April 4 Read Joshua 1:1-4

The conquest of the land of Canaan is about to begin. Moses, who led the people up to this point died on Mt. Nebo. He was shown the land of Canaan, but might not lead the people into it. Because of his sin of striking the rock in disobedience, he was not fit to finish the work. This task was given to Joshua, the son of Nun. He is described as Moses’ minister, both in Exodus 13 and in this section. He was the servant or personal assistant of Moses and is divinely ordained for this calling. His name originally was Oshea. Moses changed it to Jehoshua which means “Jehovah is salvation,” and he is actually called “Jesus” in Hebrews 4:8. His calling is to lead God’s people into the earthly Canaan, and as such typifies Christ who leads his people through this world of strife and sin into the heavenly Canaan. The Lord assures Joshua that he will give them the land of Canaan and he assures us that we too will possess the new heavens and earth. No enemy can withstand him! What a glorious promise for us to embrace by faith. Psalter 420;1, 2.

April 5 Read Joshua 1:5-9

The land which the Israelites were promised and are about to enter was inhabited by many peoples. They were strong and would be determined to fight to keep their cities and lands. An essential requirement for Joshua and his army is a reassuring word from the Lord himself, “Be strong and of a good courage.” This expression occurs several times, with Moses also speaking these same words to Joshua in the sight of all the people before he died. The Lord added another requirement that was necessary besides strength and courage to overcome the impending enemy. That requirement was obedience to the law. Not only must they keep the law, but must meditate upon it day and night. In this way the Lord would prosper them. Obviously, this word comes to you and me as well as we battle our enemies, the world, the devil, and our own sinful flesh on our way to the heavenly Canaan. Let us then, by faith, with strength and courage from above, follow the perfect Joshua, Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer. Psalter 149:1, 2, 6.

April 6 Read Joshua 1:10-18

In response to God’s command and in the assurance that God would prosper their conquest of Canaan, Joshua instructs the people to prepare food for their journey. Then he reminds the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh that although they were given the land east of the Jordan River for their inheritance, they must help with the conquest of Canaan. Their wives, children, and their flocks will remain on this side of Jordan, but all the mighty men of valor must go with the army of Israel until the Lord would give them rest. It is interesting to note in this regard that not all the men of these tribes assisted in the battles. According to Numbers 26, we read that there were one hundred thirty-seven thousand men able to go to war in these tribes, and Joshua 4:12, 13 informs us that forty thousand crossed Jordan to help their brethren. So that leaves ninety-seven thousand behind to protect and care for the women, children, and cattle. At any rate they willingly respond to Joshua’s instruction to accompany the army and threaten those with death who should refuse obedience, and they echo Moses’ and the Lord’s words, “only be strong and of a good courage.” Psalter 188:1-3.

April 7 Read Joshua 2:1-3

Before the army of Israel rises up to invade Canaan, Joshua sent out two men from the camp to spy out the land, especially Jericho. This city was about eight miles from the Jordan River, and was the gateway to Canaan. We may ask the question: “Was this action necessary, since Joshua himself spied out the country earlier and God promised to give them the land?” But we believe there is a deeper reason, and that the Lord had his purpose in this, especially in regard to Rahab. The men entered Jericho and lodged in the house of a harlot, but were spotted by the wicked inhabitants of the city who promptly informed the king. All this was sovereignly determined by God who directed the spies to Rahab’s house. Rahab was a changed woman from her old ways as a prostitute, and by God’s grace was given faith to believe. This faith comes to manifestation by her works, as we will see. Can this be said of us, dear reader? Is ours a living, active faith? Let us show that faith by being friends of God and enemies of the world. Psalter 403:1-3.

April 8 Read Joshua 2:4-13

These verses inform us that Rahab hid the spies from the king’s messengers and misled them into believing that the spies had already left. Scripture is silent regarding her lying, and although it is understandable on her part, lying is never to be justified. She informs the spies that Jericho’s inhabitants heard about the mighty works of the Lord and trembled with fear. She confesses that Jehovah is God in heaven and earth, and makes the spies swear that they will save her and her house when Jericho is defeated. Rahab was an elect child of God who lived in the depths of sin for a time, but was converted and plucked as a brand out of the fire in the way of faith. We find her name in Hebrews 11 as one who lived from faith and in God’s inscrutable wisdom she becomes a mother in Israel in the direct line of the geneology of Jesus. The lesson therefore, once again, is that we live by faith, die by faith, and are saved by faith. May God be pleased to grant us the necessary grace to emulate the living faith of Rahab in our lives. Psalter 280:1, 3, 4.

April 9 Read Joshua 2:14-24

Rahab is convinced that Israel will be victorious when they come upon Jericho and asked the spies to swear by the name of the Lord that they will save her family alive when this happens. The spies do not know at this time how the Lord will deliver the city into Israel’s hand, but they agree, with certain stipulations that must be met, namely that no one utter this business and that she gathers her entire family inside her house which will be marked with a scarlet cord. By this cord, the spies descend from her home and after spending three days in the mountain, return to Joshua. They relate to him all that happened plus the encouraging news that the inhabitants of the land were fainthearted because of them, emphasizing the fact that it was the Lord’s doing which caused this fear. This mighty God of Israel is also our God. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will fight for us, deliver us from evil, and save us eternally. Blessed be his name! Psalter 399:1, 3, 4.

