A Psalter-Psalm Devotional of Praise to Our Sovereign Covenant God.
June 1-9 Devotionals from Psalter #157 “A Cry for Help”
June 1 Read Psalm 59, noting verses 1 and 2; Read and sing Psalter 157:1
This psalm and song versify David’s thoughts when Saul sent men to watch his house to kill him. Notice that his first thought in response to his fear is to call on God. As we walk close to God that is our immediate reaction also to fear and turmoil in our lives. In this safe country we rarely face life-threatening danger and we become self-satisfied and confident. He is our only security and provider, but sinfully we always look to our own strength and the power of money or prestige to take care of us. If praying is our last solution when other hopes have failed, we aren’t walking with God as we should. Today focus on thinking of God as your only answer to every trouble. Pray to keep Him first in your thoughts! By looking to Him first your human efforts will be directed rightly.
June 2 Read Ephesians 6 especially verses 10-12, Psalm 59:3,4, and Psalter 157:2
In the second verse of this song, the enemy is surrounding David to capture him. We have outwardly peaceful lives, but when we as individuals and as a church stand up for the truth and reject sin we feel the pressure of hatred building against us too. We may someday experience being surrounded by those who are against us because we won’t accept their lies. We need to be willing to be embarrassed and uncomfortable today when it would be easy compromise our beliefs just a little to keep “peace” and not draw attention to ourselves. But doing that makes us guilty of lying. Also don’t neglect constructive criticism of your friends in the church. Pray for courage!
June 3 Read Romans 12:14-21, Psalm 59:5 and Psalter 157:3
David is justly angry against his false accusers, and he calls on God to take vengeance. We shouldn’t sympathize with those living unrepentantly in sin. We must condemn their actions, and pray that wickedness will be punished. But God is the judge and He alone punishes sin (except as He gives us authority.) Our calling is to continue to act in love even to our enemies, not to bring justice by making others suffer. When we “get back” in our petty little ways to those who don’t quite please us, we are defending our own pride, not God’s glory. Trust God to deal with the faults of others. Often forgiving your own family is the hardest of all! Pray for grace to work for the good of the neighbor even when you feel attacked.
June 4 Read Psalm 2:1-6, Psalm 59:6-8 and Psalter 157:4
David’s enemies continue their attack. He is steadily hopeful in God and doesn’t lose faith when they seem to be succeeding. The wicked are openly violent, ridiculing the good and trying to drag it down. Today we see our nation has turned aside from the true God and imagine they are powerful and self-sufficient. God scorns their feeble insults. They think God won’t see their evil, but they will someday stand in judgement. In your life do you preserve God’s holiness with your words? Speak respectfully- God hears you!
June 5 Read Psalm 37, especially verses 7-9, Psalm 59:9, 10, and Psalter 157:5
David is confident, knowing God is his defense. He has no hope in man’s power, only in God’s mercy. Much in this Psalm makes us look ahead to the persecution we may experience in the end times. We, like David, need to be firmly grounded in God and His promises so we can withstand those trials. And of course we need to live today, as every day, in strong faith. Is God your refuge and renewal? Or do you flee to the TV to unwind each day, or escape in other recreation? Like David, look to Him as your source of strength. He won’t let you down. When we acknowledge Him first and center our thoughts on spiritual things we are set high above our spiritual enemies of doubt and temptation.
June 6 Read Psalm 93, Psalm 59:11-13 and Psalter 157:6
David calls on God to bring down his enemies for their lies, knowing that in the end all will recognize God’s rule and will worship. We can cling also to that certain knowledge that God will have the final victory. In this age of tolerance even the worst crimes are hardly punished so wickedness grows. But God has the proud wicked in derision, and those who live in sin will reap the rewards. They will be trapped in their own pride, because when God is denied all meaning is lost! God reigns – praise Him!
June 7 Read Psalm 2:7-12, Psalm 59:13-16, and Psalter 157:7
Those who hate God will be consumed in His anger. They will suffer for their sin and will acknowledge that He rules. By trusting God and continuing to speak the truth, we render the attacks of the wicked useless. Their ultimate goal is to “get us off our pedestal” and join them in sin. We are strong because God is our strength. Notice this is also a picture of our constant spiritual fight against our own sinful nature. As soon as we try to save ourselves we fall, but keeping our eyes on Him we can’t waver!
June 8 Read Psalm 3, Psalm 59:13-16, and Psalter 157:8
David looks beyond the turmoil before his eyes and is confident that a new day will dawn. This is a small picture of heaven where we will rest and praise God after the darkness of this world. In this life we fail continually, and often as we see sin grow and flourish in us and around us we can lose faith and be discouraged. Take his attitude of hope and look past your frustrations of work today! Never doubt God’s sovereignty! When doubts take hold in your mind look to the Scriptures and Psalms like this one to remind you of His eternal care.
June 9 Read Psalm 100, Psalm 59:16,17, and Psalter 157:9
The last verse is David’s response of thanks and praise to God. Many psalms end with this theme, and the Heidelberg catechism also sets the pattern of thankfulness as the final step in the lifelong process of realizing our salvation. This is also our natural response to all the little victories we experience when we don’t give in to temptation and uphold the truth. Most of all it is our constant expression in every action of life. We have true joy in our salvation, God’s victory in our heart. We can always trust God’s steadfast love. A chief means of praise is songs such as this Psalm. Pray to realize this joy and respond with praise.
Devotionals by Beth De Vries June 10-17
June 10 Read Psalm 60
We often feel that God has turned His back on us and is not attentive to our requests. It seems that we think that we deserve some attention from God. In reality all that we receive is a free and gracious gift. We turn our backs to God and His appointed way and then wonder why He seems so far from us. God may become displeased with us and angry when we disobey Him continually as he did with the people in the Old Testament. We find an example of this in Numbers 11 when Israel murmured about the manna. Yet, God truly loves His people and will restore the to His favor again, not by any merit of theirs, but by His working of grace in our hearts. Sing Psalter 158:1.
June 11 Read Job 38:1-15
God has created the heavens and earth in all its glory. He controls them for at His command the mountains shake and the earth is moved. In Job 38, Job is challenged by God for his doubt of God’s faithfulness. God reminds Job that the triune God alone was present at the beginning and He alone rules the world and all therein. In the second stanza of Psalter 158 we read of God bringing His judgments upon the earth and we find the psalmist begging for God to renew the strength of the land that she not become destroyed by man’s own wickedness. Sing Psalm 158:2.
June 12 Read Proverbs 3:1-12
We find ourselves in trials and difficult situations frequently in this life. Maybe today you have already faced a difficult situation or are afflicted by some ailment. Many times God gives us these trials to strengthen our faith and to lead us closer to Him. Our lives seem to be filled with despair and disappointment especially when we focus on our earthly life. The third stanza of Psalter 158 reminds us that God has led His people into these difficult and bitter times. Proverbs 3:11-12 also teaches us that God uses chastisement and trials to correct and build up those whom He loves. May we find comfort in this and not become discouraged as we sing stanza 3 of Psalter 158.
June 13 Read Psalm 107:1-8
“O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” This is the truth that Psalm 107 calls us to proclaim to all the world. We have been given grace and a great inner happiness. May this spirit flow freely from us. God commands us to show His truth to all those that we meet and have contact. God’s gracious love for us should cause us to proclaim our blessing to everyone. We know that God has His elect people but we know not who they are; therefore, we must proclaim the banner of His truth to the world. They should be able to see not only by our words but also by our actions that we are filled with the love of God in our hearts. May we be known as a people who display this banner. Make a special effort today to show to a neighbor or stranger the love God has given us. Sing Psalter 158:4.
June 14 Read Deut. 7:6-11
The truth of God’s eternal election is brought to light again in stanza 5 as well as the passage which we read in Deuteronomy. This passage shows us that God has not chosen us by our own merits or because we are such great people. Rather we have been chosen and preserved by Him because He set His love upon us and has promised to care for us. We are called to keep God’s commandments in thankfulness for what He has done for us. The theme is the same in the fifth stanza of Psalter 158 where the psalmist speaks of God saving His beloved from their foes. Our help comes from the Lord’s almighty hand especially when we ask this of Him. May we bring our needs and troubles to the Lord that He may defeat our enemies and make us strong. Sing Psalter 158:5.
June 15 Read Psalm 60:6-8, Psalm 2
The rulers of this world think themselves to be great and plot against the people of God to harm Christ. They foolishly think that they can break the bands of God’s anointed. God triumphs over the wicked with ease, and puts them in derision. He even goes so far as to laugh at the wicked. He shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. God shall have the wicked bow to Him in the judgement day and acknowledge that He is God alone. God accomplishes this defeat of the wicked by the death, resurrection, ascension and second coming of His only begotten Son, as is seen in Psalm 2:5-7. Sing Psalter 158:6.
June 16 Read Romans 7:12-25
We are often overcome with our sins in this world. The old man of sin wars in our flesh with our new man of righteousness. It seems at times as though the old man is winning the battle and we will soon be completely wicked. The good that we seek to do we appear to be unable to do, and the evil, we are too willing to do. This passage in Romans reminds us of how difficult the battle is even for those who seem strong in their faith as Paul was. Psalter 158:7 refers to the strongholds of sin when we are about overcome in the battle. Who will guide us in these sinful times? God will be our guide and lead us from our tents of sin. He will cast off the devil and our enemies and give us the victory that His name may be praised. Sing Psalter 158:7.
June 17 Read Isaiah 12
As was discussed yesterday God is our sure help against the foe in time of trouble. It is God that will comfort us and lead us in the right way. This has been the theme throughout this Psalter and Psalm and it is ever so important for us to remember. We must always put our trust in God and not rely on our own strength or that of man. When we learn obedience to God’s will for our lives, we also find patience and contentment. Isaiah 12:5 is good for us to remember as we study the Psalms “Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.” Sing Psalter 158:8.
Devotionals by John Huizenga June 18-31
June 18 Read Psalm 61
Have you ever been far away from home where everything and everyone around you is strange and unfamiliar? The loneliness quickly turns to panic when trouble arises and there is no one around to help. It is at a time like this when the truth of God’s omnipresence brings comfort to the believer. Communion with God is never cut off by distance nor height nor depth. God is present in every part of the creation so one who is united to God by faith in Christ is always very near unto his covenant Friend. This confidence in God to be near does not belong to all who call themselves Christian. If you walk in unrepentant sin and put your trust in earthly help, then you may find yourself very much alone in time of need. Turning unto God is an act of faith, it does not proceed out of the heart of man by nature. May God so work faith in your heart that He is there with you in time of need to lead you unto Christ our Rock. Sing Psalter 159:1 & 160:1.
June 19 Read 1 Corinthians 1:1-10; Psalm 61:2-4
We are born sinful, our souls sold into the cruel bondage of sin. Many churches today would have us believe that multitudes of unbelievers are by their own free will groping blindly to seek shelter for their souls, but that is not true. The sinner seeks shelter for his naked guilty soul under the filth of more sin. God sovereignly chooses to be a shelter for the souls of His people. Having been taken into that shelter we realize and rejoice in the fact that our souls find rest. It is the believer, who knows and has tasted of the rest found within God, that cries out to God for help when in time of need. He knows God as a refuge, a strong tower, and a God of sheltering wings. With the apostle we also put our trust “in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.” Sing Psalter 159:2, 160:2&3.
June 20 Read Luke 1:26-33; Psalm 61:4,5
Why does the child of God have such confidence and trust in God? The reason is found in the verses upon which we meditate today. David and we also confess that God has heard our vows and confers to us our heritage. Our vow is to walk in newness of life by the power of God’s grace. Our heritage given us now is that new life in Christ as the tokens of eternal life in heaven. In this connection, David speaks of his being anointed unto an everlasting kingdom which comes to fulfillment in Christ. Christ rules by the power of His grace and Spirit in the hearts of every believer. He gives us the will and strength to serve our Creator and Redeemer in this life. In Him we are able to fulfil our purpose in life. In Him we continue through this life on our way to perfect covenant life with God in heaven. There is no greater joy or peace. Let us rejoice and give thanks to God. Sing Psalter 159:3.
