Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

Lord’s Day, 16 September, 2007


"Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth:

unite my heart to fear thy name" (Ps. 86:11)


Morning Service - 11:00 AM

The Perseverance of the Saints

I Peter 1:5

I. The Meaning

II. The Basis

III. The Manner

Psalms: 145:1-8; 102:15-21; 37:23-32; 121:1-8

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Gideon, Mighty Man of Valour (2)

The Call of Gideon

Judges 6:11-16

I. The Scene

II. The Salutation

III. The Commission

Psalms: 96:8-13; 102:22-28; 44:9-15; 74:1-2, 9-12


CPRC website:


Announcements (subject to God’s will):

Stephen Rushton left hospital this past Tuesday. He has been diagnosed with angina. Stephen plans to visit us Saturday 20 to Monday, 29 October.

Yearly subscription renewals, including airmail from the US (£1=$2): Standard Bearer (21 issues) - £12.50; Beacon Lights (12 issues) - £5. Standard Bearer only (£12.50): Buchanan, Campbell, Courtney, Crossett, Graham, Hall, Hanna, McAuley, Murray, Rainey, D. Stewart. Standard Bearer and Beacon Lights (£17.50): Callender, Hamill, Hanko, Napier, Reid. Please pay Rev. Stewart who will pay the appropriate bodies in the US in $ (make cheques payable to "Rev. Stewart").

Philip & Susan Hall’s new address and telephone number: 33 Craig Court, Ballymena, BT43 6JH; tel. 25-657554

Catechism classes: Monday, 5:30 PM at the Murrays Monday, 7:00 PM with the Campbells at the manse Thursday, 7:00 PM at the Hamills

Membership Class: Tuesday at 8:30 PM at the Hallidays

Midweek Bible Study starts this Wednesday, 19 September, at 7:45 PM at the manse. We will begin our study of II Timothy with the opening verses.

Next Lord’s Day evening, we will have preparatory sermon with a view to partaking of the Lord’s Supper on 30 September.

Rev. Stewart will debate Pastor David Antwi ( on Revelation TV in London, 9-11PM on Thursday, September 27, on the topic "The Charismatic Gifts and Cessationism." The debate will be shown live on satellite TV (SKY Digital Channel 676, soon to be 765) and on the internet ( Remember this witness in your prayers.

Prof. & Mrs. Hanko plan to visit us Friday, 16 Nov., to Monday, 3 Dec. Prof. Hanko will preach 3 Lord’s Days, take 2 Bible studies, and lecture in Wales.

Offerings: General Fund - £623.29. Donations: £20 (C. R. News), £94 (Building Fund).

The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day, 16 Sept. (8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW), is entitled "God’s Rule of Conduct for Marriage" (Col. 3:12-13).

Reformation Day Lectures: "Lessons from the Reformation for Today" 

Friday, 26 October, 7:30 PM in Portadown Minor Town Hall 

Friday, 2 November, 8 PM in Ballymena Protestant Hall 

Friday, 9 November, 7:30 PM in Limerick School Project building

Website Additions: A Tamil translation of the Heidelberg Catechism (with commentary and study questions) and 5 Italian translations have been added.

PRC News: Rev. Haak (Georgetown, MI) received the call to the Philippines.

Considering the Heavens

Mr. Brian D. Dykstra

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? (Ps. 8:3-4).

In his commentary on the Psalms, Charles Spurgeon titles Psalm 8 "The Song of the Astronomer." Astronomy is one of the oldest of the sciences, predating any instrument men have used to study the sun, moon, planets and stars. For most of history, man has been able to study astronomy with nothing but his eyes. Though not able to view the heavens with a telescope, David did consider them with eyes of faith. Though we don’t enjoy a view of the stars comparable to northern Michigan or national parks out West, we would benefit from taking the time to consider the stars.

The Bible’s title of this Psalm gives no information about when David wrote it. Was he already king, peacefully walking the grounds of the palace? Was he in the wilderness because of enemies who sought his life or in the camp of the army as he fought Israel’s enemies? David had spent many years as a shepherd, and as shepherds watched their flocks at night, they would observe the stars. Did he compose this song then?

Whatever David’s occasion for writing this Psalm, whether he was king, fugitive, soldier or lowly shepherd, he realized the heavens were God’s. How refreshing! Unregenerate man views God’s handiwork and proudly refuses to see anything of the Creator there. If one desires to learn of what God has made and reads scientific articles in the newspapers or magazines, or reads books about science, it is rare for God to be mentioned. Today, even if God is mentioned, He is mentioned as guiding the process of evolution to bring about the universe. David, in humility produced by faith, confesses the heavens to be God’s because He is the Maker of it.

Then we are told the heavens are the work of God’s "fingers!" Don’t we use our fingers to work on small things and to produce something delicate? Yet the heavens are huge! By using the word "fingers," we imagine a jeweler’s or silversmith’s delicate and detailed work, not the products produced by the well-muscled arms of a blacksmith. Wouldn’t we expect to read of God’s mighty arm spreading out the heavens? God delivered Israel from Egypt with a mighty hand and a stretched out arm. Did that require greater strength than ordaining the heavens? When we think not only of the great number of our sins, but also of how offensive they are to the holy God, our salvation is possible only because our covenant God is strong, strong enough to form the heavens with just His fingers.

David’s consideration of the heavens leads him to wonder with humility why God would be mindful of man. This is not man as an individual, but this is all men together, the significant and insignificant. The universe is vast, so vast we cannot really comprehend it. We are mere weak creatures of the dust, so earthy that even our internal organs are similar to the beasts. To illustrate man’s insignificance, Spurgeon passes along this quotation in his commentary, "We gave you but a feeble image of our comparative insignificance, when we said that the glories of an extended forest would suffer no more from the fall of a single leaf, than the glories of this extended universe would suffer though the globe we tread upon, and all that it inherits, should dissolve." Yet, this powerful Creator is not merely mindful of us, He loves us as the apple of His eye.

Some of our students will study astronomy in school this year. What a wonderful opportunity to learn about God’s power and beauty! This year we will consider some verses from the Bible related to astronomy on the back of several school notes (DV). However, no matter what the subject of study is, our students will learn of what God has made and ordained. They will not be taught in a way which praises man for his ingenuity in discovering these things. They will learn humility before the King of creation and to be in awe of the great power of the Maker of it all, the mighty God of their salvation.

Mr. Dykstra is a member of Faith Protestant Reformed Church and a teacher at Hope Protestant Reformed Christian School, West Michigan, USA.