April 10 Read Joshua 3:1-8

The church of God as comprised by the nation of Israel stood at an important juncture in her life. Joshua led the nation to the banks of the Jordan River. There they beheld an impassible torrent of water which barred the way to the Promised Land. Joshua issues instructions to the people in regard to their crossing the river. They must consecrate themselves to behold the wonders that God will perform for them on the morrow. They must advance, when they see the Ark of the Covenant carried ahead by the priests, but maintain a reverent distance from it. It must be very evident to all that Jehovah is bringing his people into Canaan by his mighty power and not by their own ingenuity. As they pass into the land of promise they must keep their eyes on the ark which symbolized God’s presence. We too, as God’s people, are making a journey through the wilderness of sin en route to the Promised Land. We encounter many obstacles that would divert us away from the paths of righteousness. But with our eyes upon Jesus, led by his Spirit, we shall by faith overcome them, and enter the Promised Land. Psalter 352:1-4.

April 11 Read Joshua 3:9-17

The moment arrives when the actual crossing of Jordan takes place. Joshua reassures the people that the Lord will drive out the inhabitants of Canaan by this demonstration of his power. The priests who bore the ark stepped into the river and the water ceased to flow. We are informed that God caused the water to stand as a heap near the city of Adam, about fifteen miles upstream, and as a result the rocky bed of the river was laid bare. The Israelites then passed over on dry ground. Truly that was a wondrous and significant miracle that also speaks to us today. The people of Israel had to see that they were not overcome and destroyed by the waters of Jordan because of the priests and the ark which went before them. The ark with its blood sprinkled mercy seat covered their sins and pointed to Christ, the perfect High Priest, who made perfect atonement. We all must cross the Jordan River of death which we fear by nature, but our High Priest and Savior has gone before and opened the way, and by faith we follow him to Canaan’s rest. Psalter 29:1-3.

April 12 Read Joshua 4:1-13

As soon as the last of the people walked out of the river-bed of Jordan, the Lord gave some specific instructions to Joshua. An event of this magnitude must not be forgotten, and Joshua was told to erect a double memorial in remembrance of this miraculous crossing. Twelve men, one from each tribe are selected. Each man must carry a large stone from the midst of Jordan and bring it to the west side of the river. At the same time Joshua was told to take twelve additional stones and arrange them in a heap on the east side of the river where the priests stood who bore the ark. This was to be a tangible sign of this passing event. The number of the stones selected was not an arbitrary number, but consisted of twelve stones corresponding to the twelve tribes which is the number of election. This was a testimony to Israel and to us as well, that God, according to his election, opens up the way into the promised rest. “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Rom. 9:16). Psalter 275:1-3.

April 13 Read Joshua 4:14-24

The twelve stones that the men of each tribe carried out of Jordan were set up for a memorial in Gilgal where the people camped on the west side of the river. We read that the memorial had a practical purpose, namely that this was a means for the instruction of their children. God’s word deals much with children. He establishes his covenant in the line of generations which means that they are his, and belong to his people. These stones were purposely meant to arouse their curiosity and stimulate questions. Their parents in turn were to teach them the significance of all the signs that the Lord provided. We, who are parents, are called to be faithful in teaching our covenant children the ways and wonders of the Lord. He has given us many means in home, school and church. May we by God’s grace be diligent in this our calling. Children and young people, pray that you may be receptive to this instruction. In this way, God is glorified and we are blessed. Psalter 213:1-3.

April 14 Read Joshua 5:1-9

The effect of God’s mighty power as displayed by the drying up of the waters of Jordan was soon made manifest. The kings of the Amorites and Canaanites became so weak with fear that the children of Israel could camp at Gilgal in safety from their enemies. The Lord providentially arranged this, so that the rite of circumcision could take place at this time. Joshua receives instructions from the Lord to administer the sign of the covenant to all who were born during the forty years after leaving Egypt. By this rite of circumcision the Lord rolled away the reproach from off the people, hence the name Gilgal, which means “rolling”. Only as a sanctified people could they fight the battles of the Lord and strive successfully to enter into the Promised Land. This certainly speaks to us too, for we fight the battles of the Lord on our pilgrimage to heaven. By virtue of our baptism we are called to “forsake the world, crucify our old nature and walk in a new and holy life.” Thanks be to God that by his Spirit “we shall finally be presented without spot or wrinkle among the assembly of the elect in life eternal.” Psalter 326:1-4.

April 15 Read Joshua 5:10-15

We note in this passage that the people once again resumed the keeping of the Passover. At the same time the manna ceased and they ate of the fruit of Canaan. Then our attention turns to Joshua who stands in the vicinity of Jericho. We may well imagine what is taking place in his mind as he contemplates the task laid upon him and how impossible it appeared. Israel must conquer Jericho, a strong and fortified city, the gateway to Canaan, and although the inhabitants feared Israel, they did not intend to surrender. Suddenly the figure of a man appeared before Joshua with a drawn sword in his hand. In response to Joshua’s challenge, he reveals himself as the captain of the Lord’s hosts. This was none other than the Old Testament manifestation of Christ, and Joshua falls to the ground and worships. We sometimes wonder, don’t we, how we can persevere in our daily battle against sin? We also wonder what our children will have to face as the world grows more wicked and intolerant. Don’t fear, people of God, but listen to our Captain: “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Psalter 398:1-3.

