Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Bookmark and Share

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 18 January, 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 (12)
Opportunism at Mount Olivet  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: II Samuel 9
Text: II Samuel 16:1-4

I. Opportunism and Mephibosheth
II. Opportunism and Ziba
III. Opportunism and David
Psalms: 27:3-6; 91:6-11; 12:1-8; 3:1-8

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Job’s Comfort and Our Comfort  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Job 1:13-2:13
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1

I. The Needed Comfort
II. The Same Comfort
III. The Greater Comfort
Psalms: 146:1-8; 91:12-16; 88:1-9; 119:57-64

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:

Quotes to Consider

Thomas Boston: “When ye murmur and repine under cross and afflictive dispensations, this is a presuming to instruct God how to deal with you, and to reprove Him as if He were in the wrong. Yea, there is a kind of implicit blasphemy in it, as if you had more wisdom and justice to dispose of your lot, and to carve out your own portion in the world … [Instead], let the people of God comfort themselves in all cases by this doctrine of the divine decrees; and, amidst whatever befalls them, rest quietly and submissively in the bosom of God, considering that whatever comes or can come to pass, proceeds from the decree of their gracious friend and reconciled Father, who knows what is best for them, and will make all things work together for their good. O what a sweet and pleasant life would ye have under the heaviest pressures of affliction, and what heavenly serenity and tranquillity of mind would you enjoy, would you cheerfully acquiesce in the good will and pleasure of God, and embrace every dispensation, how sharp soever it may be, because it is determined and appointed for you by the eternal counsel of His will!”

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

British Reformed Journals are available on the back table for subscribers. Free CDs and DVDs (plus the handouts) of Wednesday night’s lecture by Prof. Gritters are also on the back table.

John McAuley is in Antrim Hospital (C7) where he is being treated for an infection in his hand and the beginnings of pneumonia. Let us remember our brother and the Murrays in prayer.

Monday Catechism:
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 Old Testament Prophecy (3).”

The Belgic Confession Class this Wednesday at 7:45 PM to study Article 24 on “The Parts of Sanctification.”

The Ladies’ Bible Study meets this Friday at 10:30 AM at the church to continue their study of Philippians. All women are welcome.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is entitled “Patiently Run the Race" (Hebrews 12:1).

Offerings: General Fund - £733.18. Donation: £200 (DVDs).

Website Additions: 3 Spanish and 3 Indonesian translations were added.

PRC News: First PRC’s trio is Revs. Decker, Haak and Smit. Peace PRC’s trio is Revs. Griess, R. Kleyn and W. Langerak. Rev. W. Langerak has the call to the Philippines.

Hearing a Father's Instruction

Brian D. Dykstra


Proverbs 4:1: “Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.”

In Proverbs 4, Solomon begins a discourse on the supreme importance of true wisdom in the life of God’s children. Solomon begins by commanding his audience to “hear.” For the children to “attend to know understanding,” they must listen to the instruction Solomon gives. The children must sit quietly, not let their minds wander and grasp the meaning of Solomon’s spoken words according to the level of their ability. Listening can be difficult intellectual work.

We already have a problem, don’t we. Observation of our society brings one to the realization that we are no longer a people given to hearing. Solomon will influence the spirits of these children by making his instruction enter the portal of the ear. In our modern society, much instruction enters the spirit of men through the portal of the eye. We no longer listen. We watch.

To illustrate, allow me to point out some observations of today’s music entertainment. I thought about this after the events of August 2011, when a portable stage collapsed before a concert was to be given by the country duo Sugarland at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis. Sudden high gusts of wind brought down the stage, resulting in the deaths of five concertgoers.

Don’t take this as an endorsement from me to go to these concerts. I couldn’t name one of Sugarland’s songs for you or tell you the names of the people in the group. I feel safe in assuming this duo does not use their musical ability to extol the blessedness of a godly life or even the “positive virtues” of a bye-gone era. The pictures I saw printed in news articles simply caused me to reflect on today’s world.

The duo Sugarland are supposed to be musicians. They are supposed to appeal to their audience’s ears. Why did they need such a large stage for that? A couple of microphones, large speakers, a guitar or two and possibly a couple of stools should be all these musicians need. That’s not what I saw in the photographs. Large steel supports held scores of lights. There were large screens on which images could be projected. Evidently it is not enough to play instruments, sing and make music pleasant for the ear to hear. For musicians to entertain, they must also dazzle their patrons’ eyes.

God’s instruction, however, often enters our hearts through our ears. As we read the Bible, we hear an internal voice. We hear the gospel preached to us. We hear the prayers of fellow saints. We hear the truth of Scripture when we sing the Psalms. The sacraments appeal to senses other than hearing but much of the instruction we receive during the sacraments enters through our ears when the forms for administering the sacraments are read.

Satan so often uses the eyes. In the very first temptation, the serpent pointed out to Eve the physical attractiveness, the appearance, of the forbidden fruit to her eyes. Eve, at that moment, disregarded the instruction she had been given through her ears and looked carefully at the fruit. The forbidden fruit did not look any different than the other fruit growing on the other trees in the garden in the sense of its quality or texture. It didn’t look rotten or gross. That was Satan’s point. Ignore what God has told you about something, what you have heard Him forbid to you, then that which Jehovah prohibits looks desirable to the eye. What we have heard God say with our ears is too often overridden by what we see with our eyes. What God forbids looks to be something which would make one happy and better off. God very often commands us to listen. Satan desires us to look.

Solomon also tells us to “attend” that we might “know understanding.” We have to apply ourselves to the instruction we are given. We must recognize what Solomon is telling us is very important and is for our spiritual well-being. He cares about us. After all, he has called us his children. We all understand the importance to us of those whom we call children, whether our own children or the children in our classroom. Solomon has also referred to himself as “father.” Solomon doesn’t refer to himself as king or address his audience as his subjects or servants. He indicates the deep, personal relationship he feels toward those to whom he gives instruction. Keep in mind as well, that this instruction in Scripture ultimately comes from God, our heavenly Father. God certainly cares about His children or He wouldn’t have sent His only-begotten Son to pay for our sins.

Solomon wants us to “know understanding.” We must have an intimate knowledge of the understanding which Solomon desires us to have. This understanding is true, spiritual intelligence, the wisdom about which Solomon will write in the rest of this chapter. It’s the knowledge of God’s Word. Godly wisdom will be likened to a beautiful woman whom we would hold and never let get away because our very life depends on her company. Solomon’s understanding realizes the ultimate end of the wicked: death and terrible destruction. He will warn his children not even to enter the same path as the wicked, no matter how enjoyable or prosperous that path may appear to be. The appeal of the way of the wicked is just as devious as the appeal of the fruit which hung on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the end of that way is just as bitter as the effects of eating that fruit.

May God work in the hearts of our students so they understand the true nature of the instruction which their parents are making available to them in our schools. May God also comfort us as teachers by reminding us that weakest means fulfil His will.