June 21 Read Hebrews 9:22-28; Psalm 61:6,7
David speaks on the basis of God’s promise of a Redeemer of that Redeemer Himself. He shall abide before God forever. You will notice that the Psalter puts the believer who sings this Psalm in the place of him who abides before God forever. The believer can be included understanding that we are in Christ also made kings and priests, but it is Christ first of all Who lives in perfect covenant friendship before God. The Eternal love and righteousness of God has placed Christ in this position as head of the redeemed. All who abide before God are sustained by the mercy and truth of God. For this reason the believer is assured that his prayer is heard and answered. In this knowledge the believer sounds forth praises and lives a life of thankful obedience. Let us live by faith in this day and make our vows to walk in thankful obedience. Sing Psalter 159:4.
June 22 Read Luke 2:25-32; Psalm 62:1,2
Does your soul wait in awed silence upon God? The world surrounds us with noise and sights to arouse our attention and response. Our souls are continually aroused by this or that problem, hurt, or distress to cry out for justice and attention. God alone is able to bring a hush to the soul. In terror wicked men are put to silence when God reveals Himself in powerful earthquakes or storms. In peaceful assurance, the believer stands in quiet patience before his sovereign God. Putting all our trust in God, we know that all things are in His hands. The aged Simeon waited quietly and patiently upon God though nations raged and it seemed impossible for Christ to come. Let us pray for this soul quieting dependence upon God. Be diligent in your study of God’s word to know Him and the greatness of His salvation. Sing Psalter 161:1.
June 23 Read Isaiah 30:8-17; Psalm 62:3,4
Sometimes when we think about our enemies, those who come to mind are the neighbors who rarely go to church or criminals. The most dangerous and cruel enemies, however are people right in the church: ministers who preach lies, people who come to church but lead wicked lives and want others to go with them, and people who condemn pure preaching. Isaiah came straight to the congregation of Israel which was full of such hypocrites with his word of God’s judgment. These rebel against God and seek to destroy the soul of the child of God as well. Be assured that such are as a wall that is bending and ready to burst and as a fence ready to tip. God will destroy them in fierce judgment except they repent and submit to Him in humble obedience. May we never join in the sins and ever see their plots to destroy the godly. Sing Psalter 161:2.
June 24 Read John 6:37-69; Psalm 62:5,6
How do you react to the doctrines of sovereign election and reprobation, total depravity and salvation by grace alone? Are these words of God to us too hard, as were the words that Jesus spoke to the people? Are you inclined to speak out against the preaching of these truths and demand softer preaching? These doctrines have been since the fall of man a source of bitter rebel lion against God. The Psalmist lives in close fellowship with God and knows it is foolish to react so against the plain word of God. Though he may not fully comprehend the depths of such doctrine, he does know that God is his rock and tower. He waits in quiet trust. May we also wait in quiet trust and confess with Peter “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” Sing Psalter 161:3.
June 25 Read Philippians 1:12-30; Psalm 62:5-7
The Christian life demands that we put our trust in God alone. Many in the world, who do not believe in God as He reveals Himself in Scripture will, in a time of great fear, pray to God just in case He really is the true God. Some try to believe in many religions at one time so that they have the best chance of believing in the right one. Others confess that God is God alone, but frantically save money and buy huge insurance policies just in case God does not take care of him as He promises. But the child of God must live in the absolute assurance that God will care for his every need. Like Job, the child of God must be able to lose everything, and yet trust that God will uphold him. We must speak with the assurance of Paul that all that we believe is true and we will never be ashamed. This may seem impossible, and indeed it is apart from the power of God’s grace, but this blessed gift of full assurance is ours in Christ. Sing Psalter 161:4 and 162:1.
June 26 Read Philippians 4:1-7; Psalm 62:8
How often do we pour out our hearts before God? How often do we bring before Him all our fears and cares and ask for the grace that draws us into close fellowship with God? It is a beautiful act of faith to pour out your heart unto God. We must put our trust in Him at all times. When we are happy, we must sing thankful praise to God with all our heart. When sad, we must desire to come first of all to our God and bring all our sorrows to Him. When we search our souls and find there the iniquity of our sinful natures, then we bow before Him in humble repentance. All the varied aspects of our life are things to bring before our God. We do not try to hide anything. Such is the life of covenant friendship of God with His people. It is the life given to us through the death of Christ our Savior. Do not disparage the life of covenant friendship with God. Pour out your heart to God each day. Sing Psalter 161:5.
June 27 Read Isaiah 40:1-18; Psalm 62:9
So quickly we put our trust in banks, insurance, jobs, doctors, our own wisdom, the government, and material wealth. For many people, these things are all that there is. When any of these things in which they trust fail, then they are thrown into deepest despair. If we could, however, put these things on a scale that measures value and worth in life, they would not even register. All things created are created for a purpose, and are of no value apart from God Who is glorified in them. Even the mighty nations of the world that boast of their culture and great achievements do not tip the scale in the least. The worthlessness of the greatest achievements of man is compared in Isaiah to the infinite value of God, His Word, and the church that He gathers by the power of His word. When we meditate upon these things we are amazed. We are humbled to think we are a part of this wondrous work of God. We find comfort when it appears to us that the world is ready to swallow up the church. Sing Psalter 161:6.
June 28 Read Luke 12:13-21; Psalm 62:10
When we lose sight of the insignificance of earthly wealth and power and the great value of God’s word and covenant life with Him, then we will most certainly begin to put our trust in earthly riches. That is what we do by nature. When we begin to trust in earthly riches, then we also begin to use oppression and means not ordained by God to gain those riches. Wealth may be attained righteously, but then the temptation is to set our heart on it. But let us remember the value of those riches in the eyes of God as we saw yesterday. They are as nothing in the balance of God. Let us rather be rich toward God. Study His word. Listen carefully to the word preached in church. Listen carefully in catechism. The knowledge of God is everlasting life. Knowing God brings peace which passeth all understanding in this life also. Sing Psalter 161:7.
June 29 Read Isaiah 26:1-11; Psalm 62:11
“Power belongeth unto God.” The power of God is that virtue of God “according to which He is able to accomplish whatsoever He pleases” (Reformed Dogmatics, Hoeksema). God alone has this kind of power. All other power is given by God to others to serve His purposes. The Psalter directs our attention to the saving power of God. We who are dead in sin find great comfort knowing that God certainly accomplishes His purpose to deliver us from death and bring us into eternal life. We read in Isaiah 62 that “Jehovah is everlasting strength.” Knowing this, the believer puts his trust in Him and has perfect peace. Our little children sing “they are weak but He is strong.” May we also come to God in childlike faith confessing that we are weak and helpless. God reveals to us throughout His word that He is strong to save. Sing Psalter 161:8.
June 30 Read Micah 7; Psalm 62:12
Mercy is also an attribute which finds its only source in God. Mercy is “the virtue of God according to which He wills [his people] to be perfectly blessed in Him, to taste His own blessedness, and according to which He leads them through death to the highest possible life of his covenant friendship” (Reformed Dogmatics, Hoeksema). In His tender love and mercy, God sent His Son to bear the just judgment upon sin. In this wonderful act of salvation God reveals to us His mercy. The way of sin and death is a way that brings this attribute into the heart and soul of the believer. We will continue to grow in our knowledge of this attribute forever in heavenly glory. May we who have tasted of God’s mercy also show mercy to one another. Sing Psalter 161:9.
June 31 Read 2 Cor. 4:1-9; Psalm 62.
In this life we continually fight the temptation to put our confidence in earthly things, and then when that fails, to cry unto God. This Psalm teaches us that we must look to God alone. He is our Rock, our Salvation, our Defense, our Glory, and our Refuge. He is everything to us. In His mercy and power He reaches out to us and sovereignly accomplishes His purpose with us. Never once in this Psalm does the Psalmist express fear and despair. May God write this Psalm upon our hearts. May we sing this Psalm with all our heart. Sing Psalter 162.
A Psalter-Psalm Devotional of Praise to Our Sovereign Covenant God.
Devotionals by Beth DeVries
May 1 Read Psalm 55:1-7
We cry to Thee, O Lord in our trouble. How often do we not feel the need to bring our many woes and trials before Jehovah! We have assurance in this Psalm that God will hear our cry and give ear to our prayer. We easily become overwhelmed in our troubles in this life, and these complaints we bring to our God. Our trust in God wavers when we become restless with moans and sighs. Is this good that we moan and sigh to our God who has given us life eternal? We know that we must trust in God to care for our problems; also that when we earnestly seek His presence in true prayer, He will hear us. Though our answer may not be what we want, may we rest in the Lord’s sovereign will. Sing Psalter 148:1.
May 2 Read Isaiah 66:5-14
The enemies of God and His church will continually oppress the righteous. They are quick to speak and attempt to bring the people of God low. The wicked will use all means in their power to afflict those that are precious in God’s sight. The Lord used these afflictions to teach His people to depend on Him. We see in this passage in Isaiah how the Lord will deliver His people from the hands of the wicked. The Lord shall be glorified in that His will will be completed when the wicked are brought to shame. The wicked love to see God’s people in distress but God will be the victor in the final battle. May we in confidence believe this truth. Sing Psalter 148:2.
May 3 Read Romans 5:1-5
We often find pain in our hearts and it seems so difficult to ease that pain. When we think of death from the earthly point of view, it is a horrible event filled with despair. We can quickly lose sight of Christ our Saviour at these times and become as the ungodly. Psalter 148:3 brings out how we feel when we are overwhelmed by our troubles. May we then remember the comfort we find in the entire Bible as seen in Romans 5:1-5 where we see that God gives us these trials and tribulations to work in us patience, experience, and hope. May our tribulations throw us into the arms of our everlasting Saviour Jesus Christ. Sing Psalter 148:3.
May 4 Read Psalm 116:1-9
The rest that we receive at the Lord’s hand is the natural result of our throwing ourselves into the arms of our Saviour. In our text we see the distressed Psalmist calling upon God and being brought back to the place of rest. In Psalter 148 we sing of the Psalmist searching like a bird in flight for a place of rest and peace far away from the tumults of the world. When we turn to Psalm 116 we find that place of peace to be a gift from God. We are called to follow this up with a godly walk. As we remain close to our Lord, we will cast our cares and burdens on Him and He will continually give us the rest which we desire. Sing Psalter 148:4.
May 5 Read Isaiah 4
We find many comforts when we are led to the place of rest. Isaiah speaks of the beauty that will be seen in that rest. The branch that gives us this rest is Christ our Lord and Saviour; He produces the good fruit of the elect as is seen in Isa. 4:2. This passage shows how the Lord will create a place of rest in mount Zion after purifying the church. There shall be a tabernacle, far better than the Old Testament type, which shall provide shelter for God’s people in their time of need. In the New Testament, this shelter is communion with God through prayer. We no longer need to go to the tabernacle to commune with God. We are called, however, to go to God’s house on the Sabbath to hear His word preached to us. Christ and His body, the church universal, provide the place of rest in which we seek to be renewed from past battles and prepared for future ones. Sing Psalter 148:5.
May 6 Read Genesis 11:1-9
When we look at Gen. 11 and the history of the tower of Babel, we see how God allowed the wicked to progress in their ways. When he saw that they were advanced in their sins and attempting to be like unto Himself; then He confounded their speech and spread them throughout the earth. We read in Psalm 55:9,10 how God confounds the wicked in their cities and allows them to increase in their sins. It appears as if He allows the wicked to prosper and increase but really they increase in wickedness and fill the cup of iniquity. God will judge them for their wickedness and cast them into eternal hell. We need to remember that when it seems as though the world’s swelling tide is about to overtake us. God is ever faithful and His judgement shall be just. Sing Psalter 148:6&7.