April 16 Read Joshua 6:1-11

Joshua receives instructions from the Captain of the Lord’s hosts about the manner in which Jericho will fall to Israel. He says to Joshua, “See I have give into thine hand Jericho…” This is a crucial statement which indicates that the enemy is already overcome and delivered into Joshua’s hands by Jehovah. No battle plans are given, no strategies are drawn up. Instead, a procession of the people must march around the city once each day for six days in succession. The armed men must go first, followed by seven priests with trumpets of ram’s horns. Next come the priests who carried the ark of Jehovah, and lastly, the rear guard which follow the ark. This must be a demonstration of the mighty power of God alone, and an exercise of faith on the part of the people. The people might not take the city of Jericho by their own strength. It must be the Lord’s work alone. We are not saved either by contributing a single thing to our own salvation. It is the Lord’s work from the beginning to the end. All praise and honor belong to him alone. Psalter 242:1, 3, 4.

April 17 Read Joshua 6:12-19

Obediently following the instructions from the Lord, the daily march around the city takes place. Once each day for six days the procession went around the city with the priests blowing the trumpets. The people however, were silent. It’s quite possible that some of the inhabitants of Jericho mocked the Israelites from the safety of the walls, considering this action sheer foolishness. However, they failed to reckon with the fact that the Almighty was in Israel’s midst. His presence, symbolized in the Ark of the Covenant, was the source and power of the whole march. He will uproot the kingdom of darkness and establish his typical kingdom in the land of Canaan. Everything in Jericho is pronounced cursed by the Lord. Only Rahab and her family are to be spared and items of precious metals which were to be brought into the treasury of the Lord. Because Jericho was the first city of Canaan which the Lord gave to his people, Israel had to sacrifice it to the Lord as the first-fruits of the land and the city itself laid to ashes. May we also learn from this to keep ourselves away from anything that would pollute our holy walk, and consecrate all that we have and all that we are to the Lord. Psalter 383:1, 4, 5.

April 18 Read Joshua 6:20-27

The trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and the walls of Jericho fell flat. What an extraordinary way to assault and capture a city. But it had to be this way. God had said to Joshua, “I have given into thine hand Jericho”. The people might not capture the city by their own power. They had to understand that it is God alone who makes possible the entrance into Canaan. God opened the way through the Jordan River and God gave them the city by a wonder of his grace. The people were to receive these blessings by walking obediently in faith. Hebrews 11:30 states, “by faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were compassed about seven days”. Just as the land of Canaan is a gift of grace, so is salvation, and all it entails, a free gift of grace through Jesus Christ the Captain of our salvation. This passage closes with Joshua pronouncing a curse upon the man who would rebuild Jericho as a fortified city. This was fulfilled in I Kings 16:34 when Hiel the Bethelite did so, and as a result lost all his sons by death. Psalter 149:1, 3, 6.

April 19 Read Joshua 7:1-5

With confidence bolstered by the fall of Jericho, Joshua makes his plans to attack the city of Ai. Men are sent out to scout the city and they return with the report that it is a small city and that two or three thousand warriors would be sufficient to conquer it. Joshua commissions an army of three thousand men to accomplish this conquest, but they were put to the rout by the men of Ai and thirty-six Israelites were slain. The result was that “the hearts of the people melted and became as water.” Apparently they thought that the promise of God had failed. In light of the wonderful victory at Jericho, the fall of Ai appeared certain. But we read in the context that God was wroth with the children of Israel, for someone had appropriated to himself some of the accursed things of Jericho. All sin has consequences, and this was a bitter lesson for Israel to learn. God is just and his ways past finding out. As long as sin remained in their midst, victory would be impossible. Sin must always be confessed, sorrow expressed, and forgiveness sought. Only in this way can reconciliation to God take place and joy restored. Psalter 141:1, 2, 4.

April 20 Read Joshua 7:6-15

The defeat at Ai caused consternation in Israel and brought Joshua to the point of despair. Not realizing that the fault lay in the people, he wonders why the Lord dealt with them in this way. The Lord declares that Israel had sinned by transgressing his covenant and stealing things that were accursed. Israel was expressly commanded to refrain from taking anything to themselves of Jericho’s spoils. The inhabitants of Jericho had filled their cup of iniquity and they were ripe for judgment. The Lord’s heavy wrath was upon them and their possessions, and severe judgment must be meted out to the guilty one who stole from them. The Lord also prescribed the manner of punishment, namely that the guilty party and all that he had must be burnt with fire. This was a severe punishment, but the sin was great. May all of us learn not to covet the carnal things and pleasures of this sinful world, but rather set our affections on the things above. Psalter 325:1, 2, 3.

April 21 Read Joshua 7:16-26

In order to determine the guilty person who stole the accursed thing, the lot was taken by tribes, families and man by man. Each step was determined by the Lord, and the lot fell upon Achan from the tribe of Judah. We notice that even during this process with its inevitable outcome, Achan does not step forward to confess his sin but must be forced by Joshua to admit his guilt. He confesses to stealing a robe and some silver and gold. In compliance with God’s verdict, Achan’s entire family is stoned to death, and they, plus their possessions were burned with fire. A great heap of stones were raised over them as a warning to all the generations of Israel. Achan’s sin of coveting the riches of a wicked world and persisting in this sin showed that he was profane and ungodly. His family also partook of his sin by not exposing or rebuking him. This sin had been visited upon the nation of Israel as a whole with dire consequences. As a lesson to us, may we never condone the sins of our fellow saints, but seek in the proper way to remove the sin and restore the sinner lest the wrath of God fall upon us as a body. Psalter 83:1, 2, 3.

