Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

Lord’s Day, 23 December, 2007


"Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving,

and honour, and power, and might,

be unto our God for ever and ever" (Rev. 7:12)



Morning Service - 11:00 AM

Gideon, Mighty Man of Valour (12)

Temptations After Success

Judges 8:18-27

I. Rejecting a Kingly Temptation

II. Yielding to a Priestly Temptation

Psalms: 65:1-5; 108:8-13; 83:9-18; 62:7-12

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The Revelation of Christ from Heaven

Heidelberg 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


For audio cassettes of the worship services or CDs of the sermons, contact Sean Courtney (


CPRC website:


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 14:14).

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 on diligence.

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 and Understanding

The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens (Prov. 3:19).

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