May 7 Read Psalm 55:12-15
This part of Psalm 55 is not versified in the Psalter though it speaks about a unique type of situation. The passage describes a child of God betrayed by a hypocrite, one that was trusted and loved. The pain of being despised by one with whom we walked in the house of God and kept holy company is very great and bears upon our soul. This demonstrates how the true children of God will show themselves during difficult times in the church. It is not for us to judge the heart, for God knows the heart of all men and will have His justice known. We read of this in Romans 1:28-32.
May 8 Read Psalm 137
We read in Psalm 137 of the destruction of God’s enemies. The inhabitants of Babylon and the children of Edom are completely destroyed. This is the reward for their great sins. In this passage we see that God joys in His justice being accomplished even to the killing of the children. This judgement upon children demonstrates that we are all born in sin and responsible for Adam’s sin. This is similar to in Psalm 55:15 where the text reads “Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.” In contrast, Psalm 137 gives us the instruction to remember Jerusalem and God’s city as our chief delight. If we do this, all will be well with our souls. Sing Psalter 148:8.
Devotionals by Mike Feenstra
May 9 Read Psalm 55:16-17
In marked contrast from the previous verse, we read that David says, “As for me, I will call upon God.” And what a difference that is. When the wicked are punished by God with severe hardship or are frightened by the terror of death, they have nothing to turn to for lasting peace. They can only turn to the vain pleasures of this earth which are as the daffodil in the spring that fades away in a few short weeks. But for us it is different because we have the Word of God which stands forever. In that Word we are taught that we must pray to God when we are reproached and persecuted. When we do this, God will surely hear us and give us that eternal peace that passeth all understanding. Therefore, let us pray often, and let us follow David’s example in our lives by not only setting certain times to pray but also praying in our hearts throughout the day. Sing Psalter #150:3, #149:1.
May 10 Read Psalm 55:18
Are you aware that at this very moment many of our fellow Christians are being severely persecuted? Some of these fellow saints are under an oppressive government, and some are mocked by their pagan neighbors or even their own families. In fact, some of you may even be in these situations. What should you think in this difficult time? And for us in the U.S. and elsewhere, what should we think about the coming dark days of persecution? Our text for today gives the answer. When the powers of this world are arrayed in great numbers against us, we must understand that we already have the victory in the redeeming blood of Christ. Therefore, we can say with David that we are “delivered in peace” for we believe that because our Lord Jesus died and rose again, we will be brought into the everlasting peace of heaven. Sing Psalter #149:2.
May 11 Read Psalm 55:19
In this verse David continues to sound his confidence in God. In verses 16-23 he confesses several times that God will surely deliver him and judge the wicked. How could he have such confidence? The answer is that David believed in the Eternal Living God, the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of the universe Who has in His control everything in all the earth and in all of time. But we must remember that David not only believed that God was able to save him but that God was also willing to do it for him. This was David’s faith. He believed that the Eternal, Unchangeable God would certainly realize the Promise of sending Christ to die for his sins. This is also our faith, although our faith by God’s grace alone lays hold on Christ’s finished work. Because God has given us this faith, we can believe that God will surely afflict and judge those men who mockingly persecute us while they themselves live in unthankfulness for their God-given success. Sing Psalter #149:3.
May 12 Read Psalm 55:20, 21
Do you know what the words, “… And break their plighted troth,” mean? How often do we sing these words of Psalter #149:4 without knowing their meanings? If we do not take a close look at these words we may think that the man in the stanza broke a decayed feeding trough of a horse. Therefore, we must understand the true meaning of the stanza by first studying the Psalm text and then the word meanings. The corresponding passage to stanza four is verse 20 of Psalm 55. There we read of an evil man (note that the “he” is not God) who broke an important pledge, a pledge to live in covenant friendship with his fellow saints. To break one’s plighted troth is to do as this man because a “plighted troth” means a pledged pledge. To break one’s pledge to live in covenant fellowship with one’s fellow saints is very displeasing to God. Therefore, let us not follow the example of this wicked man but rather keep the promises that we have made to our fellow saints. Sing Psalter #149:4.
May 13 Read Psalm 55:22,23
As we near the close of this Psalm we must remind ourselves that David here is in a desperate situation. After crying out in verse 4 that the terrors of death were fallen on him, he asks God in verse 6 for wings like a dove so that he can fly away into the wilderness, far from his trouble. Truly, each one of us would ask the same thing if we were in his shoes. Yet, we must not seek to fly away from our troubles, but look to God as David does when he says, “Cast thy burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.” By saying this, David confesses that God will give him the strength to bear his troubles. David here shows us the truth of Isaiah 40:31, that they who wait on the Lord shall mount up with wings as eagles. These are the wings of strength that only flow from the Strength of Israel. With His strength, our burdens will never bring us down and crush us. Sing Psalter #149:5, #150:4.
May 14 Read Psalm 55-22-23
In our verses for today we see the great truth of the antithesis as it applies to the eternal destiny of the righteous and the wicked. In order to see this truth we must understand first that in Adam all men are conceived and born in sin. As such, man is wholly incapable of doing any good and inclined unto all wickedness. If a man is never delivered from this bondage, God will surely bring him down into the grave, or pit, of destruction. My fellow believers, we deserve to be brought down into that horrible pit, a pit from which no mere man can escape. Praise God, that He has sent His Christ to conquer the grave and reconcile His people unto Himself, the Rock. When the elect are in that Rock, they shall never be moved or utterly cast down into destruction. What a contrast this is to the end of the wicked. Let us thank God for that contrast! Sing Psalter #149:6.
Devotionals by John Huizenga
May 15 Read I Samuel 21:10-15; Psalm 56:1,2
The heading of this Psalm directs our attention to the time when David fled from his enemy Saul to Gath. In Gath he quickly realized that they were dangerous enemies of his as well. All David can see is his enemies. It would appear to him as though they surrounded him with gaping mouths ready to swallow him up. They are ever present. Their hate is constant. They watch from morning to night. Do you see the enemy standing around you every day from mom to night? Do you know your sinful human nature? Do you recognize the devil with his innumerable devises for temping you and leading you away from the way of life? Do you see all these things along with wicked men waiting with gaping mouths? We need not fear. We should fear if all looks well to us. May we like David call upon God to be merciful, look down upon us and deliver us from certain death. Sing Psalter 151:1; 153:1.
May 16 Read Luke 12:1-7; Psalm 56:3,4
The world likes to boast about having no fear. We see the words “No Fear” on T-shirts and bumper stickers. But fearlessness is nothing to brag about, especially for those who trust in themselves. Often the T-shirt reveals one who is blind to the reality of eternal punishment in hell. If you are spiritually alive, you will see many spiritual enemies all around and you will be afraid. Often we are even afraid of those men, diseases, or accidents that could kill the body. When you are afraid, what do you do? Do you increase your insurance coverage? Do you save up more money? David says, “I will put my trust in God.” Our Lord also reveals to us that we are children of God and always under His watchful eye. May we put our trust in Him Who has redeemed us. What a comfort this is in times of fear. Let us sing His praises. Psalter 151:2; 152:1; 153:2.
May 17 Read Luke 11:45-54; Psalm 56:5-7
They meet, they lurk, they watch. This has been the activity of Satan and his hosts since the fall of Adam. The wicked devote their whole life to the overthrow of God and His people. David experienced this oppression very intensely day after day. Christ reveals the activity as it has continued since the days of Adam and Eve and then felt as never before the intense pressure of Satan through the scribes and Pharisees as they spent their energy trying to trap Jesus. As with many of the saints before, the enemies of the Church resorted with Jesus to twisting His words in order to condemn and find fault. This pressure has only increased since then and will continue to increase. Today false shepherds take the word of God and twist it in order to lead many astray. They meet and lurk to destroy the church. Do not be afraid to call the judgment of God upon those who seek to destroy the church. Let us sing these words from the heart. Psalter 151:3.
May 18 Read Hebrews 11:32-12:3; Psalm 56:8,9
Life may appear to us altogether as aimless wandering. Just when things begin to go smoothly and the future looks bright, God sends us off in another uncertain direction. When we consider all the sorrows and trials of the people of God today and throughout the history of the world, we can’t begin to comprehend the overall plan of God for the salvation of His church. But God does have a plan. He reveals to us in the book of Hebrews that all these were led down the one path of the promised Messiah. They walked by faith. They are to us a cloud of witnesses. God watched over them each step of the way, and He watches over us. Every tear is important and God, as it were, keeps them in a bottle. “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” Sing Psalter 151:4.
May 19 Read Hebrews 6:11-20; Psalm 56:10,11
The words of men are full of lies, but God can not he. His word is sure. David was inspired to praise the very word of his covenant God Jehovah. What is the word of God? It is the promise of deliverance and salvation from sin. The more we see the bondage of our sin and feel our alienation from God, the more precious the word of God becomes. The word of God is our strong consolation. We flee to the word to lay hold of the hope which is an anchor for our soul. We can not have the blessed hope in God’s word if we do not diligently read His word and listen to it carefully each Lord’s Day. What a blessing it is to hear the true word of God. May we never despise the preaching. May we praise the word of grace. Sing Psalter 151:5.
May 20 Read I Samuel 1; Psalm 56:12, 13
The vow of a wise believer is a beautiful confession. The vow often arises from the heart which sees the greatness of the debt owed to God. Hannah knew only God could give her a child, and she expressed her profound knowledge of the covenant promises in a vow to give her child for service to God. Sometimes foolish vows are made or sinful pride creeps in to make one regret a vow. God tells us it is better not to make a vow at all than to make one and break it. The sinner who comes to a realization of his sin and the greatness of his salvation is filled with a desire to walk in a life of thankful obedience. He wants to confess before God and the church this desire that has been worked by God’s grace and promise to walk in a life of obedience in Christ. This is not a foolish vow if we truly know that it is only by God’s grace that we can keep it. May the youth of our churches come to a certain knowledge of their salvation and cheerfully make confession of their faith. Sing Psalter 151:6; 152:5; 153:3, 4.
May 21 Read Ruth 2; Psalm 57:1
The heading of this Psalm instructs us that David was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write these words when he fled from Saul to the cave. He was being hunted down and pictured the life of every child of God as we are stalked day and night by Satan. As with the previous Psalm, David pleads to God for His mercy. David acknowledges that he is helpless and in need of the sovereign Ruler over all. He compares himself to a helpless, naked, baby bird that will quickly die unless it is sheltered under the wings of its mother. This beautiful picture is also used to describe the situation of Ruth the Moabitess. By the grace of God she left her life of sin and was welcomed into the nest of Israel. May we also humbly seek Jehovah God and welcome those who are led to our churches. Sing Psalter 154:1.
May 22 Read Hebrews 13:15-21; Psalm 57:2
As David cries out to God for deliverance, he brings to mind the various names of God and His works. In verse 2 he calls upon “God that performeth all things for me.” In the reading from Hebrews we have one of the many teachings of God concerning the work of salvation within His people. No matter where in Scripture you find instruction concerning our salvation, we learn that it is by sovereign grace alone. This does not make us passive robots as some who know not the Scriptures would have us believe. The God that saves by sovereign grace also makes His people free and willing servants whose will is knit with the will of God. The relationship surpasses our comprehension, but we begin to enjoy it now in this life. Sing Psalter 154:2.
May 23 Read Matthew 28:1-15; Psalm 57:3,4
David describes the enemy that surrounds him in most graphic and terrible pictures. He is on the verge of being destroyed. If we bring before our mind the scene at the tomb of Jesus on Friday night and Saturday, we see the dead body of Jesus surrounded by wicked scornful soldiers commissioned by wicked rulers. It would appear as though after years of trying to kill the servants of Jehovah, they finally killed the Lord’s Anointed. But then and once and for all God sent from heaven His mercy and truth. Jesus arose from the grave and conquered death to give salvation to all His people. The enemies trembled with fear and the work of Christ on earth was finished. We still face the enemy, but we have hope in the reality that death has in principle been destroyed. The enemy is yet very real. The Psalms are often very vivid in describing the wicked. I fear that Satan and his hosts are working hard to disguise their true nature today. Too often things do not seem so bad. It is so important for us to read the Psalms that we might gain a true picture of reality and pray for deliverance. Sing Psalter 154:3.