April 22 Read Joshua 8:1-13

After the sad history of Achan’s sin and Israel’s defeat by Ai, the Lord appears to Joshua to encourage him and the people. He assures Joshua that Ai will be given to them and gives explicit instructions as to how the city will be taken. Five thousand men of Israel are to lie in ambush on the west side of Ai, while the main body of Israel are to be stationed on the north side. The main army is to draw out the men of Ai as if they were fleeing. Then, when Joshua raises his spear, the men in ambush will come out of hiding and enter the open city. The main army then reverses its direction and closes in on the enemy. This plan involves deception, does it not? Can there possibly be deception ascribed to God? Our answer is emphatically no! God is a God of truth and veracity. But war has a history on earth almost from the beginning, principally the war of Satan’s seed against the woman’s seed. (Gen. 3:15) Warfare calls for wise deployment of forces to attain the desired end, and generals use various strategies to confound the enemy. We, as God’s people, must also fight, being “wise as serpents” (Matt 10:16) in our battle against the evil one. Psalter 92:1, 2, 7.

April 23 Read Joshua 8:14-29

God’s plan to take the city of Ai was carried out by Israel to perfection. The army of Ai was caught between the two forces of Israel’s army and completely destroyed. The ban of taking the spoil of wars was lifted and the people took of the cattle and goods of the city. Special mention is made of the stretching out of Joshua’s spear during the battle at which time the ambush arose and the main army turned to fight. This symbolized that the battle was of the Lord and that he would surely give them the victory. The city was burned, and the king of Ai was killed and hanged on a tree until eventide (Deut. 21:22, 23). His body was cast on the ground where the gate of the city was located, and a great heap of stones cast upon it as a memorial. We may at times feel overwhelmed by the wicked world around us, but God assures us of final victory as he did to Zerubbabel in Zech. 4:6, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” Psalter 389:1, 3, 4.

April 24 Read Joshua 8:30-35

After the conquering of Jericho and Ai, the land lay open for Israel to proceed further into Canaan. They traveled northward to Shechem where the two mounts, Ebal and Gerizim, were located. The ceremony which takes place there is rather briefly noted in this passage but we refer you to Deuteronomy chapters 11 and 27 where you will read a detailed account of Moses’ instructions to the people. Half of the tribes are to be gathered on Mt. Ebal, the mount of the curse, and the other half on Mt. Gerizim, the mount of blessing. The Ark of the Covenant is stationed between the mounts. An altar is built on Mt. Ebal for offerings and sacrifices. After the law of Moses was written on the plaster which overlaid the stones, the ceremony of blessing and cursing took place and the law read to the entire assembly. Space prevents us from delving into all the implications of this rite, but basically it means that God’s blessing will rest on the people in the way of love and obedience, while his curse will be upon them if they break the law and follow other gods. Thanks be to God that in the fullness of time, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Gal. 3:16). Believe this gospel, people of God, and rejoice in his blessings. Psalter 113:1, 4, 12.

April 25 Read Joshua 9:1-15

The deception by the men of Gibeon was preceded by a confederation of the kings of Canaan. These kings were well aware of Israel’s great victories, so they decided to take the offensive in battle against them. The Gibeonites were of the Hivites and were in the path of Israel’s conquest of the land. The men of Gibeon resort to deception by claiming that they came from a far country and sought to prove it by their appearance and moldy provisions. They claim to have come in the name of Israel’s God and seek to make a treaty with Israel to the effect that they will not be harmed. Rather naively, the men of Israel agree to this deception and swear to let them live, but Scripture points out distinctly that “they asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord.” The men of Gibeon were certainly wrong in this deception, but it was a serious error on the part of Joshua and the people. This speaks to us dear reader of the necessity to go to God in prayer constantly for direction and guidance in our daily lives. “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6, 7). Psalter 74:1, 2, 3.

April 26 Read Joshua 9:16-27

It took just three days for Joshua and Israel to learn that they were deceived by the Gibeonites. It was the same critical error they made before their initial attack on Ai, and as before it returned to plague them. They had failed to ask counsel of God, and now, because of their oath, they were bound to keep their word and not destroy them. We can scarcely blame the Gibeonites for their actions, but the main fault lay with Israel. Israel was now faced with the problem of how to punish the Gibeonites and still keep their oath to let them live. A solution was reached to make the Gibeonites hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the house of the Lord. This undoubtedly was a fulfillment of the curse Noah pronounced in Genesis 9:25, “Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren.” To the surprise of Israel, the Gibeonites reacted with humble obedience. We do not know if they were ever assimilated into the nation of Israel, but they were apparently faithful in the service to which they were assigned. Psalter 194:1, 2, 3.

