Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 26 February, 2017
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind ...” (Rom. 12:2)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
The Life of Jacob (34)
Jacob’s Burial in the Cave of Machpelah
Scripture Reading: Genesis 50
Text: Genesis 50:1-21
I. His Significant Embalming
II. His Grand Funeral
III. His Unnecessary Command
Psalms: 24:1-6; 30:1-7a; 76:5-11; 46:6-11
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Christ in Bethlehem
Scripture Reading: Matthew 2
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 14
I. The Star
II. The Wise
III. The King
Psalms: 72:7-12; 30:7b-12; 22:6-12; 2:1-8
For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services,
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
Alfred Edersheim on Genesis 50:2-3: “Everything here is
truly Egyptian: the number of physicians in Joseph’s
service, since in Egypt every physician treated only one
special kind of disease; the mourning, which always lasted
seventy days; and the process of embalming, which took from
forty to seventy days. There were two modes of embalming,
besides that for the poor—the most elaborate costing about
two hundred and fifty pounds, and a simpler one about
eighty-one pounds. The brain was first taken out through the
nostrils; then an incision made in the left side, and all
the intestines extracted ... The body was next filled with
various spices—except frankincense,—sewed up, and steeped in
natrum, which is found in the natrum lakes of Egypt, and
consists of carbonate, sulphate, and muriate of soda” (Bible
History: Old Testament, vol. 1, p. 187).
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
The February Covenant Reformed News is available on the back
We welcome back Timothy Spence who is here for a few days,
returning to university in S. Wales tomorrow.
Monday evening’s Catechism Classes:
5:45 PM - Taylor, Josh, Corey & Katelyn (Beginners NT)
6:30 PM - Bradley & Samuel (Juniors OT)
7:15 PM - Jacob, Alex & Nathan (Heidelberg Catechism, book
The Tuesday Bible Study meets at 11 AM to consider holy war
according to the writing prophets, including their
predictions of Jesus Christ and the NT age.
The Belgic Confession Class meets on Wednesday at 7:45 PM to
look at the qualifications for church office in connection
with article 31.
S. Wales Lecture: Rev. Stewart will speak on “The New
Calvinism and the Reformation Compared” this Thursday at
7:15 PM in the Round Chapel, Margam.
Ladies’ Bible Study meets this Friday at 10:30 AM at church
to discuss Proverbs on self-control, pride and humility.
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846 MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. R. Kleyn is “Sunday: A Day of
Rest” (Ex. 20:8-11).
The CPRC will be hosting a mini-conference to celebrate the
500th anniversary of the Reformation on Saturday, 21
October. Prof. Engelsma will be our guest speaker. He has
also agreed to preach for us on Sundays 22 & 29 October and
Offerings: General Fund: £733.20.
Translation additions: 2 Hungarian and 1 Spanish.
PRC News: Byron Center PRC’s new trio from which they will
call a domestic missionary is Revs. Haak, Key and W.
Langerak. Zion PRC will call from a trio of Revs. Eriks,
Haak and R. Kleyn.
Longing for Fellowship With God
Brian D. Dykstra
“Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a
nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine
altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God” (Psalm 84:3).
Birds have caused me to be jealous a few times. A few
summers ago, my survey crewchief and I worked in a wooded
area. Although the area was small, we had a hard time
walking there. We dubbed the area “woodses” because there
were really two woods in one. There were the usual vertical
woods (which were challenging enough), and there were also
many trees which had been cut down and left on the ground.
These were the horizontal woods, and they were overgrown by
vines and prickers. As we painstakingly made our way through
the “woodses,” we noticed the birds had a much easier time
than we did moving from one side of the job site to the
The Psalmist is also jealous of birds but not because of
their ability to fly. He is jealous of the place where some
had built their nests.
This jealousy springs from the Psalmist’s deep love for the
tabernacles of God. In the courts of the tabernacle, the
Psalmist could meet with other worshippers. God was served
there publicly, as sacrifices were brought to the priests.
God’s servants sought God’s will for them, prayed to Him and
were instructed in the way of obedience to His law. It was
the place of spiritual fellowship.
The Psalmist’s soul longs for God’s house. This desire for
fellowship with God is not a display for men, nor is it a
decorative ornament to obtain the notice of men as the
Pharisees would do. It is a sincere yearning for God which
is found only in the hearts of God’s children.
It appears, however, that the Psalmist has been unable to go
to the tabernacle for some time. Bible commentators suppose
David to be this Psalm’s author and that Psalm 84 was
written during the time when he was forced to leave
Jerusalem because of Absalom’s rebellion.
The pain of the Psalmist’s absence from the tabernacle is
more acute because he remembers what he had seen there. Near
the altar were places where small birds built nests. These
birds lived near the altar, a place where the Psalmist could
not go because he was not of the tribe of Levi! It seems as
if the birds could draw closer to God than he could! He
would love to have such close fellowship with God! The birds
could also raise and care for their young near God’s altar.
Hope School’s students will sing this Psalm as they begin
another school year. What do we parents and grandparents
wish for them? Do we want them to learn how to be popular
with their peers, how to get ahead in today’s world or how
to be current with popular culture so they are not out of
touch with society?
As we strive to keep our baptismal vows, we instruct the
covenant seed that fellowship with God is what we desire for
them. Covenant parents are concerned about the influence of
worldliness, especially since the Deceiver now has so many
avenues to present his temptations to our children. How can
parents possibly guard against all these assaults? Rules are
necessary for the orderly functioning of families. Yet
making a multitude of rules, laying down the law or standing
over children with a stick will only work as long as they
are under our roofs. When they go out on their own, will we
find their obedience was only external, sullen compliance?
None of our efforts, no matter how sincere, will influence
their hearts. We can only depend upon our covenant,
promise-keeping God to write His law on the hearts of His
elect children in Jesus Christ.
Though we confess our inability to plant the seed of
regeneration in the hearts of our children, do covenant
parents then simply sit to the side of their children’s
lives, do little or nothing to instruct them and placidly
wait to see what manner of fruit develops?
We instruct them by our example. Our children must see that
we love and long for fellowship with God. They must see our
dedication to the matters of God’s heavenly kingdom. They
must see God ruling our lives through what we read in the
Bible. Spirituality and sensitivity to how the Word governs
our lives will serve our children better than any set of
lengthy guidelines we might develop.
We desire the fellowship of Father’s house. God’s house is
our dwelling place when we demonstrate our love for Christ
by keeping His commandments and loving our fellow saints.
Then we can confess with the Psalmist: “Blessed are they
that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee”
(v. 4). What we desire for our children is that they will
live for the praise of their Lord and long for fellowship
We are thankful that there are those of like faith with whom
we can maintain and operate our Christian schools. Public
schools have the latest equipment and here in western
Michigan they have many new facilities, but how important is
fellowship with God there? Too many Christian schools
believe their purpose is to win souls for Christ and prepare
students to redeem some aspect of society for God.
Fellowship with God has become an antiquated notion.
May God use the efforts of our schools to instruct His
promised seed in the beauty of a life spent in fellowship