May 24 Read Isaiah 2:1-17; Psalm 57:5
In everything, even in our sufferings of persecution and the haughty boastings of the wicked, God is glorified. The glory of God is the end and purpose of all things. He is the creator of all. He has fashioned each one of us for His own glory. We are foolish to think that we deserve some glory. The glory of God is the purpose of our entire life. When our pride seeps into our thinking, it is impossible to give God glory. We become jealous and feel that we are worthy of something better than to exalt another. When we are humbled and see how great our sins are, how unworthy we are in ourselves, how dependent we are upon God, then we begin to glorify God. David gives God glory in this section of the Psalm which reveals his great danger and the rescue of God. David again sings praise to God at the end of Psalter 155. Sing Psalter 154:4 and may the words resound in your heart today.
May 25 Read 1 Samuel 23:14-29; Psalm 57:6
David had fled from place to place while Saul sought to kill him. Now he was under the cover of the forest in the wilderness and mountains of Ziph. Even here, the inhabitants of the land offered their assistance to Saul by spying on David so they would be able to set up a trap; and David is grieved. During this time God sent Jonathan to encourage and strengthen David, and David was able by faith to write in the same verse that his enemies would surely fall into their traps. David was unable to gather with the congregation in worship at this time. Sometimes in our afflictions we also are unable to gather for worship. Let us give thanks for the friends and family which God gives to us as means to strengthen our faith in times of need. Sing Psalter 155:1.
May 26 Read Romans 5:1-8; Psalm 57:7
What a comfort and joy it is to see the evidence of God’s grace working in the saint who suffers tribulation and is able to glory in tribulation. God revealed to Paul that tribulation worketh patience, and David experienced this patience in a steadfast heart. Though his life was in turmoil his heart was fixed. He had hope in God and the hope made him unashamed to sing praise to God. A song in the midst of tribulation is a work of God’s grace. Paul and Silas sang in prison. The elderly saint who lies on the bed of affliction and barely responds to any stimulation can burst into clear and joyful songs of praise to God. Apart from God, man responds to tribulation with bitterness. “It’s not fair,” they cry. But in Christ we have a hope that wells up in song, and God gives us songs to sing in these times of tribulation. Sing Psalter 155:2.
May 27 Read Acts 2:22-36; Psalm 57:8-10
Why does the child of God sing in times of distress? Why does David glory in tribulation? David confesses that the song is because the mercies of God and His truth is exalted even to the clouds. We learn from the light of the New Testament that the mercy and truth which David saw was salvation in Christ. In Christ is fulfilled the hope of every child of God from Adam to the end of the world. In Christ we see that tribulation is the means whereby we are drawn into fellowship with God. Knowing our sins and the misery which results from sin, we sing in thankfulness to God for deliverance. Let us pray for a right understanding of trials and tribulation that we might sing praise unto God, and even rise early with the Psalms in our heart. Sing Psalter 155:3.
May 28 Read Matthew 6:9-13; Psalm 57:11
Again as in verse 5 David gives glory to God. We can sing the same Psalm at the end of Psalter 154 and 155. Giving such praise to God is the purpose for which we were created. God so directs every detail of our lives that we are led to sing forth these words of David. Our Lord also instructed us to give glory to God in prayer. In the beginning of the Lord’s prayer we acknowledge the holiness of God’s name and we pray that the will of God be accomplished in His kingdom. Then we make our petitions, not because we want to be satisfied in ourselves, but because we desire to be fit for God’s praise. The prayer ends “for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.” In all the details of our life and the petitions for earthly needs, we must always have in mind the reason why we ask these things: that we might glorify God. Sing Psalter 154 & 155:4.
May 29 Read John 11:47-53; Psalm 58:1-5
God directs our attention in this Psalm to the wicked and His judgment upon them. They appear to seek justice and truth, but their hearts are set upon their own agendas and sinful pride. They are compared to a poisonous snake that bites and will not be charmed. Unlike the thinking of the world which says that wickedness is learned in bad environments, the inspired Psalmist reveals that they are born wicked. We are all conceived and born in sin. There is no such thing as an innocent baby. The corrupt natures we have at birth would develop until we were like the wicked hypocrites that condemned Jesus were it not for the power of God’s grace alone. We have nothing to boast about in ourselves. We are saved by the blood of Christ alone. Sing Psalter 156:1, 2.
May 30 Read Luke 954-56; I John 3:1-9; Psalm 58:6-9
David cried out to God that he would destroy his enemies. He called upon God to break their teeth, make them melt away, cut them to pieces with arrows, and whisk them away in the whirlwind of His wrath. But when the disciples of Jesus wanted to call fire down from heaven to destroy those who would not receive them into their village, Jesus rebuked them. Has God changed from being a God of wrath to a God of love? No, God has not changed. God will certainly come to destroy the wicked, and were it not for salvation in Christ, everyone in the world would be destroyed in God’s wrath. God has been pleased in His eternal council to reveal the full spectrum of His attributes from wrath to love in the way of saving those whom He has chosen from among those whom He will destroy. Let us pray that God’s will be done and sing praises to Him who does all things righteously. Sing Psalter 156:3.
May 31 Read Revelation 11:1-18; Psalm 58:10-11
David is inspired during this time of persecution to write concerning the victory of Christ over the seed of the serpent. When Christ returns to gather His elect into heaven and cast the wicked into hell, all will confess that God is just and righteous in all that He does. Then we will see as never before that all the schemes and grand empires of the wicked were in the hands of God to serve His people. We will not rejoice because the injustice done to us has been punished, but because all those who were filled with hatred against God and blasphemed His Name will have been justly condemned. Our songs of praise will be directed to God because He is God and accomplishes all His good pleasure. Sing Psalter 156:4.
A Psalter-Psalm Devotional of Praise to Our Sovereign Covenant God
February 1-12 by Mike Feenstra
February 1 Read Psalm 44:1-8; Psalm 44:1-2
“Yea, for Thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” This is the evaluation of Israel by the Psalmist in Psalm 44. How could this be since God had promised Israel that He would give them Canaan for an everlasting inheritance? Had God forgotten His covenant? Had he delivered Israel from Egypt and planted them in Canaan only to let them be overrun and mocked by the surrounding nations? How could God let this happen to His chosen people? Was not His own Name at stake? These and many other related questions often rise in our hearts when we read in Scripture of the church amid persecution. And from Psalm 44, we know that the Psalmist had the same questions. What are the answers to these questions? In our devotionals on Psalm 44, we will seek the answers to these critical questions which have troubled the Church of Christ for ages. Try to find the answers from Scripture for yourself as we go along. Sing Psalter 121:1.
February 2 Read Psalm 80; Psalm 44:3
The inspired Psalmist begins our Psalm with a wonderful confession of God’s covenant faithfulness toward Israel. He knows the covenant which God established with his fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He knows that God promised to Israel the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession. How does he know all this? The answer is that he was taught by his fathers of Israel’s victories through God’s outstretched arm. We sing of those victories in Psalter 121:1 with these words, “The nations were crushed and expelled by Thy hand, Cast out that Thy people might dwell in their land.” How is this possible? Only in Jehovah God: “But Thy right hand saved and the light of Thy face, Because of Thy favor and wonderful grace” (St. 2). Indeed, only through God’s sovereign grace do we defeat our foes including those that persecute us. Sing Psalter 121:2.
February 3 Read I Samuel 17:38-50; Psalm 44:4-5
By recounting before God his past favor toward Israel, the Psalmist in verse 4 cries to God to deliver Israel again for His Name’s sake. His cry to God is one that the Church has always made, and one that we will also make in the last days. It is this: “God, Thou hast established Thy covenant with our fathers and Thou hast delivered them. Now we are persecuted because we confess Thy Name as our fathers did. Why dost Thou allow the wicked to persecute us and drag Thy Name in the mud?” (See vss. 13,14; Cp. Psalm 74). We find the answer in David’s defeat of Goliath. There God showed to all the world that He will not tolerate the mocking of His Name. He will assuredly glorify His Name by delivering us from the derision of our persecutors. Let this be our comfort in the dark days to come. Sing Psalter 121:3.
February 4 Read Joshua 6; Psalm 44:6-8
Jericho, Gideon and the Midianites, and Hezekiah and Sennacherib (Josh. 6, Jude 7, & 2 Kings 19 resp.). All monumental victories given to Israel directly by Jehovah. Truly, Israel could sing, “No trust will I place in my strength to defend, Nor yet on my sword as a safeguard depend; In Thee, Who hast saved us and put them to shame, We boast all the day, ever praising Thy Name.” We can be sure that the Psalmist knew the history of these victories well. And even though he was under sore persecution, he boasted in God’s grace and praised Him for His goodness. Is this our attitude when we are afflicted by God? Let us learn from this Psalm patience and trust in God. Sing Psalter 121:4.
February 5 Read Psalm 44:9-19; Psalm 9:9-10
In vs. 9 and following, we read of the persecution that Israel endured for God’s sake. Israel was mocked and reproached by the surrounding nations. They were the byword of their neighbors as Job was. They were as sheep ready to be killed. What a difference from the Israel spoken of in verses 1-8! Why? Why were they afflicted even though they were following His way? This was the same question the Psalmist asked when he stated, “But Thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies” (vs. 9). Had God really cast off His people? Did He forget their affliction and oppression? Surely He did not for God never ceases to watch over His people (Cp. Psalm 94:14). Nevertheless, at that time God did not help them in their affliction and persecution for this reason, so that they would look to Him alone for help. Israel needed to learn to wait on the Lord, and so do we. Sing Psalter 122:1.
February 6 Read Psalm 39; Psalm 44:11-12
In verses 11-12 the Psalmist continues to lay before God the persecution of Israel. The Psalmist illustrates this when He states: “Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat” (Cp. vs. 22). But, note that he recognizes God as the One Who did it, that is, he confesses that God is sovereign over persecution and evil. Many in the church world today will not make this confession. “God does not will affliction and persecution, Satan does!” they say. By this statement they deny the sovereignty of God over evil, the very doctrine that has given the saints of all ages peace in their suffering. Do we love this doctrine as they did? Then, let us defend it even though the vast majority of the churches resist us. Sing Psalter 122:2.
February 7 Read Job 30; Psalm 44:13-14
We read in Psalm 44:13 that Israel was the laughingstock of the heathen round about because those nations knew that Israel was chosen of God. While Israel writhed in pain, the mockers around derided them and blasphemed God’s Name. It is easy for us here to condemn the heathen for their wickedness, but what about us? Are we copying the wicked by persecuting our fellow believers? We do this whenever we mock a brother in Christ who stands up for God. Young People, you do this when you snicker at the good confession of a peer in the society room. This type of persecution stings the heart of the child of God. Therefore, let us be on our guard lest we partake in the evil deeds of the wicked. Sing Psalter 122:3.
February 8 Read John 15:18-27; Psalm 44:15-16
“The voice of blasphemers and scoffers I hear, The foe and avenger against me appear.” The question is: Why? Why are we persecuted? John 15:18-27 provides the answer. It is because we have been chosen out of this world by God and ingrafted into Christ. The world hates us because the world hates Christ. Israel’s wicked neighbors hated them because they were the chosen nation who had Christ in them. If the world hates and persecutes us it only means that we belong to Christ! That is the testimony of John 15:19! Have you ever thought about that! Let this be our assurance when doubt arises in our hearts in the midst of persecution. Sing Psalter 122:4.
February 9 Read 2 Corinthians 4:8-18; Psalm 44:17-19
Fellow believers, do you have a heavy burden to bear? Does it sometimes seem as if you are “crushed amid ruins and under death shade”? Do you sometimes wonder why God sends affliction even though you are following His statues? The Psalmist had these same questions and his afflictions were far worse than ours, because he was severely persecuted. The Apostle Paul answers these questions in II Corinthians 4:18 where he says, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Light! Our afflictions are light? How can that be? It can only be because of the work of Christ on the cross, for through that He gave unto us eternal life. The weight of that eternal life is so infinitely heavy that the afflictions and persecution of this life are as nothing! Hallelujah! Sing Psalter 122:5.
