Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 12 January, 2014

“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 (6)
Jonah's Prayer From the Fish's Belly  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Jonah 2
Text: Jonah 2

I. Jonah’s Terrible Affliction
II. Jonah’s Earnest Cries
III. Jonah’s Great Deliverance
Psalms: 96:1-7; 60:1-5; 42:4-8; 62:1-2, 5-8

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The Prophet Jonah (7)
Salvation Is of the Lord!  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Jonah 2
Text: Jonah 2:9

I. Jonah’s Universal Thesis
II. Jonah’s Religious Vow
Psalms: 98:1-8; 60:6-12; 88:1-9; 16:6-11

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 on Jonah 2: “Yes! his affliction constrained him to pray. And how often after backsliding or disobedience is the true tone of prayerfulness restored only through the aid of affliction. For, oh, how grievously does known or special sin derange the power of prayer and the principle of faith! It induces hardness and insensibility of heart. It seals up the heart and lips from God. It tends to produce coldness, artificiality, distance, and estrangedness of feeling in the believer towards his Father in heaven. There is a sort of proud shame that dislikes to come to the point; it rather deals in vague generalities. Immediately there is guile in the soul. The eye of the child falters and quails before its Father’s eye ... But the stroke of affliction comes. Anguish overflows the spirit. The child cannot, will not, brace up its own strength against a Father’s rod. It breaks down rather ... Necessity impels to seek a near approach; a full confession; a free and thorough reconciliation. Prayer again becomes real ...” (The Prophet Jonah, p. 199).

Rev. Carl Haak: "Jonah quoted no fewer than seven times from the psalms in his prayer [in Jonah 2]. Some of them were verbatim. The references were these: Psalm 130, Psalm 42, Psalm 31, Psalm 18, and Psalm 116. Jonah is using various verses from the psalms mingled into his own prayer—because no book of the Bible so expresses the life of the child of God as the Psalms. The Psalms are the written spiritual biography of the work of God’s grace. Jonah was a prophet. He had been a mouthpiece of God. Nevertheless, when it comes to prayer, he begins to piece together the beautiful litany of the Psalms applied to his situation."

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

The congregational dinner sign-up sheet is on the back table today. The dinner is scheduled for Friday, 31 January, at 7 PM at Leighinmohr Hotel in Ballymena.

Standard Bearer renewals are due. You can pay the RFPA directly ($35) or you can pay Rev. Stewart (£21.50) and he’ll pay the RFPA for you.

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 regarding the forbidding of remarriage (while one’s spouse lives).

Belgic Confession Class will be held this Wednesday at 7:45 PM as we continue article 23 on the meaning of justification.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) is entitled “Not Just Hearers, But Doers” (James 1:22-25) by Rev. Bruinsma.

Upcoming Events:
24 January - Rev. Eriks and Sid Miedema arrive for church visitation
29 January - Rev. Eriks’ lecture: “Knowing the Truth in an Age of Uncertainty”
30 January - Rev. McGeown’s S. Wales lecture: “The Signs of Christ’s Coming”
31 January - congregational dinner
28 February - lecture in Lurgan: “John Knox and Predestination”
6 March - Rev. Stewart’s S. Wales lecture: “John Knox and Predestination”

Offerings: General - £568.80. Building - £147.40. Donation: £50 (website).

Website Additions: 1 Hungarian (Prof. Hoeksema’s pamphlet, “The Marks of a True Church”), 1 Swahili, 1 Luo (our first in this east African language) and 4 Portuguese (including 3 pamphlets) translations.

PRC News: Doon PRC will call from a trio of Revs. Key, Koole and VanOverloop.

Wisdom for the Righteous

Brian D. Dykstra


Proverbs 2:7: “He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.”

We have just been reminded of the value of wisdom when we were told to cry after her so as not to allow her to get away. It is to be sought as diligently as a prospector searches for silver.

Where would one begin to look for something so valuable? When we think of the exertion early explorers expended to find earthly gold, we can only wonder about how difficult the search must be for something so marvellously valuable as the wisdom of God. Before we have to check our bodies to discern whether they could endure extreme physical hardship for such work, we are given some good news. God has already laid up this sound wisdom for us.

This laying up is as the laying up of a valuable treasure so that is it hidden from the enemy. It is stored in a safe place. We know what the enemy would do to the wisdom of God. Sinful man has always opposed God’s wisdom. Today God’s wisdom is mocked and trampled under foot. The wicked even do this in great pride, believing that they are accomplishing something great as they rush to their own eternal destruction. They seek to destroy the wisdom which actually points out the only way for deliverance.

No matter what the wicked think, they can do no damage to God’s wisdom. Our Father keeps this wisdom in safe keeping. This wisdom is described as sound. It is not what the world calls wisdom. Their wisdom can accomplish great things. There have been great advances in technology which have enabled man to do many celebrated things. Think of the accomplishments of man in outer space and medicine, for example. Man can live a longer earthly life, but the grave, though seemingly delayed, waits with gaping jaws at the end of life’s path. Our nation spent many millions of dollars to reach the moon. Such an accomplishment has been so “vital” to the interest of mankind that we have not bothered to return to the moon for 28 years. The world’s wisdom is vanity.

That’s not the case with God’s wisdom. There is substance to it. It shall endure, and it shall be found sure. It is a constant guide to God’s people as we make our way in this dark world of sin and foolishness. It is the wisdom which directed and will guide all of God’s people on the earth.

God gives this wisdom only to the righteous. Once again, there is no room for any universal love of God. God does not give this wisdom to all men so He can plead with them to choose the right path. Those who reject the Truth of God’s Word will reap what they sow. God will lay up wisdom only for us, His people. We are not righteous in ourselves nor have we made ourselves worthy of such blessing. This is another promise to us which is based on the work of Christ.

In the second part of the verse, God is revealed to be our buckler. A buckler is a shield which was used in battle. A man who is at peace has no need for a buckler. By being told that we have a buckler, we are being told what our lives are like. We are not here to get along peacefully with the world. We are at war. This world is not a pleasant place for us. Each day we see the wicked’s hatred for God and His Word. They would seek to destroy us as well. As they attempt to do so, we can become confused. Their eyes are not red with anger and hate. They do not call us all kinds of vile names. They want us to be friends with them. They want us to join them in the party. They seek to broaden our horizons and expand the realm of our experience. Our lives are in need of some excitement and entertainment which they can provide!

It is when we do not join them in their way of sin that they become angry. Few things can make them more upset than having our obedient life of dedication to God witness to the sin in their lives. That they cannot stand. Then they will seek to rid the planet of the likes of us because we spoil the fun. It will become obvious that mankind will never be able to establish a heaven on earth, made without God or His love, of course, with those miserable Christians around. We are in great need of a buckler. It would hardly seem possible to have one big enough to meet the challenges of the world today.

Again, this buckler is not standard issue for all men. It is given only to them that walk uprightly. There is no buckler for those who do no walk the antithetical path. Those who seek to walk as close to the world as possible so they can partake of its allurements see no need for a shield anyway. They do not think there is anything that evil out there from which they need to be protected.

Our students need constant reminders of the Christian’s true relationship with the world. This world is no friend to the Truth. They need to see the need for God as a buckler. The only way they can have such protection is to walk with God in Jesus Christ. Only in the way of obedience to God is there protection for His children. May the Triune God so guide our children by His wisdom that they might know Him as their shield.