Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 23
and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving,
and power, and might,
be unto our
God for ever and ever" (Rev. 7:12)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
Mighty Man of Valour (12)
Temptations After Success
a Kingly Temptation
to a Priestly Temptation
65:1-5; 108:8-13; 83:9-18; 62:7-12
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Revelation of Christ from Heaven
Catechism, Lord’s Day 19; II Thessalonians 1
I. To Execute
Vengeance on His Enemies
II. To Be
Admired by His Saints
Psalms: 18:1-7; 109:1-9; 17:7-9, 13-15; 50:1-6
cassettes of the worship services or CDs of the sermons, contact Sean
Quotes to Consider:
Prof. David Engelsma: "The sin of Gideon with his
spurious ephod is not that he makes an idol of it, an object of worship
instead of the Lord. This would be contrary to the godliness of Gideon,
who has just refused the kingship because ‘the Lord shall rule over you’
(Judges 8:23). This would be contrary to the nature of the ephod, which
is a piece of cloth. Rather, the sin of Gideon is that he invents a way
of worshipping God other than the way that God has laid down in his
word. Gideon, his family, and as many in Israel as Gideon can influence
(and as the conquering hero he can influence many!) will now worship God
by means of an ephod other than the one made at God’s direction, in a
place other than the place chosen by God, and with someone other than
the appointed high priest functioning as the revealer of the will of God
through Urim and Thummim" (Unfolding
Covenant History, vol. 5, pp. 83-84).
Augustine: "He values not Christ at all who does
not value Christ above all."
Announcements (subject to God’s will):
A sign-up sheet for the congregation dinner is
on the back table. The dinner is scheduled for Friday, 18 January, at 7
PM at the Leighinmohr Hotel.
Three PRC missionary reports are available
today on the back table.
Catechism Class: Monday, 5:30 PM at the Murrays
Francesco De Lucia arrives this Thursday evening
and will be staying at the manse until 9 January.
Offerings: General Fund - £671.14. Donations:
£50 (C. R. News), £100 (S. Wales).
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW), is entitled "Till My Change Come" (Job
Midweek Bible Study will not meet this Wednesday
but will resume next week, 2 January, at 7:45 PM at the manse.
Women’s Bible Study plan to have their next
meeting on Tuesday, 8 January, 10:30 AM at the Murrays to study Lesson 6
Upcoming Lectures: 17 Jan., Rev. Kleyn, "Living
Antithetically In A Technological Age," in Limerick. 1 Feb., Rev.
Stewart, "Lessons from the Reformation for Today," in S. Wales.
Website Additions: 1 Italian, 1 Portuguese (the
pamphlet, "Rod and Reproof," by Rev. Key), and 2 Slovenian (ecumenical
creeds) translations were added.
PRC News: Rev. DenHartog (Southwest, MI) declined
the call to serve as missionary to the Philippines. The new trio for the
Philippines is Revs. Eriks (Hudsonville, MI), W. Langerak (Southeast),
and Laning (Hope, MI).
Considering God’s Wisdom
The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by
understanding hath he established the heavens
In this section of Proverbs, Solomon has been
instructing us about the value of wisdom. Wisdom gives men happiness.
With wisdom there are length of days, riches and honour. Because of
the benefits of wisdom to man, she is to be regarded as being more
valuable than silver and gold, and more precious than rubies.
By telling us that the Lord founded the Earth by
wisdom, Solomon lets us know that wisdom existed before the beginning
of time. Wisdom is not the product of man’s accumulation of knowledge
over the years. We can claim no part in wisdom’s existence or
development. Wisdom predates us. Nor is it the case that God has grown
wiser over the years. He is perfectly wise and founded the Earth in
His wisdom to suit His own purpose and will.
To do something with wisdom means that it was done
with skill. Usually we are able to determine whether or not something
was made by someone who knew what he was doing. For example, I am not
an artist and have never tried to paint a picture. I do not know how
to use oil paints, paint brushes, an easel or canvas. If I were to
take the tools of the artist’s trade to Colorado’s Rocky Mountain
National Park, set up the equipment by some beautiful lake with a
striking view of the spectacular mountains and begin to paint what I
saw, I doubt that anyone would be willing to pay to have my painting
adorning a family room wall. I don’t know how to blend colours to
achieve just the tints and hues I would need to capture the subtleties
of the lighting. The perspective and proportion of my painting would
likely be flawed as well.
However, because I have spent many summers working
for engineering and surveying companies, if one had need of a drawing
of a house and property for a mortgage survey, that would be a
different matter, and people have paid for those drawings. I have been
trained for and have experience in that. Although such a drawing would
not serve as art, it would adequately serve its purpose. One would be
able to determine which of the pieces of work were done with skill, or
wisdom, and which had not.
What can be said of God’s founding of the Earth? Is
any skill evident there? We can consider His works at any scale. What
of the beauty of the Earth as a whole as seen in the photographs taken
by astronauts? I have in mind the picture taken by the Apollo 8
astronauts of the blue and brown Earth, suspended in the blackness of
space with its swirling clouds as it rose over the alien, battered,
desolate and lifeless moon. Does anyone see evidence of the Creator’s
skill there? Upon his return to Earth, one of the Apollo 8 astronauts
remarked about that famous "Earthrise" photograph, that they travelled
a quarter of a million miles on a fantastic voyage to the moon, and
what they really discovered was the profound beauty of Earth.
At the other end of the scale, we can mention the
intricate details and beauty of the minute creatures He has formed.
Even the crystalline shapes of the exoskeletons of the diatoms impress
us with their exquisite design. Though creation is also affected by
Adam’s fall, it still speaks of the power, glory and judgment of its
Creator. How much clearer was creation’s testimony to Adam in his
original state? To believers there is undoubtedly evidence of God’s
wisdom in the founding of the Earth.
Not only must we pay attention to what the Bible
says, but there are also times when it helps to notice what the Bible
does not say. This is important as the creation verses evolution
debate continues. There are self-described Christian scientists who do
not hold to a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2. The view that
God used the tool of evolution to bring about all we see is
increasingly popular. There are many who find this synthesis of the
two positions attractive. In this way a Christian scientist can be
taken seriously, and we can all get along. Yet, Proverbs 3:19 speaks
of God’s wisdom founding the earth and His understanding
establishing the heavens, not His patience over billions of
years as He directed slow changes in the works of His hands.
God’s understanding has established the heavens.
What we see in the sky above us is not the random result of a Big
Bang. God formed the sun, moon, planets and stars and directs their
courses for His own purpose. These lights are given to us to tell time
and distinguish the seasons. They are signs to us of an orderly God.
The heavens will also be used to testify of the return of Christ.
However, do we possess sufficient wisdom to discern why the stars had
to be placed in their positions? Would we view other patterns of stars
to be suitable? Nevertheless, despite our limitations, the heavens
speak of a great, powerful Creator Who is to be feared. This Creator
is certainly able to do whatever He pleases to do.
Our science and art classes give our covenant
students an opportunity to see the wisdom and understanding of God.
Our sins are not few, nor are they minor offences to a perfectly holy
God. Only a mighty and wise God can give salvation to His Church. The
Earth and the heavens give evidence that we serve such a God.
Mr. Brian Dykstra, teacher at Hope Prot. Ref.
Christian School, Grand Rapids, Michigan