Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 8
"Happy is he
that hath the God of Jacob for his help,
whose hope is
in the Lord his God" (Ps. 146:5)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
Uncursable Church (2)
The Mad Prophet Rebuked by His Dumb Ass (I)
I. The Mad
II. The Dumb
Psalms: 145:1-8; 126:1-6; 25:8-14; 32:7-11
Service - 6:00 PM
Uncursable Church (3)
The Mad Prophet Rebuked by His Dumb Ass (II)
63:1-8; 127:1-5; 106:11-18; 15:1-5
cassettes of the worship services or CDs of the sermons, contact Sean
Quote to Consider:
Calvin on Numbers 22:20: "[Balaam] wickedly lies
to God, when he asks for a permission to go, which would convict God
Himself of capriciousness and inconstancy. God, therefore, ironically
permits what He had before forbidden. If any should deem it to be absurd
that God, who is truth itself, should speak deceptively, the answer is
easily found, viz., that God was guilty of no falsehood, but that He
loosed the reins to a man obstinate in his own perverseness, just as a
person might emancipate a wayward and grossly immoral son, because he
will not suffer himself to be ruled. For, had not his ungodly
covetousness blinded Balaam, the meaning of this ironical permission was
not difficult to be understood. Hence, then, let hypocrites learn, that
they profit nothing by their vain pretences, although God may indulge
them for a time, since He at length taketh the wily in their own
Announcements (subject to God’s will):
The June C. R. News
(including days and times of the speeches at the BRF Conference at
the end of July), the Beacon Lights, and the Standard
Bearer (including a preview of the PRC Synod which starts this week)
are available today. CDs of Friday’s lecture on "The Antichrist" are
also on the back table
Offering: General Fund - £752.49. Building Fund -
£309.44. Donations: £50, £104.50 (Ballymena lecture).
Martyn McGeown plans to return to N. Ireland on
Saturday, 14 June. There will be tea after the evening service next
Lord’s Day to welcome Martyn back.
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW), is "Confessing My Sin" (Psalm 32:5) by
Rev. W. Bruinsma.
Family Visitation: to be arranged - Crossetts and
The Consistory has granted the request of the Grahams
to have their son, Samuel, baptized. The baptism will take place
in the morning service of 22 June.
Everyone is invited to a barbecue at the manse
on Friday, 27 June.
The Lord’s Supper is scheduled for the morning
of 29 June.
Upcoming Lectures: Friday, 20 June, in
Limerick, on "Prayer & the Sovereignty of God" Friday, 4 July, in
S. Wales, on "Prayer & the Sovereignty of God"
Website Additions: 1 Afrikaans, 1 Portuguese, 3
Italian (the new CR News and the Declaration of Principles), and
4 Spanish (by Marcelo Sanchez Avila from Chile) translations were added
this week. Friday night’s lecture on "The
Antichrist" is also on-line.
PRC News: Hope PRC continues to help Rev. Titus
and the Burmese saints in the PRCM since the cyclone hit in early May.
They have succeeded in getting funds over to them for food, shelter, and
other necessities. Rev. Titus’ phone line has been reconnected, but
there still is no electricity.
… then ye
shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
And he shall
wave the sheaf
before the Lord, to be accepted for you (Leviticus 23:10b-11a)
Saturn, one of the most
beautiful objects in the night sky, can now be seen high in the
southwest after dusk. To locate it, start with the "pointer" stars at
the end of the Big Dipper’s bowl. Instead of going in the usual northern
direction to find the North Star, go in the opposite direction. You will
notice a bright, bluish-white star at the bottom of a pattern of dimmer
stars which forms a backward question mark. The asterism which forms the
backward question mark is the head of Leo, the celestial lion. The star
at the bottom of the question mark is Regulus, the heart of the lion. A
short distance to the left of Regulus is a brighter, golden-coloured
star. That is Saturn, the most distant planet visible to the unaided
eye. If you ever have the opportunity to view Saturn through a
telescope, even a modest one, the experience is one of unforgettable
Few myths about Saturn survive, but he is pictured as
a strong old man with a long grey beard who carries a scythe. Saturn is
the counterpart of the Greek god Kronos, Father Time. A possible
explanation of this is that Saturn is the slowest-moving visible planet.