February 10 Read Psalm 44:20-26; Psalm 44:20,21,26
The final section of Psalm 44 records for us the Psalmist’s cry to God for deliverance. He begins in verses 20-21 with this declaration: “If we have forgotten the Name of our God… Shall not God search this out?” By these words the Psalmist states by implication that Israel was not afflicted for their sin, but because they were confessing God’s Name. We can see this also by what he says in verse 22: “Yea for Thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” Amid these troubles the Psalmist cries, “Arise for our help, and redeem us for Thy mercies’ sake.” The Psalmist does this with the confidence that God will surely save them. Even when it seems as if God is hiding His face from us, let us also have confidence that He will save us. Sing Psalter 123:1.
February 11 Read Romans 8:28-36; Psalm 44:22,23,26
“Arise, cast us not off for ever.” Such was the cry of the Psalmist in verse 23. How often have you felt this way when afflictions rose up against you? During those afflictions did it feel as if God forgot you? In that difficult time, what was one of the Scripture passages that comforted your soul? Was it Romans 8:28-39? I venture to say that it was, for in Romans 8 Paul writes that no affliction or persecution can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus. What a comfort! God, Who elected us before the foundations of the world, has promised to us that He will preserve us to the end. That preservation He has accomplished through the death of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Who shall separate us from the love of God? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Absolutely nothing! And this because Christ has ingrafted us into Himself forever to remain! Sing Psalter 123:2.
February 12 Read Romans 8:37-39; Psalm 4424-26
In our text for today we find the Psalmist lying with his face down in the dirt, unable to rise because of the oppression of the enemy. In this adversity he asks God, “Wherefore hidest Thou Thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression? (vs. 24)” This is a cry that many saints have made during the fires of persecution when the cause of Christ seemed to have been lost. This is a cry that we will make to God at the end of time when the persecution will be worse than at any time in history. Are we getting ready for those days? Are we seeking to find the answers to the problems of persecution and affliction? Then let us pray to God for His Spirit to lead us in the truth of His Scriptures. And let us call on God to save and preserve us in those last days. Let us do that because we know that in Him we are more than conquerors! Sing Psalter 123:3.
February 13-28 by John Huizenga
February 13 Read Psalm 45; Psalter 124:1
Our Psalter clearly lays out the meaning of this beautiful Psalm in the numbers 124 and 125. The first part of the Psalm is about Christ as King and the second part of the Psalm is about the Church as the bride of Christ. The inspired writer of this Psalm was glad to write down the wonderful revelation of God’s covenant fellowship with His people, the Church, which, as we noticed in Psalm 44, is persecuted and troubled in this world. The word of God revealed to us is so wonderful, it is a shame that everyone in church each Sunday does not sit at the edge of their pew with overflowing hearts and tongues eager to sing God’s praises. We must fight against sin because sin makes us dull and blind. Pray that God opens your eyes today that you might know the majesty and glory of our King. Sing the Psalter.
February 14 Read Psalm 45:2; Psalter 124:2; John 1:1-14
This verse directs our attention to the beauty of Christ our King, especially that beauty which is found in the words which He speaks. Christ is the Word of God. By the Word of God were all things created. By His Word, God made known to his people His eternal good pleasure to bring His people into covenant fellowship with Himself by grace in Christ. Do you see the beauty of Christ? The beauty of Christ comes out in the pure preaching of salvation by grace alone. Be diligent in your study of God’s Word. Pray for the working of His Spirit to enlighten your heart and mind. May Christ be beautiful in your eyes today. Sing the Psalter.
February 15 Read Psalm 45:3; Psalter 124:3; Rev. 1:12-18
Christ our majestic King is wonderful in His words of grace. He is also equipped with a sword to defend His people from the enemy. He is the One promised to Adam and Eve who would crush the head of the serpent. He has killed death and arose from the grave in victory. He has ascended to the right hand of God in glory. The sun shines with brilliance and fierce heat beyond our comprehension, but it is as nothing compared to the glory of Christ. Today He guards His people from every attempt of Satan to take them from the fold. He preserves His church in the midst of a world swarming with devils. When we see Him come again in judgment, we will stand in awe of His majesty and filled with joy at His coming. Sing the Psalter.
February 16 Read Psalm 45:4; Psalter 124:4; I Thess. 2:11-20
Only God can ride forth in battle with supreme might destroying in fierce anger the wicked, and at the same time gather the elect in gentle meekness. What a different God we see here from the Arminian god who pleads with men to accept salvation! God sends forth the preachers of His word into the world to gather His people. He equips them with the two edged- sword of His word, and by the power of His Spirit, He turns the hearts of His people who hear away from sin and unto Himself. Christ rides forth in royal majesty to gather His people. He is doing so right now. Pray for the ministers of His word and for the raising up of young men called unto that work. Sing the Psalter.
February 17 Read Psalm 45:5; Psalter 124:5; Acts 7:54-60
A sharp blade is deadly in the hand of the murderer but can preserve life in the hands of the skilled surgeon. So is the sword of Christ which pricks the hearts of men: the reprobate gnash their teeth, but the elect are humbled and ask “how must we be saved?” As Christ rides to the ends of the earth throughout every nation, He destroys the enemy and gathers His church. Every member of His body, every stone of His temple must be gathered. He also defends His church against the constant attack of the wicked who want to destroy it. Let us humbly submit to His holy will as we see the sword destroy those round about us. Sing the Psalter.
February 18 Read Psalm 45:6; Psalter 124:6; Hebrews 1:1-9
Hebrews 1:8 is a quote from Psalm 45:6. This New Testament text makes it plain that the Psalm speaks of Christ and that Christ is truly God. So many today who even call themselves Christians would have us believe that Jesus is really not the God who is the Creator of all things and Savior of the world. For them God is no more than the desire for peace which Jesus has given to men by His example and the supposed power in man to attain peace. But God makes it clear that Jesus is His Only Begotten Son. He is God. He reigns supreme and His throne is forever. May the true knowledge of God and His salvation never depart from our midst. Sing the Psalter.
February 19 Read Psalm 45:7; Psalter 124:7; Heb. 1:8-14
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ reigns in perfect joy. He does not sorrow when so many who hear the gospel of salvation reject it because He has determined all things and all things happen according to His sovereign will. Perfect joy awaits all those who are found sinless. Sorrow is the result of sin. Christ imputes to us His righteousness, and we begin to experience this joy, but so long as we live in this earth our sinful nature clings to us. Do you look forward to the day when we will reign with Christ? Though earthly ties and the awful reality of death make it difficult to leave this life, we must pray for the swift return of Christ. Sing the Psalter.
February 20 Read Psalm 45:8; Psalter 124:8; Song of Solomon 3:4-11
The Psalm has revealed unto us Christ the King who conquers and rules over all and now brings us to the goal of His activity: the day of marriage with His bride. The word of God is not cold and abstract. God gives unto us the gift of marriage and uses this relationship to reveal in earthly language the wonderful relationship which God has in store for His people. Christ comes to His bride with everything to make the union most wonderful and glorious. He comes with the sweet perfumes of His grace and the music of the gospel. God brings us into perfect fellowship and a glorious salvation. How can we begin to give thanks to Him? We are so unworthy in ourselves. Sing the Psalter.
February 21 Read Psalm 45:9; Psalter 124:9; Rev. 19:6-9
In this verse the attention turns to the bride of the king. She is the church gathered from every nation of the earth and made into a glorious body. She has been raised from her former shame and sin, cleansed, and made glorious, perfectly suited for the King. God makes the Church for Himself. He has determined in His eternal council to dwell forever with His people, redeemed from sin and death. Though the church appears to our earthly eyes to be filled with strife and division, the church as cleansed by the blood of Christ is beautiful in the eyes of God. We can only rejoice in the knowledge that God so loved His people that He sent His only Begotten Son. Sing the Psalter.
February 22 Read Psalm 45:10; Psalter 125:1; II Cor. 5:14-21
The Royal Bride, the church, is now called to give her full devotion to Christ, her husband. Just as an earthly bride is called to devote herself to her husband and forsake relationships which interfere, so the Church is called to separate herself from the world of sin, death, and slavery out of which she is taken. She belongs to Christ. Every believer is made new in Christ. Together as the church believers serve Christ. Are you ready to give up earthly pleasures and seek first the kingdom of heaven? This is something we can do only by the power of God’s grace. Pray to God for a willing heart to serve Him faithfully today. Sing the Psalter.
February 23 Read Psalm 45:11; Psalter 125:2; Col. 1:12-20
The Church is the body of Christ. She is loved and cherished by Christ. Christ is her head. He rules over her in love as her Lord. The relationship between Christ and the church is one of perfect love and glory as He rules over all His creation. Husbands and wives, do you seek to be a picture of this relationship in your marriage? Children and young people, do you know what the relationship between Christ and His church is like when you see your parents? We fall far short, but we must continue to strive for a marriage which reflects the perfect marriage. Young people, do you see a partner with whom you desire to reflect the marriage of Christ and His church? Pray that our families may be blessed with godly marriages. Sing the Psalter.
February 24 Read Psalm 45:12; Psalter 125:3; Isaiah 60:1-12
The gathering of the people of God is a glorious thing indeed. The church is not to be found in the glory of earthly buildings nor in the riches of the Roman Catholic Church. The church is the gathering together of believers as the body of Christ; it is a glorious temple made with living stones. Like precious stones gathered from every region of the earth God’s people are added daily to the church. Every believer is given the riches of Christ which he or she brings into the service of Christ. God is well-pleased with Christ and His bride, but to the world, the church is not beautiful at all. May we seek the honor and praise of God and not men. Sing the Psalter.
February 25 Read Psalm 45:13; Psalter 125:4; Isaiah 61
The church is clothed with the garments of righteousness. It is the righteousness imputed unto her by Christ her head. He has borne the burden of her guilt and made her whiter than snow. True righteousness alone is pleasing to our holy God and He loves us in Christ. No matter how lovely you may think you can make yourself in the eyes of God, every work of man is corrupt. The robe of righteousness cleansed in the blood of Christ alone makes us beautiful before God. The truth of sovereign grace alone is woven throughout the whole of Scripture for we must know this truth to be saved. Give thanks to God for the faithful preaching of the whole counsel of God. Sing the Psalter.
February 26 Read Psalm 45:14-15; Psalter 1255; II Corinthians 11:1-6
In this verse the Church enters into the King’s palace. She comes as a pure virgin. Purity before marriage is a picture of the Church prepared for Christ. Paul uses the language of this Psalm to exhort the young church to remain pure in the doctrine of Christ. The church is always susceptible to the lies of Satan as false preachers bring new ideas to fill itching ears. By nature man is not satisfied with the gospel, and the gospel has not changed since its announcement to Adam and Eve. Salvation is by grace alone. Are you content with the Word of God alone? Do not give your ear to the seducing lies of the enemy. Stand up and defend the truth when it is under attack. We are called to remain pure and holy before our God. Sing the Psalter.
February 27 Read Psalm 45:16; Psalter 125:6; Gal. 3:21-29
The Scriptures speak of the church, the body of believers, as the bride of Christ, and individual believers as children of Christ and the church. We are the spiritual seed of Abraham, sons of heavenly birth, a chosen generation, princes in all the earth, heirs according to the promise, the elect of God. What beautiful pictures God uses to describe His people! Though we may be poor and lowly from an earthly point of view, we belong to the royal family. We are united to Christ by faith alone. Do you value your royal lineage? May the pleasures and riches of this earth not distract you from your calling as a heavenly prince. Sing the Psalter.
February 28 Read Psalm 45:17; Psalter 125:7; I Cor. 11:23-29
Yesterday’s verse and today’s verse turn again to Christ. He is the King of a royal race: the elect. He rules over all things and His name shall be remembered throughout all generations. Christ Himself instituted the Lord’s Supper as a means whereby His name should be remembered. It is very important, therefore, that the Lord’s Supper be honored and understood clearly so that Christ be remembered properly. His Name is also proclaimed in the preaching throughout the whole world. When all the elect have been gathered and Christ returns, then the church will give Him praise forever in heaven. Sing the Psalter.