April 27 Read Joshua 10:1-11

When the king of Jerusalem heard about the utter destruction of Jericho and Ai, he and his people feared greatly. Compounding this fear was the fact that Gibeon made peace with Israel. Gibeon was a great city and was situated on high ground now under control of Joshua. So king Adonizedec formed an alliance with four kings of the south and they advanced upon Gibeon in retaliation for their making peace with Israel. Gibeon immediately sends messengers to Joshua for help. In response to this urgent plea, Joshua assembles his army and travels overnight to meet this enemy. Then we hear the Lord say to Joshua, “Fear them not for I have delivered them into thine hand.” This of course proved true, for it was not the might of the armies of Israel, but the might of the Lord that gained the victory. And as the enemy is fleeing before Israel, the Lord miraculously rained down huge hailstones that completely annihilated them. When the Lord is with us, we have peace and confidence. We can’t fight our spiritual battles in our own strength. In the way of faith and trust and obedience we experience his guidance day by day until we too, reach our heavenly Canaan. Psalter 358:1, 2, 3.

April 28 Read Joshua 10:12-14

Truly a miraculous event occurred when the children of Israel were fighting the Amorites. Joshua spoke in the name of the Lord and commanded the sun and moon to stop in their courses so the enemy could not escape in the darkness. Did Joshua realize the implication of all that is involved in a commandment such as this? Not likely, but we can be sure that God wished to show his power through Joshua for did he not say to him earlier, “I have delivered the enemy into thy hand”? Many attempts to explain this phenomenon have been given, most of which distorts the text or are farfetched conclusions based on unbelief. We, as God’s people believe the account as quoted in the book of Jasher, evidently a poetic book containing many wonderful works of God. God, who made the universe and upholds it daily, is supremely able to make one day into two. Because he has power over all things, they must work for the good of his people and for the destruction of the wicked. Let us bow in humility and praise and exalt his holy name now and forever. Psalter 285:1, 2, 3.

April 29 Read Joshua 10:15-27

Three incidents are brought to our attention in this passage of Scripture. First, in the aftermath of their victory, Israel returns to their camp at Gilgal in peace with no loss of life on their part. Second, a small number of the enemy managed to escape into fenced cities, and none of these, we read, “moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel”. Third, we have the matter of the five kings who fled the battle and hid themselves in a cave, and their subsequent judgment. In regard to the latter, Joshua brings the people to the cave at Makkedah and commands that the five kings be brought out. The captains of Israel’s armies are told to place their feet upon the necks of these kings as a symbol of complete dominance over them. The kings are then slain and their bodies hanged until sunset. Some, in today’s world, would criticize all this slaughtering as needless and atrocious. But in doing so, they criticize the Most High himself who has eternally decreed all things, and who alone is just and perfect in all his doings. We hope to enlarge on this aspect tomorrow. Let us bow in humble submission and gratitude to this great God in faith. Psalter 146:1, 2, 3.

April 30 Read Joshua 10:28-43

This passage deals with Joshua continuing his conquest of Canaan. No less than six cities are smitten and all their inhabitants killed plus Horam, king of Gezer, with his people who had come to help the city of Lachish. We read that the Lord delivered these people into the hand of Israel. How must we understand this warfare and its total annihilation? Do we claim as some that God is such a God of love that this slaughter should never have happened? Truly God is a God of love for his chosen people, but here we see the execution of divine judgment. The land was promised to Abraham and his seed and the Canaanites were usurpers. Their cup of iniquity was full and they were ripe for judgment. God is sovereign in divine reprobation as well as in divine election. Today, the ungodly are in control in most of the world and they pervert all things to their own wicked ends. They persecute the church that stands as a righteous witness against them. Jesus, the antitype of Joshua, by his death and resurrection will come again to fight the final battle against the wicked. He is our Captain, and the victory is ours by faith. Let us therefore put on the whole armor of God and follow this Captain so that we may stand against the wiles of the devil. Psalter 183:1, 3, 4.

May 1 Read Joshua 23

Israel’s conquest of the land of Canaan is over. The nations were subdued, the land divided among the twelve tribes, and six cities of refuge were built. Now Joshua had grown old and his two-fold task was finished. He had successfully subdued the land and divided the inheritance. Many years had since passed and realizing that his death was imminent, he summons all Israel to him for his first farewell address. He reminds them that although the nations have been subdued, there still remained some Canaanites in the land. These remaining enemies must be driven out, but only in the way of Israel being courageous and strong and cleaving with all their heart to Jehovah their God. The people are also warned not to mingle with these unbelievers or serve their gods lest the anger of the Lord be kindled against them and they perish quickly from off their good land. How timely this exhortation is for all of us, especially young people. Keep yourself unspotted from the world, seek godly friends and mates, and pray earnestly for strength to fight the good fight of faith. In this way you will experience blessings abundantly, and the church will prosper. Psalter 99:1, 2, 5.

May 2 Read Joshua 24:1-18

This last chapter of the book of Joshua begins with his second farewell address to the people. He again recounts all the history of achievements attained from the perspective of the Lord speaking to them. It was the Lord who gave them the land and victory over the enemy by his mighty power. Then Joshua speaks from his heart and admonishes the people to fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and truth. He charges the people in the well known words of verses 14 and 15, but often misquoted, “choose you this day whom ye will serve”. This choice is not between Jehovah and idols. Rather it is stated that if it seemed evil unto them to serve the Lord, then they were to choose among the various idols of the nations, which would really make no difference because idols are all the same. Joshua makes his commitment by saying, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” The people respond that they too will serve the Lord. Were the people sincere, dear reader, or was this vow taken too lightly? Surely, some were sincere, but we see from subsequent history that not all remembered God and his wonderful works. May God grant that our walk may be always consistent with our confession that he alone may be worshipped and adored by us. Psalter 360:1, 4, 5.

