Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 16
"Teach me thy
way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth:
unite my heart
to fear thy name"
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
Perseverance of the Saints
I Peter 1:5
II. The Basis
Psalms: 145:1-8; 102:15-21; 37:23-32; 121:1-8
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Mighty Man of Valour (2)
The Call of
I. The Scene
Psalms: 96:8-13; 102:22-28; 44:9-15; 74:1-2, 9-12
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
(£12.50): Buchanan, Campbell, Courtney, Crossett, Graham, Hall, Hanna,
McAuley, Murray, Rainey, D. Stewart. Standard Bearer
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
Membership Class: Tuesday at 8:30 PM at the
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
Rev. Stewart will debate Pastor David Antwi
(www.kharis.org.uk/pastor.html) 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
(www.revelationtv.com). 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).
Day Lectures: "Lessons from the Reformation for Today"
October, 7:30 PM in Portadown Minor Town Hall
November, 8 PM in Ballymena Protestant Hall
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.
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.