Jonah 1
Text: Jonah 1:3-5
I. The Enabling Providence
II. The Great Storm
III. The Deep Sleep
Psalms: 78:1-6; 55:10-17; 147:12-20; 32:1-5
For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services,
contact Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart
or the elders
CPRC Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube: www.youtube.com/cprcni
CPRC Facebook: www.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
Quote to Consider
Hugh Martin: “Let this, then, be our first lesson. We may
disobey God from subtle and spiritual and holy-like motives;
but we no sooner yield than the coarsest may too sadly
overmaster us. The angel of light may be needed to betray us
into sin. But our armour, our simplicity, our singleness,
our strength, being then gone; the ruder evils and meaner
kinds of sin, starting from their concealments and
surrounding us, claiming us now as their own, saying,
‘Persecute and take him, for God hath forsaken him’ (Ps.
71:11), may assert over us a power which in days of our
integrity and good conscience we found it comparatively easy
to refuse and resist” (The Prophet Jonah, p. 59).
O. Palmer Robertson: “Sometimes when everything is going
just right, you conclude that God’s hand must be in it. But
that may not be the case at all. You need something more
specific than circumstances. You need the confirmation of
the word of God. How many times in your life have you gone
against the teaching of the word of God because you had
tunnel vision and stubbornly saw only what you wanted?
Beware of reading providential circumstances in a way that
contradicts the explicit commands of the Lord” (Jonah: A
Study in Compassion, p. 17).
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
“Daily Meditations for Spiritual Comfort” booklets for
December are on the back table today.
Bradley, Samuel (Beginners NT) - 5:30PM
Alex, Nathan (Juniors OT) - 6:15PM
Jacob, Joseph (Seniors OT) - 7:00PM
Timothy (Essentials of Reformed Doctrine) - 7:45PM
Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to study Christ’s
controversy on marriage, divorce and remarriage, especially
regarding the nature of marriage.
Belgic Confession Class meets this Wednesday at 7:45 PM to
study article 22 on “Faith in Jesus Christ.”
The Council meets this Thursday, 5 December, at 7 PM.
Ladies’ Bible Study will meet at 10:30 AM this Friday at
church to discuss Miriam.
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846MW at 8:30 AM) is entitled “The Blessedness of Family”
S. Wales Lecture: Rev. McGeown will speak on Thursday, 12
December, at the Round Chapel in Port Talbot on “Eternal
Life in Heaven.”
Offerings: General Fund - £715.71.
Website Additions: 1 Swedish, 2 Italian and 2 Hungarian
PRC News: Doon PRC will call from a trio of Revs. Bruinsma,
Koole and Marcus.
Brian D. Dykstra
Proverbs 1:20-23: “Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her
voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of
concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she
uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will
ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their
scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof:
behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make
known my words unto you.”
Solomon has already instructed his son that the fear of the
Lord is the beginning of wisdom. He has also spoken about
the enticement of sinners. The final end of the sinners has
been made clear to the son.
But what is a father to do? He knows what he wishes most for
his son, that is, for the son to live a godly life. The
father can give instruction and point out the truth of what
he has learned about God both from His Word and from the way
in which God has led him in life. However, try though he may
with careful spiritual instruction and example of life, he
cannot take his son’s dead and sinful heart and make it
alive and holy.
But there is a cry which is heard! It is the voice of
wisdom. My commentary tells me that the word wisdom is
actually plural in the text. Among other voices, Matthew
Henry mentions the following as the voices of wisdom: human
understanding, divine revelation and Christ Himself.
Solomon, as a father, is not left on his own to give
instruction to his son. He has all the help he needs, the
voice of wisdom.
This help is found everywhere. Fathers are not usually too
concerned about the behaviour of their sons while they are
at home with them. Home is the place where the instruction
has been given. Now what happens when the son leaves the
house to go somewhere? Will all that instruction be
No, the voice of wisdom will follow the son not only in the
home but without as well. Her voice is heard in the streets.
In ancient times, there were many activities which took
place in the streets. There were markets, workshops and
forms of entertainment to be found there. The voice of
wisdom would still be heard by the son.
There were also places where large crowds could meet, the
concourse. Many of us know of the concern that is felt when
teenage children are in large crowds. Still, wisdom would
Many important meetings took place in the openings of the
gates. Business meetings were held there and large markets
were found there also. Judgments rendered by the city elders
were given in the city gates. It was the place to be to keep
up on current events. If the son were there as a witness,
the voice of wisdom could still be heard.
Wisdom also calls to this son and to us, as we are by
nature. She calls the simple ones. The simple do not fear
God. They live their lives as though there were no eternal
judgment. The consequences of their actions upon their souls
do not matter to the simple. They merely wish to enjoy the
pleasures which the world has to offer. They love this way
of simplicity! Is there any other sphere where men treasure
ignorance over knowledge?
The son’s and our sinful natures can manifest themselves in
an even stronger way than mere simplicity. Wisdom also
raises her voice to the scorners. It is not enough for
scorners just to enjoy their sin, they must also mock God
and His holy name and mock those who worship Him.
Finally, wisdom addresses the fools. Fools not only indulge
their sinful lusts and mock. They will do more than that.
They hate knowledge. Oh, they do not hate to learn things.
Think of the many learned men, especially in the world of
science, who have earned many degrees. Still, they do not
confess God to be the creator of all that they have studied.
They hate the knowledge of God and His truth so much that
they work ceaselessly for evidence to “prove” the clear
testimony of God’s Word to be false.
As for the knowledge of salvation, who needs it? They hate
that especially. Fools either dismiss the judgment of the
law, deny the existence of the Judge or feel that in some
way they can save themselves or do not need to be saved from
anything. By nature that is what we are.
To such wisdom cries. Wisdom is not on her knees inviting,
begging and pleading with sinners while tears stain her
beautiful face. This cry is a call, a summons. It is a
command. For those elected by God’s grace, the call is
We are commanded to turn. We have walked in sin. We are to
turn to the way of thankful obedience. God has confronted us
with His standard of holiness. He has shown to us the end of
sin and how He has delivered us from it in Christ’s cross.
Wisdom will pour out her spirit unto us. It is not something
done in response to our asking for it. Rather, we are being
notified of what will happen. Where there was the “spirit”
of simplicity, scorn and foolishness, there will be the
Spirit of a new Master.
God also makes known to us His word. It is not something
left for us to discover on our own. We had been blind to the
truth of the Bible because of our sinful rebellion but now,
by His Spirit of wisdom, we see and hate our sins, and then
we can read plainly of our deliverance from sin.
Yes, we still need to instruct our children at home and in
the extension of the home, the school. God uses means. Yet
we are thankful that the entering of God’s light into dark
hearts does not depend upon us using just the right words,
catchy words or the latest instructional methods. God
irresistibly calls by the voice of His wisdom and His
children, the elect, will hear.