May 3 Read Joshua 24:19-33

When the people respond in the affirmative to Joshua’s exhortation to serve the Lord, he exclaims “ye cannot serve the Lord.” This appears to be a contradiction, but it really points out how impossible it is to serve God properly, for he is so holy, righteous and good that man by nature is incapable of serving him with a perfect heart as he deserves. Only by a heartfelt confession of sins, falling at the foot of the cross, and pleading Christ’s righteousness, can anyone serve him properly. Joshua wrote the words of the people’s assent in the book of the law of God and set up a great stone under an oak tree as a witness between them and God. The book of Joshua closes with his death at the age of one hundred and ten years, and he is described as a “servant of the Lord.” This is a fitting testimony of one whose work is finished and who has entered into his reward. Mention is made that the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua and the elders who outlived him. Let all of us thank God for faithful pastors and office bearers who instruct us, comfort us, and admonish us, and may God keep us faithful to him all the days of our lives. Psalter 55: 1, 2, 3.

February 16 Read Exodus 19:1-6

The Israelites traveled from Rephidim to the wilderness of Sinai, a distance of about one hundred fifty miles and encamped at the foot of the mountain. Moses ascends the mount to receive instructions from God regarding the preparations for receiving the Law of God. The people must realize their relation to God as a peculiar treasure, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation, which was proved by their deliverance from Egypt and having been borne on eagles’ wings. Therefore in the way of hearing his voice and keeping his covenant, the true, elect Israel would experience this blessing, and as priests, would be consecrated to him in loving service. Moses must convey these words to the people. We too, as organically united with Israel of old, are God’s peculiar treasure. This is not due to any merit on our part, but solely on the perfect merits of our High Priest, Jesus Christ, who fully paid for all our sins. Let us, by his grace, consecrate our lives unto him. Psalter 313:1, 2, 4.

February 17 Read Exodus 19:7-9

In response to God’s command, Moses laid before the elders of Israel all the words that God spoke to him on the mount. In essence, these words were “obey my voice and keep my covenant.” The elders in turn informed the people who together answered, “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.” This was a response of faith even though they might not have understood all the implications of their confession. But we know from subsequent history, that this response was not true of the carnal element in Israel. Time and time again they were disobedient and were covenant breakers. Young people, this same word comes to us. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 12:1, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,” and concludes with, “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Psalter 1:1-3.

February 18 Read Exodus 19:10-13

Here we have another aspect of the people’s preparation to receive the Law of God. They must wash their clothes and refrain from all contacts that might defile them in order to be sanctified for this great event. Also they had strict warnings that when they drew near to the mount, they were forbidden to touch it upon penalty of certain death. Israel was about to be placed under the law and had to be mindful of their sinfulness. These ceremonial actions pointed to the fact that they were unworthy of entering into covenant relationship with God. God is holy and just and cannot have communion with unholy sinners. But God in his mercy beheld his covenant seed in their posterity, namely the one who would perfectly satisfy the required justice. Praise God for that perfect mediator, Jesus Christ, who reconciled us to God. We can come freely to the heavenly Mount Zion for he accomplished what the law could never do. Psalter 265:1, 3.

February 19 Read Exodus 19:14-25

An awesome spectacle occurred before the eyes of the Israelites and filled them with fear and terror. The signs of lightning, thunder, earthquakes, smoke, fire, and trumpet’s sound testified to the people that God comes as a consuming fire to the wicked. God again warned the people through Moses to keep their distance from the mount, and in this setting he spoke the words of the law. Hebrews Chapter 12 comments on this event that “so terrible was the sight that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake.” This same passage contrasts mount Sinai with mount Sion. Sinai signifies the grace of God under the law; Sion is grace without the law. Israel and the church of the old dispensation worshipped as it were, afar off. But Christ put an end to the law by his sacrifice. Thanks be to God that by his grace we “are come unto mount Sion and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22). Psalter 207:1, 3, 4.

February 20 Read Exodus 20:1-17

Through the fearsome wonders that were displayed at Sinai, God introduces himself to his people Israel with these words: “I am Jehovah thy God which hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” With these words God reveals his covenant relationship to his people, the church. They are his peculiar treasure and he is their Redeemer who delivers them from sin and death. In this relationship he comes with his law as a schoolmaster to bring them and us unto Christ and to exhort us to keep our part of the covenant, namely to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. We must also see that the prohibitive form of the law points to us as sinners and to our incapability to keep the law outside of Christ and his benefits. As we treat these commandments in following meditations, may we be reminded and encouraged to love the Lord our God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves. Psalter 40:1, 2, 3, 6.

February 21 Read Exodus 20:1-3; Deut. 6:4-15

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” This first commandment is short and precise, but is basic in relation to those which follow. God declares that he is one. He is God alone and there is no God beside him. This commandment is antithetical and to the point, leaving room for only two alternatives: worship God or serve idols. Fallen man serves many idols such as nature, beasts and images of various sorts. In our modern society, money, sports, entertainment and the like are worshipped. But listen, dear reader, and take to heart these words from our Heidelberg Catechism: “That I, as sincerely as I desire the salvation of my own soul, avoid and flee from all idolatry, sorcery, soothsaying, superstition, invocation of saints, or any other creatures; and learn rightly to know the only true God; trust in him alone, with humility and patience submit to him; expect all good things from him only; love, fear, and glorify him with my whole heart: so that I renounce and forsake all creatures, rather than commit even the least thing contrary to his will” (L.D. 34). Psalter 259:1, 3, 4.