Originally Published in:
Vol. 57 No. 2 February 1998
A Psalter-Psalm Devotional of Praise to Our Sovereign Covenant God
January 1-6 by Beth De Vries
January 1 Read Psalm 41
Do we sometimes think of ourselves as the poor on the earth? As we start a new year may we remember that God has blessed us with many blessings on earth and more importantly spiritual blessings. The Lord speaks in this Psalm of blessing those who remember the poor. We are called to assist the poor as we are able and this may be through prayer or our gifts. May we remember this as we begin and think on the year to come. The Psalm then speaks of how the Lord will bless and care for those who assist the poor during time of trouble. Jehovah will be at our side to assist in whatever difficult situations He sends to us in the coming year. Sing Psalter 113:1.
January 2 Read Psalm 41:2; Psalm 18:30-50
God will protect His people and preserve them from the enemy. The foe may attack us with many evil things and attempt to take us from God’s hand; however, he will never succeed. Even on this earth we receive the blessings of God when we do His will and care for the poor. This does not mean that the Lord will never give us trials or allow the devil to attack us, but He will not allow us to be overcome by these attacks. This is the preservation which is promised to all of God’s people and is emphasized even more to those who take care of those in need in Psalm 41. May we remember that all we have is not ours but God’s gifts to us and may we use them to glorify His name. Sing Psalter 113:2.
January 3 Read Psalm 41:3; II Corinthians 4:8-18
God gives much suffering and sickness to some of His people. When we are in these times, we are not to question God but know that He will care for us and sustain us. Those who are strong are called to help and care for these who are in need. II Cor. 4:16 reminds us that as the body may fail outwardly, God renews our inward man. We often learn to wait patiently on God and to live day by day. As we fulfill our calling to care for those in need, so God will also care for us in our times of need. The people of God must constantly encourage each other, not for any earthly reward, but because it is what God demands of us. We should remember that helping the needy is not always their physical needs but often times also spiritually. A kind and encouraging word can be a far greater gift than thousands of dollars. Sing Psalter 113:3.
January 4 Read Psalm 41:4 Psalm 61
When in distress, we are to call upon the name of our God for He hears our prayers and answers them. He is always available when we earnestly seek Him, and he will show mercy to us. Many times we are overwhelmed in our sins and find ourselves far from God. Yet He is ever faithful. It is an amazing thing that He hears our prayers and cries for help because we offend Him constantly and are so undeserving. God’s grace forever upholds and encourages us in the way we are to go. God does promise to give an extra measure of His grace to those who help and care for the poor. We may not help the poor to make us feel good or to earn something from God, but rather we must help out of gratitude to God for what He has done for us. Sing Psalter 113:4.
January 5 Read Psalm 41:5; Luke 6:20-26
David in Psalm 41 now turns to the attacks of his enemies and their attempts to harm him. We are often ridiculed by those in the world as they attempt to separate us from God. When we are faithful witnesses of the truth, the wicked will hate us and use all manner of evil to destroy us. Luke 6:22 speaks of the blessedness that is promised to those that are taunted by the wicked. We should be grateful that the wicked separate us from themselves. The devil seeks in every way to pull us from God and His care but he is not able because of God’s faithfulness. May we not become discouraged when the world attacks us, but may we turn our hearts to God for He will strengthen us according to our needs. Sing Psalter 113:5.
January 6 Read Psalm 41:6; Psalm 12
Many times we are led to speak evil against God and our neighbor. This is our ever-present old man of sin. We convince ourselves that it is harmless, and it makes us feel better about ourselves because it is not we who have done the evil which we spread. God reminds us in Psalm 12:4 that our lips are not our own, and we must guard them from speaking evil. The sins of the tongue afflict God’s people greatly and we must fight against it. Our enemies seek to be our friends that they may find evil to spread about us and bring our ruin. This should encourage us to make friends in the church and not in the world that we may build each other up and glorify God. Sing Psalter 113:6.
Devotions on Psalm 41 by Mike Feenstra
January 7 Read Psalm 41:7-13; Psalm 41:7
James writes that the tongue is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Oh, how we can see this truth in David’s enemies! While David was laid low with sickness, his own friends jumped at the opportunity to destroy him with their evil words. Their deception obviously grieved David deeply because they had been trusted as fellow believers. When he was in the time of need, instead of helping him, they hurt him. Yet, in that time of great difficulty David thanked God for not allowing his enemies to triumph over him. How could David have said that when it was clear that he did not have the physical victory? The answer is that David was saved in the cross of the promised Messiah. His salvation was his victory! And that salvation was due alone to God. This was David’s confession in verse 12 when he gratefully sang, “Thou settest me before Thy face forever.” As New Testament believers, we must join in David’s song of praise for God alone has also given us the victory through the finished work of Jesus Christ. Sing Psalter #113:7.
January 8 Read Proverbs 26:20-28; Psalm 41:7-8
David recounts the penetrating whispers of his enemies, “… He shall rise up no more.” Although these enemies do not say it explicitly, their words are filled with pernicious thoughts of murder that pierce deep into the innermost parts of David (See Prov. 26:22). We can easily follow in the footsteps of these enemies of David by slandering, backbiting and insulting our neighbor. We all have been doing this all our lives, beginning in childhood. We all have included ourselves in the mockery of an unsuspecting classmate. But at the same time, we all know by experience the pain of ridicule by former friends. These vivid memories of childhood should motivate us to love our neighbor as our Lord commands in Luke 6:31 which is, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” Sing Psalter #113:7-8.
January 9 Read John 13:1-30; Psalm 41:9
“Yea, mine own familiar friend,… hath lifted up his heel against me.” Here David cries on his bed of suffering that even his own trusted friend with whom he may have had “sweet counsel” has now turned to crush him in the dust (See Psalm 55:14). What a traitorous act this was! It only can remind us of the ultimate betrayal, that of our Lord Jesus Christ by Judas Iscariot (See John 13:18). Yet, Christ wasn’t only betrayed by Judas and the wicked world, but also by us! Only by the grace of God are we forgiven of this sin. Praise Jehovah for His forgiving grace through the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! Sing Psalter #113:8.
January 10 Read II Samuel 15:21-37; Psalm 41:10
Today’s verse records for us a prayer of David that he might be raised up so that he could “requite” his enemies. Was it right for David to pray this prayer? To answer this question we must remember that in this passage David typifies Christ as the King of Israel. Like Christ, David desired to execute righteous judgment on the wicked so that Israel would be purged of sin. This is our desire too, although we must not requite our enemies but overcome their evil with good as Paul states in Romans 12:21. Our desire then must be that our King, the Lord Jesus Christ, will judge them because in their judgment we are saved. Sing Psalter #113:9.
January 11 Read Exodus 15:1-13; Psalm 41:11
As God’s people on our pilgrimage in this world below we encounter much persecution by the wicked world. This was also the case with Israel as they began their journey to Canaan. Their mighty enemy from Egypt boasted against them saying, “I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil” (Exodus 15:9). But God would not allow Egypt to triumph over His people. He saved Israel by drowning the Egyptians in the Red Sea so that they, “sank as lead in the mighty waters” (v. 10). God saved David from his enemies too by not allowing them to destroy him spiritually. This spiritual preservation was proof to David of God’s love and mercy. And that assurance of God’s favor brought great joy to David in the midst of his enemies’ jeers that God was not for him. When we are persecuted now and in the latter days, let us also be assured of God’s love because in the cross He has given us the victory over our enemies. Sing Psalter #113:10.
January 12 Read Exodus 15:14-19; Psalm 41:12
Exodus 15 records for us the joyful Song of Moses following the deliverance at the Red Sea. Here Moses exultantly praises God: “Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O LORD, which Thy hands have established.” Notice that Moses praises God for the covenant that He alone established. David echoes this truth in Psalm 41:12 when he says, “Thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before Thy face forever.” It is God alone who set David in covenant communion with Himself, and the same is true for us. God has delivered us from the forces of darkness and has set us before His face. And soon He will take us to the final reality of that friendship, the eternal bliss of heaven. Soli Deo Gloria. Sing Psalter #113:11.
January 13 Read Held. Catechism Q & A129; Psalm 41:13
“Amen!” What does this word mean? Is it just to tell us that the congregational prayer or the sermon is over? Or is there a richer meaning to this word? Certainly, the practice of placing “Amen” at the end of prayers, sermons, or epistles is biblical. Psalm 41 illustrates this practice well because it is the end of the first of book of the Hebrew Psalter. The concluding Psalms to the other 5 books are Psalms 72, 89, 106 and 150. All of these concluding Psalms end with “Amen”, except Psalm 150. Although this is true, we must see that we do this because by saying “Amen”, we express our faith in the promises of Jehovah. In fact, we are really saying to God, “Thy promises will truly and certainly be!” What better way is there to end our prayers than to boldly express our faith in the I AM, Who will more certainly hear our prayers than we feel in our hearts that we desire our petitions of Him. Sing Psalter #113:12
January 14-31 by John Huizenga
January 14 Read Psalm 42 & 43
In the Psalms before Psalm 42 the most frequent name for God is “Jehovah / LORD.” Psalm 42 begins a new section of Psalms which uses the name “Elohim” which is translated as “God.” The name “Jehovah” emphasizes the covenant faithfulness of God and the name “Elohim” emphasizes the majesty and greatness of God over all. It is a name which distinguishes Him from man and all other creatures. He is the One who upholds all things every moment of the day and supplies the child of God with spiritual life. In this Psalm David gives expression to a life in which he is cut off from the source of spiritual life found in the house of God. Pray for our churches and ministers. Pray that God never deprive us of faithful preaching. Sing one of the Psalters 116 – 118.
January 15 Read Psalm 42:1 Psalter 116:1-4; Is. 35:1-10
Why was David cut off from worship in the house of God? Saul was chasing him through the mountains as a lion stalks a deer and prevents the deer from drinking at the watering hole. Every child of God needs to drink regularly of the Word preached. After a week of work in the world, we are ready for the refreshing word of God. Do you thirst for God’s Word or would you rather drink of the pleasures of this world? Spiritual thirst is a gift of God. We give thanks to God when we and fellow members of the church hunger and thirst, but that hunger and thirst turns to pangs when we are unable to drink. Pray that God give us thirst and continue to bring us the faithful preaching of His Word. Sing Psalter 116:1.
January 16 Read Psalm 42:2; Psalter 114:1;115:1;116:2; 117:1;118:1; Amos 8:11-14
The land may burst with an abundance of crops, your garage may house two new cars, your house may be large and luxurious, but a spiritual famine may be ravaging your life. Nothing is more terrifying to the child of God than a famine of God’s Word. Five Psalter numbers are devoted to the expression of this fear and the comfort of God’s promises. We easily take it for granted that we have an abundance of spiritual food and drink each week. Pray that God never take away His Word to chastise us for our indifference. Pray that our elders may be strengthened in their work of maintaining the preaching and discipline in our churches. Sing the Psalter numbers.
January 17 Read Psalm 42:3; Psalter 114:2; II Peter 3:1-7
As the world round about us continues to become more intolerant of the true church of God they become more bold in their scoffing “Where is thy God.” Give thanks unto God for the church where we can hear the reassuring Word of God. But do you ever wonder why we are such a minority? Does it make your faith waver? Even the so-called “church world” is quickly calling God’s Word a myth and that it is foolish to expect a literal return of Christ. How much more difficult it would be if our churches were forced into hiding and we were scattered and alone. Turn then to 2 Peter where God calls us to remember the faithful promises of God. Sing the Psalter.
