Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 7 December, 2014
“But our God is in the heavens: he hath done
whatsoever he hath pleased” (Psalm 115:3)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM - Rev. M. McGeown
A Prayer for Jehovah’s Searching
Scripture Reading: Psalm 139:1-24
Text: Psalm 139:23-24
I. The Meaning
II. The Possibility
III. The Goal
Psalms: 94:11-19; 89:1-6; 26:1-8; 139:17-24
Evening Service - 6:00 PM - Rev. M. McGeown
Samson Seeks an Occasion Against the Philistines
Scripture Reading: Judges 14:1-20
Text: Judges 14:1-20
I. The Occasion Samson Sought
II. The Methods Samson Employed
III. The Deliverance Jehovah Gave
Psalms: 102:13-22 (AOS); 89:7-12; 85:6-13; 34:8-16
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
Quotes to Consider
Charles Spurgeon on Psalm 139: “What a mercy that there is
one being who can know us to perfection! He is intimately at
home with us. He is graciously inclined toward us, and is
willing to bend his omniscience to serve the end of our
sanctification. Let us pray as David did, and let us be as
honest as he. We cannot hide our sin: salvation lies the
other way, in a plain discovery of evil, and an effectual
severance from it” (The Treasury of David, vol. 3, p. 266).
Matthew Henry on Judges 14: “He that in the choice of a wife
is guided only by his eye, and governed by his fancy, must
afterwards thank himself if he find a Philistine in his
Michael Wilcock: “There is in truth no such thing as
harmonious co-existence between church and world, for where
there is no conflict it is because the world has taken over”
(Judges, p. 142).
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
We welcome Rev. McGeown. He will be preaching both services
for us today as well as 21 December. Rev. Stewart is to
preach for the LRF (7 & 21 Dec.).
A letter to the PRC from Rev. McGeown is on the back table.
Taylor, Josh, Corey, Bradley & Samuel (Beginners OT, book 1)
- 5:30 PM
Alex, Nathan, Jacob & Joseph (Seniors NT) - 6:15 PM (Test
Timothy & Chris (Essentials of Reformed Doctrine) - 7:00 PM
The Council meets this Monday at 7:45 PM at the church.
Congratulations to John McAuley who celebrates his 80th
birthday this Tuesday and to Lily Reid whose birthday is
this Wednesday. We wish them the Lord’s blessing.
The Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to study “The Kingdom
of God and the Sovereignty of God.”
The Belgic Confession Class this Wednesday at 7:45 PM to
study Article 24 on “The Progress of Sanctification.”
Men’s Bible Study meets this Saturday at 8 PM at the
Kennedys to study chapters 7 & 8 of The Pursuit of Holiness.
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is entitled “The Key of
Preaching” (Hebrews 4:12-13).
Next Sunday night will be a preparatory service, with the
Lord’s Supper on 21 Dec.
S. Wales Lecture: Rev. McGeown will be speaking on “The
Wonder of the Incarnation” in The Round Chapel, Port Talbot
on 18 December at 7:15 PM.
Offerings: General Fund - £1,125.12.
Website Additions: 3 Afrikaans and 4 Spanish translations.
Blessing and Cursing
Brian D. Dykstra
Proverbs 3:33: “The curse of the Lord is in the house of the
wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.”
Solomon wants us to consider the living accommodations of
two men, the wicked and the just. This wicked man is one who
does wrong. He is not blatantly evil. We would not find him
keeping company with murderers and thieves. His name is not
associated with some heinous crime. He is not infamous. The
wrong which he commits will not result in his appearing
before some judge awaiting a punishment to be declared
against him. He simply does what is wrong, but not criminal.
He knows how to make a business transaction turn more to his
favour. He knows the little tricks of the trade which
encourage a little extra money to find its way into his
pocket rather than the one with whom he is doing business.
These would be the little things of which it can be said,
“Everybody does it. It’s no big deal. It’s all just part of
doing business. In the end, it all just kind of balances out
Solomon notes that this wicked man lives in a comfortable
house. He is not living in a tent or some temporary shelter
made of branches and palm fronds. Perhaps this house is a
bit nicer than average since he seems to know how to make a
dollar go just a little farther for him than most other
people do. He is doing well for himself and is comfortable.
From an earthly point of view, he has no complaints.
Despite these appearances, which might cause us to feel a
touch of envy, God’s curse is there. Solomon writes that
God’s curse is not just on the house of the wicked, this
curse is in the house of the wicked. This curse is not just
on this house as a thin film of oil which, once it is
cleansed, leaves the interior just fine and none the worse
for wear. God’s curse is in this house through and through.
There is no little corner or closet where one could escape
this curse. God’s curse permeates every room and possession
there. God’s curse cannot be easily wiped away. This is just
disgusting rottenness all the way through to the core.
Solomon contrasts this with the just. This man has not
reached perfect obedience through a supreme effort of his
own will. He would not be pointed out by others as a man who
has never done any offence to another. He too has his
faults. He is just in the eyes of God because God has
cleansed him from his sin. The sins of which he is guilty
have been taken away.
This just man, however, has only a habitation. It is a mere
temporary shelter, more of a sheep-cote than a permanent
house. He isn’t rich. What he does have and experience,
however, is the blessing of his heavenly Father. He can live
his life in spiritual joy, even when God brings him through
times of hardship or sorrow. He knows the blessing of his
Father is with him.
Think of Jezebel and Elijah during the days of dreadful
famine in Israel. Jezebel does not strike us a one who would
say, “My dear subjects are suffering and sliding into
poverty. I should give up some of my luxuries to show my
willingness to take up my part of this burden.” She would
maintain her wealth and status if for no other purpose than
to provide for Baal’s prophets and persecute God’s prophets.
She was born a princess and is now a queen and would live
her life as such. Her household, no matter how fine, was
cursed by God through and through.
How was Elijah doing at this time? For a time he lived by
the Brook Cherith. I don’t suppose he had what we would
normally call a house. He certainly wasn’t living
sumptuously. Yet, God blessed him for obediently doing His
will and gave him his daily bread.
Then Elijah went to the widow of Zarephath. There was no
fine living here either. Widows were not very often rich.
When Elijah met her, she was down to her last handful of
meal, a bit of oil and had a couple of sticks to prepare her
last meal. Yet, the widow’s household knew the blessing of
God. The barrel of meal did not fail. This barrel was not
always full being refilled to the brim each time the widow
took out the needed meal. She emptied it, only to find that
when it was time to eat again, there was just enough at the
bottom of the barrel once more. The same was true for the
Yet, this poor widow and Elijah knew the blessing of the
Lord. They shared the joy of knowing that some day God would
send the Messiah to save His people from their sin. There is
no middle ground. There is a curse and a blessing. God does
not change either. Those who are under His curse, shall
always be under God’s curse. Those whom God has justified,
will always be blessed by Him.