February 22 Read Exodus 20:4-6

This second commandment of the Decalogue is closely related to the first. The first commandment refers to idolatry whereas the second of image worship. Because our God is a transcendent God, he is infinitely exalted above the world. He is a Spirit and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. He may never be represented by any figment of man’s imagination. We are told in this commandment that God is a jealous God which means he will not allow the creature to trample his infinite glory under foot by giving glory to something else. The creedal position of our churches regarding this commandment is briefly stated as follows: “That we in no wise represent God by images, nor worship him in any other way than he has commanded in his word” (Heid. Cat. L.D. 35). This is known as the regulative principle of worship, and our services are marked by solemnity and spirituality with active congregational participation. Hold to this biblical principle, young people, and resist any clamor to replace it with innovations and change. Psalter 255:1-3

February 23 Read Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 24:10-16

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” God is a holy God, the standard and implication of all perfection. And because he is holy, his name is likewise holy, different and above all other names. God has revealed himself to us by his names and demands that his name be used only with fear and reverence. Our Heidelberg Catechism teaches us to do just that and also tells that there is no sin more provoking to God than the profaning of his name and therefore he has commanded that this sin be punished with death. Young people, guard your hearts and lips from this sin which is so prevalent in the world around us. Do not be partakers of this sin in others by your silence either. Pray daily to your heavenly Father whose name is hallowed. Approach him through Jesus Christ whose name means Jehovah Salvation and who has been given a name which is above every name. (Phil. 2:9). Psalter 195:2-4.

February 24 Read Exodus 20:8-11

In the deepest sense of the word, the Sabbath is the rest of God. The beginning of the Sabbath occurred after God finished his creation of the heavens and the earth. We read in this commandment that after this creative work was finished, God rested and sanctified the seventh day. We too, as God’s people, are commanded to rest after six days of labor. We must not make the mistake of confusing rest with mere idleness. God is never idle and he has prepared a rest for his people in Christ, a reflection of his own perfect covenant life. We are told in Hebrews Chapter 4 to give diligence to enter into that rest. So we desist from our daily toil and fill that day with spiritual activities. The world as always, perverts this day, and uses it for its own sinful pleasures and purposes. Let us, by God’s grace, count it a privilege to properly observe the Sabbath day in obedience to God’s command as a foretaste of that eternal Sabbath awaiting his people. Psalter 318:1, 3, 4.

February 25 Read Exodus 20:12

The fifth commandment introduces the second table of the law and deals with our relationship to our neighbor. We must love our neighbor in the love of God. The commandment begins with the words: “Honor thy father and thy mother.” To honor them means to acknowledge their parental authority, an authority bestowed upon them by God. It implies that we hearken and obey and love them for God’s sake. And this commandment applies not only to the home, but equally to every relationship of authority in human society as we are instructed in Romans 13. There we are enjoined to be subject to the higher powers since these powers are ordained by God. God, as supreme authority, has vested all right and power in Christ who was the symbol of perfect obedience. He is the sovereign ruler over all things. Let us willingly submit to his rule, and experience true peace and happiness. Psalter 321:1-3.

February 26 Read Exodus 20:13; I John 3:14-16

“Thou shalt not kill” are the words of this sixth commandment. Surely this cannot apply to me, we are quick to respond. We would never take away a person’s life, would we? The answer to that is, most likely not, but the keeping of this commandment involves more than refraining from that violent act. Scripture and our Heidelberg Catechism very plainly teach that sinful hatred against the neighbor, envy, anger, or any desire of revenge is tantamount to murder. Who of us can claim complete innocence in this regard? Only by grace can we even begin to keep this sixth commandment. Only by the power of grace and according to that principle of new obedience in our hearts can we love the neighbor, seek his good and prevent his hurt as much as possible. Then we will also properly care for our bodies, never using substances that would harm or damage them, nor willfully exposing ourselves to danger. May God be pleased to help us keep this commandment. Psalter 369:1-3.

February 27 Read Exodus 20:14; I Thessalonians 4:3-7

In this commandment, God reveals himself as the faithful One who never breaks his covenant with his people. It follows then that his people must be likewise faithful in regard to the marriage bond, the most beautiful reflection of the covenant relation. We realize that our creeds do not directly discuss this aspect of the commandment, but rather stress chastity and purity. We certainly must be warned that faithfulness be upheld in our marriages and that purity be maintained in single life. Who among us can boast that he or she is free from this sin? “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (I Cor. 1:10). Young people, especially, be not unequally yoked with unbelievers. Avoid all situations that would lead you and entice you to sin against your body which is the temple of God. Pray daily as the publican: “God be merciful to me a sinner.” and for faithfulness to keep this commandment. Psalter 140:1-4.

February 28 Read Exodus 20:15; Psalm 50:7-17

The basic premise of this commandment is that we love our neighbor for God’s sake with regard to his earthly possessions. Because God is the creator of the heavens and the earth, he is the absolute proprietor of all things. Man, because of sin takes God’s good gifts and uses them for his own sinful ends, claiming they are his, and can do with them as he pleases. In actuality, unregenerate man is a thief in respect to God and also a thief in relation to his neighbor. God’s people, by virtue of their new birth are called to be Christian stewards of all that God is pleased to give them. These possessions are to be used to his glory and the advantage of the neighbor. This commandment also implies contentment in the way God leads us in respect to our earthly goods, for the cause of contentment lies not in things, but in our hearts. Pray that we may be faithful stewards, loving our neighbor for God’s sake and promoting his advantage to the best of our ability. Psalter 7:1-3.