January 18 Read Psalm 42:4; Psalter 114:3; 118:2; Acts 2:43-47
David is filled with grief when he thinks of the former days when he led the people to worship God. He was content and satisfied then. Do we look forward to and cherish the Lord’s Day? The early Church desired to gather with God’s people every day and show forth their thankfulness. May we also be filled with a desire to be with the people of God to hear God’s Word. May every day be a day in which we do our work in thankfulness to God for our salvation. May we never look back with regret because we did not use the Lord’s Day to serve Him but rather to satisfy our own desires. Sing the Psalter.
January 19 Read Psalm 42:5; Psalter114:4; 116:3; 118:3; II Peter 1:1-16
David became very lonely and depressed when he was forced to flee from the gathering of God’s people. The disciples and early church would also easily slip into sadness after Jesus ascended into heaven. But God has given unto us the gift of memory and spiritual knowledge of God by which we cling to His promises. He will never forsake us. We will see His face. He reveals His love in the way of delivering us from trouble. Pray for faith which gives hope. Sing the Psalter numbers.
January 20 Read Psalm 42:6; Psalter 114:5; 118:3; Jonah 2:1-7
God is everywhere present. No matter where we are, God is there and He hears our every word and knows our every thought. This truth is a great comfort to every believer because when we are far from home, lost, or unable to be with God’s people in church, then we always have an opportunity to find comfort in the knowledge of this truth. Remember this truth. We do not know when it may be the only thing we have. Cherish each day you have in the comfort of your home and the house of God. Pray for the faith that will uphold you in the day of great need. Sing the Psalter numbers.
January 21 Read Psalm 42:7; Psalter 114:6; 115:2; 117:2; Acts 27:16-25
David compares his feelings to those of a sailor out in the sea in the middle of a storm. The storm tossed sea is often used in Scripture to describe turmoil. Unceasing waves of grief loosen every fiber of strength. The only comfort when we are completely undone is to trust in God. God revealed to Paul that all the troubles he endured were for his salvation. We are made weak so that God’s strength is magnified in us. We must remember also that God does not leave His people in despair. God will always send his Word of comfort and will gather us into his presence of everlasting joy and peace. Sing the Psalter numbers.
January 22 Read Psalm 42:8; Psalter 114:7; 115:3; 117:3; Acts 16:22-32
The song of Zion is a very precious gift. We do well to spend much time learning Psalter numbers and teaching them to our children. The saints who lie day and night on their bed in the rest home cling to those songs and sing them in the night for comfort. The Psalms are a great gift of God. He speaks to us through them and uses them to bring joy into our hearts. May we be diligent to learn them and teach them to the children. Sing the Psalter numbers.
January 23 Read Psalm 42:9; Psalter. 114:8; Matt. 26:38-44
God is our Rock. We know it, yet we often see how weak our flesh is. We know God does not forget us, yet we are filled with fear and sorrow when the enemy comes against us. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. It is important for us to know how weak we are in ourselves. The disciples also needed to be taught that the salvation of Christ is by grace alone. May God fill you with a spirit that is indeed willing so that you cry diligently to God in your time of need. He will show his power and grace in our weak flesh. Sing the Psalter.
January 24 Read Psalm 42:10; Psalter 114:9; I Timothy 4
The scoffing of the wicked is a most piercing arrow of the devil. The wicked know they will be punished and they can’t stand the presence of those redeemed. They especially delight when our sins bring us to sorrow. They take advantage of the weakness of our flesh and ask “where is the God that is supposed to save you?” They want to take you into their own way toward destruction. We can expect more taunting by the world as the end of the world draws nearer. Do you know where God is? Let us make our calling and election sure by diligent study of God’s word and attentive ears in the House of God. Then, though we cry out to God, we cling more tightly to our God and abhor sin. Sing the Psalter.
January 25 Read Psalm 42:11; Psalter 114:10;115:4; 116:4; 117:4; I John 3:16-24
Hope in God is essential as we live in this world of sin. Hope is a central theme in this Psalm and therefore is included in many of the Psalter numbers we sing. Our hope is rooted in the love of God manifest in the cross. Do you desire a firm hope? We must know the truth of God’s salvation and we must love one another; then hope will also dwell within your heart. Crucify your sinful pride, reach out to the brother and sister in the Lord in love. Hope in God and He will lift up your soul from despair. Sing the Psalter.
January 26 Read Psalm 43:1; Psalter 119:1; 120:1; I Peter 2:20-25
The Christian will be unjustly accused. We will suffer the unjust blows of wicked men when we do the right. Our calling is not to fight back and take justice into our own hands. Christ is our example. We must do well and if we suffer at the hands of wicked men for doing well, we are to take it patiently. Christ committed Himself to God Who judges righteously. Come to God with your cries of injustice. It is not a sign of weakness, but our humble submission is our glory. We glory in our God for He will be glorified in all things. Sing the Psalter numbers.
January 27 Read Psalm 43:2; Psalter 119:2; 120:2; Ephesians 6:10-18
Do not expect an easy life once you put on the whole armor of God. The armor is not to make life easy, it is for fighting and protecting our life with God. Knowing God will keep and protect us, we may wonder why it would appear at times that God abandons us. Be assured, it is not because God has indeed abandoned us, but rather because our eyes do not always see the ways of God. We must live by faith in obedience to God. We must not let our fears and feelings guide our actions. Take the armor of God and fight. Pray always for perseverance. God will send relief. Sing the Psalter.
January 28 Read Psalm 43:3; Psalter 119:3; Psalter 120:3; John 1:1-14
When we experience the heat of our spiritual battles and God seems to have abandoned us, rest assured that it is not as we think, but it is our own blindness. Pray for the light of God which will guide us to peace and fellowship with God. Those who cry to God in their distress are those who were born “not of the will of man, but of God.” God will never forsake His elect children. He has given us the Light of the Gospel: our salvation by grace alone in Christ. Give thanks to God today for the sound doctrines of grace which we hear from our pulpits. May God continue to bless us with the pure preaching of His Word. Sing the Psalter.
January 29 Read Psalm 43:4; Psalter 119:4; 120:4; Romans 5:1-11
Deliverance from our sorrows and troubles will bring us to offer up our sacrifice of thankful obedience to God. Deliverance works in us joy and peace that can not be comprehended. Indeed the ways of God are marvelous. Seek the joy that we have alone in God. Seek for this joy in the knowledge of God gained through your tribulations. Seek for this joy in the knowledge of God gained through a study of His salvation in Christ. Sing the Psalter.
January 30 Read Psalm 43:5; Psalter. 119:5; I Kings 19:13-18
Is your soul cast down and disquieted? Depression often strikes after a time of great joy and spiritual strength. Elijah could not even ask himself the question “Why is my soul cast down?” It is a question that we must face because the child of God has no reason to be depressed. Depression may be a chemical imbalance within our body, but at bottom it is a problem with sin. Our corrupt mind is responsible even for the chemical imbalances within our bodies. Pray that God may seek you out in our times of depression and show us our sins. Sing the Psalter.
January 31 Read Psalm 43:5; Psalter 119:6; Psalter 120
Psalter 120 included this verse in the chorus as a constant reminder to hope in God. Hope is not merely a wish as the word is commonly used today. We may say that we hope for sunshine without being certain that sunshine will come. Spiritual hope is certain. We hope in God in the sense of longing for a quick return to His fellowship. Our hope is rooted in the promises of God. We live by faith. All of our life is a life of hope in God. Hope is a very important subject for the believer. Hope was the constant source of joy for the Psalmist as we saw in Psalm 42:5 & 11. May God give you hope for this new year. Sing the Psalter.
Read Psalm 41.
This psalm of David completes the first section consisting of Psalms 1-41. David wrote this plea for deliverance and God’s mercy at the time of Absalom’s rebellion. His anguish for God’s care is evident. “Mine own familiar friend . . . hath lifted up . . . against me” (v.9). Compare old and new testament and see who this “friend” is (II Samuel 15:12 and John 13:18). Yet David’s obedient desire to praise God even “in time of trouble” shines through in the doxology that brings to an end the first forty-one psalms. Memorize Psalm 41:13 and sing Psalter #113, verse 12.
Read Psalm 72.
This is one of Solomon’s two psalms, completing the second section consisting of Psalms 42-72. Composed when Solomon’s kingdom was at its height of glory, the psalm should make us stand in awe of that kingdom to come. Note the glory and grandeur of Christ’s kingdom! Then pause for verses 18, 19—the doxology of praise to God. Memorize Psalm 72:18-19 and sing Psalter #197.
Read Psalm 89.
“I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever”! See if you can pick out the references to Christ in this majestic song of praise. It is that kingdom of Christ that is referred to here so many times in God’s oath for the eternal establishment of David’s throne. Then notice how the third section of the book of Psalms (73-89) ends with its own doxology of praise. “Blessed be the LORD for evermore. Amen, and Amen.” Look over Psalter #241-243 and their titles especially, then sing Psalter #243, verse 15.
September 4 Read
We sang doxologies in church yesterday. What is a doxology? What is it for? Praise! Praise to God and God alone. Psalm 106 is a historical psalm contrasting the wondrous mercies of the Lord and the disobedience of Israel. It is in this context that the doxology at the end of Psalms 90-106 has glorious significance for the church. Our unfaithfulness and God’s enduring mercy. “O give thanks unto the LORD …” by committing to memory and heart Psalm 106:48 and singing Psalter #291, verse 12.
Read Revelation 19:1-6.
The book of Psalms will end with an outburst of Hallelujahs. Psalms 146-150 all begin and end with “Praise the Lord,” or “Hallelujah.” This praise to God echoes in the heavenly chorus of the redeemed as found in Revelation. * … As the voice of mighty thunderings . . . Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!! We sing Hallelujah because God reigns. Simple, but thought-provoking. Think about it. We sing Hallelujah because He reigns. Sing Psalter #400, verses 1 and 7.
Read Revelation 5:11-14.
Like the Hallelujah chorus from Revelation 12, we find another beautiful doxology of praise here in the fifth chapter. Why sing another doxology? Because the Lamb is worthy! Worthy of all power; all riches, all wisdom, all strength, all honor, all glory, all blessing. God grant that we never forget the meaning of “doxology” and never fail to sing them with all our heart. Here is one from the back of the Psalter reflecting on Revelation 5.
“Now to the great and sacred Three
Father, Son, and Spirit, be
Eternal power and glory given,
Through all the worlds, where God is known,
By all the angels near the throne,
And all the saints in earth and heaved.”
Read Psalm 148.
Let us praise the Lord. You “people near unto him”—let us praise the Lord. “… For His name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven.” Let the angels sing the doxology. Let the heavens shout it out! Consider especially verses 13-14 and sing your praise from the heart. Know the personal confession of Psalter #404, verse 5.
Read Psalm 150.
The doxology to end the psalms. Let everything that has breath (see Revelation 5:13) praise God. Read the psalm through twice. Why praise the Lord? Where? How? Give it some extra study. Then sing from Psalter #413. “Hallelujah … all that breathe, His praise proclaim.”
Read Jude 24-25.
We end a week of praise, doxology, and hallelujah with the closing verses of Jude. One of the most beautiful doxologies in all of Scripture, verses 24-25 are well worth committing to memory. Know it “by heart”—as the little ones say (wisely). “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”
Read Hebrews 11:1-4, & Genesis 4:1-15.
God rejected Cain’s worship because Cain did what he wanted and he did not do it in faith. Abel’s worship was “more excellent” because by faith, he obeyed God and thus showed that he relied on Christ, the Lamb. We must be careful in our worship, not to bring our own works or our own ideas, for God will reject such worship. Today as you go to God’s house, think of how God has commanded us to worship Him and then go in faith, as Abel did, and do what God has commanded.
Read Hebrews 11:5, 6, Genesis 5:21-24, & Jude 14, 15.
Genesis tells us that Enoch walked with God. In Jude we see that this walking with God included Enoch’s preaching that the Lord would return and judge the wicked and their ungodly deeds. The text in Hebrews says that this pleased God. Has God worked faith in your heart? Show then, by your speech and walk that you walk with God. Walk closely with Him this week, that you may please Him Who is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
Read Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 6, & II Peter 2:5.