Saturn will return to his current position in 29 years when he completes
another of his steady, slow-moving, stately orbits. To observe this
movement for yourself, hold your fist out at arm’s length and use your
knuckles to measure Saturn’s distance from Regulus. You will notice it
is slowly increasing.
Although current researchers say there is no evidence
that Saturn was the Roman harvest god, he is often represented as such.
After all, he does carry a scythe, and Saturn’s beautiful golden colour
always reminds me of the colour of a wheat field which is ready for
In July of 1610, Galileo was the first man to observe
Saturn with a telescope. His telescope did not show Saturn’s rings
clearly, so he thought Saturn had moons as Jupiter did but that Saturn’s
moons were stationary. The mystery of Saturn’s appearance was to be
unsolved until 1655, when Dutch brothers Christian and Constantin
Huygens combined the sciences of mathematics and precision lens grinding
to make a telescope which was the best of its time. Not only they did
they observe the rings, they also discovered Saturn’s moon, Titan, the
second largest moon in the solar system. Then by 1684, Giovanni Cassini,
who had been appointed the director of the Paris Observatory by King
Louis XIV, carefully observed Saturn and not only discovered four more
moons, but he also noticed a narrow gap in Saturn’s rings, now called
the Cassini division.
This brief history explains why the space probe sent
to Saturn by NASA and the European Space Agency was named
The $3 billion vehicle was launched in October of 1997 and arrived at
Saturn on July 1, 2004, where it remains today. Cassini continues
to orbit Saturn, studying Saturn and its moons. (If you are interested
in what the probe is doing, you can check up on it on the web site of
the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.) Cassini launched the Huygens
probe, which landed on the surface of Titan in January of 2005. Titan is
the only moon in the solar system which has an atmosphere. Because Titan
is so far from the sun, it is very cold. Consequently the molecules
which comprise Titan’s atmosphere cannot move quickly enough to escape
Titan’s gravity. Scientists think it is possible that Titan has lakes of
liquefied methane. However, before considering Titan as a place for a
relaxing stay at the beach, be advised that Huygens measured
Titan’s surface temperature to be 290° F. Sunscreen would be optional.
The Israelites knew the true God of the harvest. God
gave His people laws regarding their annual feasts through Moses, and
these laws are recorded for us in Leviticus 23. One of these feasts
celebrated the harvest season. It was the Feast of Weeks, known to us as
Pentecost. The Jews’ barley harvest began just after the Passover feast.
They were to bring their first sheaf to the priest, who would wave it as
an offering to the Lord. The people were not to eat the fruit of their
labour until they had brought this offering to Jehovah (Lev. 23:14).
Then the Jews were to count seven weeks, and on the
day after the seventh Sabbath, the fiftieth day, Pentecost, they were to
bring two loaves of bread and animal sacrifices as an offering to God.
The fiftieth day came at the end of wheat harvest. By bringing the best
of their harvest, the first-fruits, they supported the Levites and
honoured the God who had blessed their work. These sacrifices were
spiritual lessons to God’s people that all the harvest was truly
His. The people merely returned what God’s favour had provided.
Although we no longer observe the Feast of Weeks, its
spiritual principle holds for us. First, we are reminded that Christ is
risen as the first-fruits of those that slept. We find our life and hope
in our Saviour. Someday He will come and fulfil all the promises given
to His church. We will be with Him, and our bodies will be changed to be
We are also reminded by the harvest feast that we are
stewards. We can claim nothing as our own. We have merely been put in
charge of what our Master has placed in our care, and He will have us
report on what we have done with His goods. The Jews could not eat of
their harvest until the sheaves had been brought to the priest.
Similarly we must support the Master’s causes first; then we may attend
to our needs. Economic times are tough. We know and experience that, but
at the same time we have received letters from our schools notifying us
that we have not met the goals of the deficit drives we agreed to
establish. Let us remember the true God of the harvest, and give Him our
first-fruits, the best we have to offer, and trust that He will make our
needs His care.
Mr. Brian Dykstra, teacher at Hope Protestant
Reformed Christian School