Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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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 gracious,
longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:15)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM

The Prophet Jonah (2)
Jonah Flees From God’s Presence  [download]  [youtube]

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  [download]  [youtube]

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: • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

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.

Monday Catechism:
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” (Psalm 128:3-4).

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 translations.

PRC News: Doon PRC will call from a trio of Revs. Bruinsma, Koole and Marcus.

Wisdom’s Cry

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 forgotten?

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 call him.

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 irresistible.

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.