It is recorded of Noah (and of Noah only, for he stood all alone) that in the wicked times before the flood he found grace in the eyes of the Lord, was just and perfect, and walked with God. He was also a preacher of righteousness and condemned the wicked world of his time. (Notice, this is very similar to the description of Enoch.) Noah was all this because of the faith God had given him. This same faith caused him to believe God’s warning that He would destroy the world and to obey God’s command to build an ark. It was through the means of this faith that God saved Noah’s family and made Noah heir of the righteousness which is by faith. Faith is a great power which God gives to us! Pray for such a faith, that we may stand against the wicked world and keep God’s commandments.
Read Hebrews 11: 8-19, Genesis 12:1-9, & Genesis 22:1- 9.
In Abraham we have an example of obedience—obedience no matter what the requirement and obedience without question. How often don’t we, when something difficult is required of us, start to complain and question? Even though Abraham was required to leave his home and family to become a wanderer in a strange land, even though he was commanded to kill his own beloved son in whom the promise centered, he did so without question. He trusted that God would fulfill His promise to give him the land of Canaan and to send Christ from Isaac. Pray for such a faith and exercise that faith that you may believe and obey, as Abraham did.
Read Hebrews 11:22, Genesis 50:22-26, Exodus 13:19 and Joshua 24:32.
Joseph, before he died, showed that his hope was not in Egypt and its riches. But, rather, his hope lay in the promised land of Canaan. He believed that God would deliver Israel from Egypt (a picture of sin and this earthly life) and would bring them to Canaan (a picture of heaven). Young people, do not set your hearts on the riches of this world which soon pass away. Do not live as if this world is your home, but look to your heavenly and eternal home as Joseph did. God fulfilled His promise to Joseph and Israel and He will fulfill his promise to us as well, and bring us to heaven.
Read Hebrews 11:24-28, Exodus 2:5-15, & Exodus 12:21-30.
Just as Enoch and Noah were similar, so Moses and Joseph give us similar examples. Moses could have had riches and power in Egypt, just as Joseph. But he chose something better, even though it involved suffering with the people of Israel. Young people, do you choose to live as a child of God and to suffer affliction with the people of God? Or do you take the easy route and live with the world in the pleasures of sin which last only for a season? May God grant us the grace to esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the riches of this world.
Read Hebrews 11:29-30, Joshua 2:1-21, & Joshua 6:22- 25.
Rahab had heard the stories of how God had cared for and fought for Israel during their journey through the wilderness. Hearing of God’s mighty acts of salvation led her to turn from her sin of adultery and to make the confession we read of in Joshua 2:11. God worked faith in her heart, and thus saved her from the destruction of Jericho and gave her a place among His chosen people. Every week we hear from the pulpit the mighty acts of salvation which God has performed for us. May we too day by day, repent and turn from our sins.
Read Genesis 1-2 and Psalm 51.
This week we will consider some of the psalms which refer to the creation. Before going to the psalms, we should have at least Genesis 1-2 fresh in our mind. Read the whole book if you are able. God reveals Himself in the first sentence of the Bible as the Creator of all things. One need not read far into the Bible, however, before God reveals Himself as the Saviour of all the seed of the woman. God is Creator and Saviour. God also creates when He saves. When God saves His people, then He creates a new heart within them (Psalm 51:10). He gives them a whole new life in Christ so that they are perfect in the sight of God and they begin to walk in righteousness in this life. When we ponder the awesomeness of the creation, then we are reminded of the greatness of that work of salvation worked in our very heart. Read Psalm 51 and also sing one of the Psalter numbers for this psalm.
Read Psalm 8 and Hebrews 2.
Some of the psalms are called “nature psalms” because they speak specifically of the creation. God, in Psalm 8 directs our attention to the wonders of His creation of the heavens. When we consider the vastness of the heavens, then we are made to feel very small and insignificant. Go outside on a clear evening and look at the moon and the stars. Think about what the psalmist is saying. Do you feel small and insignificant? Now consider this: the God who created the whole universe is “mindful” of His people. As you lay there in the grass or in the snow on a clear, crisp, winter night looking at the stars, God is mindful of you and is directing all the events in the world so that all things work for the salvation of His people. Hebrews 2 includes a quotation of Psalm 8 to reveal that that salvation is in Christ.
Read Psalm 19 and Philippians 2.
Psalm 19 is divided poetically into two parts. The first part is verses 1 -6 and renders praise and adoration to God as the almighty Creator God. The second part which begins at verse 7 and goes to the end of the chapter, renders praise and adoration to the covenant God as Lawgiver and Redeemer of His people. The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork because the creation obeys the laws by which God governs and rules the creation. God also has ordained His law for man. That law is the beautiful law of love. When man lives in accordance with the law of God, then he is filled with joy and happiness. It is so foolish to transgress that law and as regenerated children of God we struggle against the old man of sin which we have by nature in Adam. Our constant fall into sin can be very frustrating and even cause us to despair. Pray with the psalmist in verses 12-14. Look to Christ in whom God reveals His love and salvation.
Read Psalm 29, Job 37:1-5, Revelation 10.
Psalm 29 is sometimes called “the psalm of the seven thunders.” Note that the words “the voice of the LORD” is repeated seven times. Note also the seven thunders in Revelation 10. The occasion for this psalm is a thunderstorm. In Palestine thunderstorms build up in the North and sweep southward into the Arabian desert. First the thunder is heard in the distance. Each time it comes closer until the cedars of Lebanon break in the wind, the mountains shake with the thunder, and lightning cracks through the air along with torrents of rain. Each time the psalmist hears not merely thunder, but the mighty voice of Jehovah telling His covenant people that He reigns as King forever and that His people will be victorious in the end in Christ. Listen to God when it thunders. Let the storms be an occasion for reading and meditating on God’s Word for awhile.
Read Psalm 93, Jonah.
This psalm also speaks of victory. The picture here is Jehovah sitting high on a throne unmoved as a tumultuous and storm tossed sea rages round about Him. The throne is a picture of God’s power and authority. He rules and governs all things. The storm tossed sea is the world in which we live. Many of us have never experienced what it is like to be on an actual storm tossed sea. Perhaps you have read a good book describing the terrors of such an experience; the book of Jonah also gives a good description. Sometimes our soul feels like a ship tossed about at sea. This psalm comforts us by assuring us that Jehovah is King. He stands firm and rules all things. Jesus is enthroned at the right hand of the Father. He knows all our experiences because He walked on this earth and is now risen in glorified flesh. When all things are fulfilled, we will join him in the new heavens and new earth.
Read Psalm 98; Romans 8; Isaiah 11.
In this psalm we read of the creation praising God. Verse 8 reads “Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together.” The Bible often uses figurative language. This style is lively and we can use our imagination to see joyful hills etc. In Romans 8 we read that the creation is groaning now because of the sin of man, and that the creation is waiting for the salvation of all the people of God. The creation is both glad and sad, just like regenerated believer who groans because of his sin, and yet is glad because of the hope of final glory with Christ. Let the death, decay, and pollution in the world remind you of sin, and let the singing birds, chirping crickets, colorful flowers, and rolling hills remind you of your cleansing and joy in Christ. When you go for a walk or sit by an open window, listen for the sounds of creation and remember this psalm.
Read Psalm 104, Heidelberg Catechism LD 9-10.
This psalm praises God for the goodness of His creation. Sometimes we forget that the creation is good when we see all the death, corruption, disease, fighting, and killing that goes on in the wild. But the psalmist looks at the present creation around him and he is reminded of what God says in Genesis 1 about creation—that all things were created good. This psalm is divided into seven sections to reflect the days of creation. Verses 1, 5, 10, 19, 24, 27, and 31 begin each section. There is not an exact correspondence to what was created on each day but the psalm does begin with light (v. 2) and it ends with an allusion to the rest and worship of God on Sunday. Notice also the care and providence of God in this psalm. The creation would cry out in despair and die if God hid His face for but a moment (v. 29). The people of God also need to know that God’s face shines upon them. Listen for those words in the benediction at church tomorrow.
Read Proverbs 16:18, & I John 2:16-17.
PRIDE! Pride certainly is not a virtue. It is a terrible sin. In fact, pride is the root cause of all sin. Scripture informs us that it was not only pride which led to the fall of Satan from heaven, but also pride which caused our first parents, Adam and Eve, to fall into sin. The two texts you have just read also point out the sinfulness of pride. We are all inclined to be filled with pride and to be governed by pride. Seek forgiveness for this sin in your life, and strength to fight against it, from your loving heavenly Father. For Jesus Christ, our Savior, shed His precious blood to cover also the sin of pride in us, His people.
Read Matthew 23:1-12.
Jesus points out in this passage the evidences of pride in the scribes and Pharisees. They were concerned only for themselves. They wanted to be seen of men. They wanted to be recognized and acknowledged by all as being great. But what does God think of such pride? What did Jesus say concerning this proud behavior? Read verse 12 again. II Samuel 22:28 says the same thing. God’s eyes are upon the proud person, and God looks upon them in order to bring them down. The proud will certainly fall. God hates the sin of pride and He sees to it that those who are filled with pride are humbled and abased. Remember, pride comes before a fall. Let this be a warning to us. Being aware of God’s attitude toward pride, let us also hate it and flee from it.
Read Luke 18:9-14.
Pride is present in our lives in many ways. One way in which we show our pride is in our attitude toward God and what He requires of us. The Pharisee in this parable did this. He thought that he was pretty good at keeping God’s law. In fact, he thought he had kept it perfectly. But what was God’s judgment on this pride-filled man? He did not go to his house justified! The publican, however, who was deeply aware of his sin and his inability to do any good, went home justified. Ask yourself this question: Am I the Pharisee in this parable, or am I the publican? May our attitude to God and our prayers to God always be like those of the publican.
Read Proverbs 3:7, 25:27, & 27:2.
God’s Word tells us in these verses that we must never praise ourselves. We must never boast. We must never let our own lips and mouth praise us. However, we all do this. We want others to know of our achievements and accomplishments. We want others to be aware of things we have done. Sometimes we even do this through what we call false humility. But in all of this we are thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought (Romans 12:3). This praise of self is another evidence of pride in our lives. It reminds me of a Dutch saying my parents often quoted, which in English is: “Self-praise stinks!” Let us strive, by God’s grace, not to speak highly of ourselves.
Read Romans 12.
In this chapter is mentioned the sinful pride that we often show in our relationships to others. We are inclined, by nature, to think we are better than others. We even think to ourselves that we are more godly than our fellow believers. This is often seen when another child of God sins. When we hear of that sin, instead of speaking to that brother or sister in love (Galatians 6:1-2), we spread the news of the sin as quickly as we can. And what usually motivates us to do so is the thought that we ourselves would never commit such a sin. Verse 10 tells us, however that we should “be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another.” Instead of thinking of ourselves we must think highly of others. May we be willing, in the strength of our God, to “condescend to men of low estate.”
Read I Peter 5:1-7, & Proverbs 18:12.
The opposite of pride is humility. Pride is sin, but humility is a virtue. We must strive, therefore, to be humble. For God hates the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. He who is humble will be exalted by God. The humble will have a place in God’s kingdom. For Jesus Himself told us that the truly great in the kingdom of Heaven is the humble servant (Matthew 18:3-4, John 13). Seek to be humble, therefore. Do so by getting rid of all pride in your life. Pray that God will make you humble, for then you will be exalted by Him in His kingdom.
Read Psalm 131.
In this Psalm we discover what should be our proper attitude in relation to the sin of pride. The psalmist David confesses that his heart is not haughty. He does not exalt himself. He does not value himself too highly. His eyes are not lofty. He does not view himself as superior. He is humble and quiet. Is this your confession? Are you able to say this of yourself? It is not easy for us to be humble. It is impossible, in fact, for us to be humble in our own strength. Let us seek our help from above. Pray that God will spare us from being proud. May we, by God’s grace, be humble. Only with His help will we be able to confess, with David, that our hearts are not haughty and our eyes are not lofty.
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