Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 16 November, 2014
“But our God is in the heavens: he hath done
whatsoever he hath pleased” (Psalm 115:3)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
Thy Kingdom Come
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 52
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 48
I. The Meaning of the Kingdom
II. The Praying for the Kingdom
Psalms: 98:1-6; 86:1-7; 2:6-12; 22:26-31
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Absalom and His Rebellion (7)
Absalom Is Brought Into the King’s Presence
Scripture Reading: II Samuel 14:21-33
Text: II Samuel 14:25-33
I. The Attractive Qualities of Absalom
II. The Persuasive Powers of Absalom
III. The Royal Kiss Received by Absalom
Psalms: 97:1-8; 86:8-12; 26:1-8; 101:3-8
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
Quote to Consider
Matthew Henry on II Samuel 14:28-33: “Three years Absalom
had been an exile from his [i.e., David’s] father-in-law,
and now two years a prisoner at large in his own house, and,
in both, better dealt with than he deserved; yet his spirit
was still unhumbled, his pride unmortified, and, instead of
being thankful that his life is spared, he thinks himself
sorely wronged that he is not restored to all his places at
court. Had he truly repented of his sin, his distance from
the gaieties of the court, and his solitude and retirement
in his own house, especially being in Jerusalem the holy
city, would have been very agreeable to him. If a murderer
must live, yet let him be for ever a recluse. But Absalom
could not bear this just and gentle mortification. He longed
to see the king’s face, pretending it was because he loved
him, but really because he wanted an opportunity to supplant
him ... David’s strong affection for him construed all this
to be the language of a great respect to his father, and an
earnest desire of his favour, when alas! it was far
otherwise. See how easily wise and good men may be imposed
upon by their own children that design ill, especially when
they are blindly fond of them.”
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
New issues of the Standard Bearer and the Beacon Lights are
available on the back table for subscribers.
Taylor, Josh, Corey, Bradley & Samuel (Beginners OT, book 1)
Alex, Nathan, Jacob & Joseph (Seniors NT) - 6:15PM
Timothy & Chris (Essentials of Reformed Doctrine) - 7:00PM
The Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to study “The Kingdom
of God as the Sphere of Righteousness (2).”
The Belgic Confession Class this Wednesday at 7:45 PM to
continue our study of Article 24 on sanctification in Romans
Ladies’ Bible Study meets this Friday at 10:30 AM at church.
All women are welcome.
Men’s Bible Study meets this Saturday at 8 PM at the
Kennedy’s to discuss chapters 4 and 5 of The Pursuit of
The Reformed Witness Hour
broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is entitled “Thanks Be to
God!” (II Cor. 9:15).
S. Wales Lecture: Rev. McGeown will be speaking in The Round
Chapel, Port Talbot on 18 December at 7:15 PM.
Offerings: General Fund - £702.20. Donation: £100.
PRC News: The new trio for a second missionary to the
Philippines is Revs. Brummel, W. Langerak and Mahtani. First
PRC’s new trio is Revs. Brummel, Smit and Van Overloop.
Envy Not the Oppressor
Brian D. Dykstra
Proverbs 3:31-32: “Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose
none of his ways. For the froward is abomination of the
Lord: but his secret is with the righteous.”
As we Christians go through our day to day lives, we are to
have our eyes open. We are to be aware of what is happening
in the world around us. News events have a deeper meaning
for us than simply being interesting topics of conversation.
We see evidence of Christ’s return as we see events unfold.
He warned us about what the last days would be like.
There is a danger for us, however, as we go through life
this way. If we do not view the world with the proper
perspective, we fall into sin. Christians can become envious
of the wicked. Scripture contains many warnings about this,
so the danger is more common and is a greater threat than we
might first think. Job spoke about the prosperity of the
wicked with the friends who came to comfort him. David warns
us about this in Psalm 37, as does Asaph in Psalm 73.
Although verses 31-32 come near the end of only the third
chapter in Proverbs, Solomon has instructed us before on
nearly the same topic.
Solomon introduces us to an oppressor. This oppressor is a
man of violence. He takes things away from people. There
were robbers in biblical times. Bands of robbers hid in the
hills near highways. They would wait for a caravan of
merchants, small groups of tradesmen or the lone traveller.
They ambushed their victim and shared the spoils.
However, this violence does not have to be physical.
Oppressors twist the law to take advantage of people. Christ
was angry with those who did not honour their parents by
supporting them if they needed help in their old age. These
oppressors claimed the money they had was set aside for a
gift. Therefore, they could not assist their parents and
they could keep their money. Houses and property were stolen
by deceit and corrupt judgment. Merchants used false
balances or corrupt measures to cheat their customers by
small degrees. Add together enough small thefts, and profits
Why would we envy these people? They are dirty, rotten
scoundrels! Does society really honour them? But, you see,
they get away with it! They can live comfortably, perhaps
even in luxury, but they haven’t really earned it. We can
then become too earthly minded and envy what they have. We
labour diligently, striving to treat the neighbour as we
should, but what is there to show for it? We struggle, work
hard and carefully manage what we have simply to try to make
ends meet. Obedience does not profit! We may even begin to
wonder how often we have been taken advantage of. How much
of our hard-earned money goes into the velvet pockets of
Solomon warns us not to choose any of his ways, not even
one. Perhaps we thought we could try just a couple of the
tricks which aren’t so dastardly. Such practices are fairly
common, and could even be viewed as part of doing business.
Do I have to be the only honest businessman here? Are these
temptations greater given these challenging economic times?
Wages decrease, are stagnant or rise at a snail’s pace. We
begin to view the government’s taxation as legalized theft.
Why not try one trick of the oppressor to even things out?
Solomon tells us God’s point of view and why we should not
be envious or try any of their ways. We must have a long
range view of what is happening. The oppressor, now called
the froward, someone who is perverse and has twisted truth
and right past recognition, is an abomination to the Lord.
What do we think about something that is an abomination us?
Would we keep it close to us? Would we let it stay with us
in the house? Would we hold it tenderly in our hands? Would
we cherish it? Would we give everything we had to preserve
it? The oppressors may prosper here but the day comes when
they will fall into the hands of a God who is angry with
them. Their end will not be prosperous. God drives them away
and has no tender fellowship with them.
On the other hand, God will have His secret with the
righteous. We share secrets with those who are dear to us
and whom we trust, not strangers. A secret implies a level
of friendship and fellowship. There is closeness as well. We
don’t discuss secrets in crowded, noisy, public places. The
righteous will have fellowship with God. He makes known to
us His love for His church. He reveals the way of salvation
and friendship with him in Jesus Christ.
These blessings are for the righteous. Our lives can be
difficult. Obeying God means we will have to make
sacrifices. We must keep in mind what God has in store for
His people in the end.