Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 8 February, 2015
“But our God is in the heavens: he hath done
whatsoever he hath pleased” (Psalm 115:3)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
Absalom and His Rebellion (15)
Absalom’s Two Miserable Counsellors
Scripture Reading: II Samuel 16:15-17:14
Text: II Samuel 16:15-23
I. Hushai the Plant
II. Wicked Ahithophel
Psalms: 66:1-7; 94:1-8; 3:1-8; 76:1-4, 7-11
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Prone to Hate
Scripture Reading: Romans 1:16-32
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 2
I. The Hatred of God
II. The Hatred of Man
Psalms: 19:1-8; 94:9-15; 58:1-6; 14:1-7
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
Herman Hoeksema on Lord’s Day 2: “Yet the natural man would
never give the answer which the Heidelberg Catechism puts in
the mouth of its pupil in reply to the fifth question: ‘I am
prone by nature to hate God and my neighbor.’ He is even
offended at this truth. He far prefers his own philosophy.
Man may fail occasionally. He may blunder. There may even be
some that habitually sin. But inherently he is good. And he
loves to extol his own virtues, and sing the praises of his
good deeds in public. Only, it must be understood that this
lie concerning himself, this closing of his eyes to the
righteous judgment of God, is not due to any lack of natural
light. The lie is an ethical one, not an intellectual
mistake in judgment. Just as the ‘fool saith in his heart’
that there is no God, so he persuades himself of his own
goodness. Man lives in the sphere of the lie, both with
regard to God and with respect to himself. Hence, the answer
of the Catechism to the fifth question is the reply of
faith, given in the light of revelation that is caused to
shine in the heart of the believer by the Spirit of truth.
It is, therefore, the answer of him in whose heart the love
of God is already shed abroad, and who in principle loves
God and His precepts” (The Triple Knowledge, vol. 1, p. 67).
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
The January and February Covenant Reformed News and an
Update are 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
Timothy & Chris (Essentials of Reformed Doctrine) - 7:00 PM
The Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to study “The Kingdom
of God and the Church.”
The Belgic Confession Class this Wednesday at 7:45 PM to
study Article 24 on “The Means of Sanctification.”
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. R. Kleyn is entitled “The Lord
Always Before Me” (Psalm 16:8).
Offerings: General Fund - £510.75. Building Fund - £173.05.
Website Additions: 1 French and 11 Indonesian translations.
PRC News: The new trio for missionary to the Philippines is
Revs. Brummel (Heritage, IA), Decker (Trinity, MI) and Holstege (Holland, MI).
A Father’s Son
Brian D. Dykstra
Proverbs 4:3-4: “For I was my father’s son, tender and only
beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and
said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my
commandments, and live.”
Solomon continues to explain why we should listen
attentively to the instruction he gives. We noticed last
time that the doctrine Solomon gave was good and that we
should not forsake the law. He now points out that the
understanding he desires us to obtain is the same as that
which he obtained because of the instruction of his parents.
Solomon speaks first of his father, David, “For I was my
father’s son.” David had many sons. We know little about
several of them, but what we know about three of David’s
sons troubles us.
There was Amnon, a source of great shame to the family. He
lusted after his sister Tamar, sinfully plotted with his
confidant about fulfilling his evil desire, forced Tamar to
be a participant in his sin against the seventh commandment,
then finally threw her out of his house, hated her and
refused to ask for her to become his wife. What must the
people have thought about David’s family when news of this
despicable story spread? What a source of shame a son such
as Amnon was! Amnon’s behaviour must have caused the people
to regard him as nothing but a fool. Amnon’s heart did not
retain David’s words about keeping the commandments.
Then there was Absalom. He sinfully rebelled against his
father and caused the deaths of many thousands as he fought
to take David’s throne for himself. He was brazen in his
sin. David had left ten of his concubines behind to maintain
the palace. Absalom took advantage of these women and used
them in his adultery to show how extreme was his despising
of his own father. Absalom did not retain David’s words
either. He also did not live.
Finally, we mention Adonijah. He attempted to take the
throne just as his brother Absalom had done. He recruited
the help of several influential people in the kingdom, such
as Joab, as he stubbornly resisted what he knew to be
David’s choice, God’s choice actually, that Solomon should
be Israel’s next king. He also walked in the foolish way of
sin and died violently.
David had not displeased these sons by telling them, “no.” I
Kings 1:6 reads, “And his father had not displeased him
[that is, Adonijah] at any time in saying, why hast thou
done so?” How much of these family troubles, then, must be
placed at David’s feet because of how he raised these sons?
In today’s language, we might say David wanted to be a “cool
dad.” David did not refuse his sons anything they wanted.
But Solomon claims for himself, “I was my father’s son,”
just as Isaac was Abraham’s son, not Ishmael. Jacob was
Isaac’s son, not Esau. Solomon was David’s son in a manner
in which his full- and half-brothers were not. Had David
learned, through bitter experience with the three sons
previously mentioned, that he had better change his tactics
in raising Solomon?
Solomon states he was “only beloved in the sight” of his
mother. Bathsheba and David recognized God had set Solomon
apart even at the time of Solomon’s birth. The prophet
Nathan came and revealed that God had a different name for
Solomon, Jedediah, “Beloved of the Lord.” God had singled
out this son to be the next king and had renamed him. We too
have been given new names. We, who were children of the
devil by nature, are now called after the name of Christ,
Christians, because we have been redeemed by grace.
The matter of Solomon’s instruction then took on primary
importance for David and Bathsheba. Although Solomon was a
prince, his parents saw to it that he studied his books,
God’s Word, in preparation for the time when he would rule.
Christian parents, out of true love for their children, will
instruct them in the fear of God. They are not ashamed to
instruct them according to the old paths of God’s truth so
ridiculed by the world.
David instructed Solomon to have his heart retain his words.
What might these words have been? God told David that
Solomon would be a man of peace and head a kingdom at rest.
David would not have to pass on instruction about military
tactics. We have an idea from I Kings 2 when David, near his
death, tells Solomon to “shew thyself a man.” How? Exercise?
Buy the fastest chariot? Party? No, not even close. David
says, “Keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his
ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his
judgments and his testimonies, as it is written in the law
of Moses ...” Solomon was to show he was a man by living a
This is what Solomon was to retain in his heart. This way of
life must be sincere, not merely an external show. The same
is true of keeping the commandments. God knows our motives.
In this way Solomon would live, unlike his three foolish
brothers who died before their times.
May our students also retain their parents words, words of
instruction given them out of love for them and God’s truth,
words godly parents have instituted this school to teach,
that covenant children will keep God’s commandments out of
gratitude for redemption in Jesus Christ and live.