February 29 Read Exodus 20:16; Psalm 15

The sin that this commandment forbids is that of lying. The positive implication therefore requires us to love the neighbor in his name and speak the truth to him and about him in love for God’s sake. When we tell a lie, we willfully misrepresent the truth. The Heidelberg Catechism rightly calls lying the very work of the devil. That is a serious indictment and one that the child of God must avoid and abhor with all his heart. Backbiting and slander are also condemned. Backbiting is spreading an evil report about the neighbor that is true or partly true, whereas slander is always the lie. Both are to be condemned for whatever the motive may be. We are called by God to promote and defend the good name and character of the neighbor. Who is my neighbor? Anyone whom God places in my path. Loving the neighbor can take many forms, but basically it means seeking his good and salvation even though that may require a loving rebuke at times. May God give us grace to walk in obedience to this command. Psalter 24:1-3.

March 1 Read Exodus 20:17; Romans 7:14-25

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods. To covet means to earnestly desire something. The word “covet” can be used in a good or bad sense, and Scripture often uses the term in both ways. In this concluding commandment of the Decalogue we are told to refrain from desiring selfishly that which rightfully belongs to our neighbor. This commandment deals with our inner life, our thoughts and desires of our hearts. All the other commandments, as to form, point to our lives in the outward sense. No one knows when we covet something wrongfully. But that is a sinful desire and implies that we set our hearts on things of this world; on things that God does not want us to have. The Heidelberg Catechism in L.D. 44 really gets to the deepest meaning when it requires of us “that even the smallest inclination or thought contrary to any of God’s commandments never rise in our hearts.” May the Holy Spirit so work in our hearts that we sincerely desire to keep the law of God. Psalter 336: 1, 2.

March 2 Read Exodus 20:18-26

The giving of the law at Sinai accompanied by awesome signs, instilled in the Israelites such a fear that they trembled and fled away from the mountain. They were beginning to realize what God was demanding of them and how impossible it would be to satisfy these demands of the law. They had heard the voice of God and could not stand in his presence. They felt the need of a mediator and pleaded with Moses saying, “Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” Moses answered with comforting words, “Fear not….” Moses then goes alone to the smoking mount and dark cloud and receives from the Lord all the instructions, commandments, and promises prescribed for their lives. We too need a mediator to stand between God and us. This has been provided in the person of Jesus Christ who made perfect satisfaction for our sins before the tribunal of God. Thanks be to him for his mercy and grace. Psalter 211:1-3.

March 3 Read Exodus 24:1-8

We have a series of events recorded in this passage beginning with the Lord’s command to Moses to ascend the mount with Aaron and his sons plus seventy elders of Israel. All these should worship at a distance from the mount while Moses alone must go up further to draw near to the Lord. Before they actually left, Moses repeats to the people all the words of the Lord in great detail, and the people still awed by earlier revelations respond that they will obey. Moses wrote all the words of the law in the book of the covenant and next built an altar for burnt and peace offerings. He then reads the book of the covenant to the people who again promise obedience and Moses sprinkles the blood of the covenant upon them. We must note the beautiful symbolism of this event. Even though the people promised obedience, that did not make them worthy of God’s favor. Atonement must be made by burnt offering and sprinkling of blood, and Moses as a typical mediator was demonstrating to the people the Gospel of the true and perfect mediator to come. Psalter 144:4-6.

March 4 Read Exodus 24:9-18

After the covenant was ratified by the sprinkling of the blood, Moses and Aaron together with Nadab and Abihu and seventy elders of Israel go part way up the mount. There they ate and drank together in the presence of God. Exactly what kind of vision they beheld we do not know, but this revelation was unlike the fearsome one with dark cloud and fire. Rather it symbolized the blessedness of life in the friendship of God’s covenant of grace. The next episode shows Aaron and the seventy elders back in the camp and Moses and Joshua called to ascend the mount. After six days of waiting and preparation, Moses was called by God out of the midst of the cloud which appeared to Israel like devouring fire on the top of the mount. Moses remained on the mount forty days and forty nights and received two tables of stone upon which were engraved the ten “words” of the law “written with the finger of God.” He also receives instructions for the tabernacle and the designation of two men divinely appointed and equipped for that work. How wondrous are the ways of God, unfathomed and unknown. Psalter 318:1-3.

March 5 Read Exodus 32:1-6

A significant but sorry event occurred in the camp of Israel toward the end of Moses’ forty day stay in the mount. The effects of the awe and fear they experienced earlier had subsided and the carnal element of the nation, who opposed Moses and the holy cause he stood for, roused the people to action. These were the ones who grew up in Egypt, and most likely took part in, or were willing spectators of idol worship with its accompanying sensual pleasures. These men approached Aaron and demanded that he make gods for them. Without Moses to strengthen him, he tells them to furnish the gold needed for this idol, most likely expecting that the price would be more than they would be willing to pay. But the gold appeared, the calf was made, and their so called religious feast turned into an orgy of drunken revelry. We see in the church world today, glimpses of the golden calf in their worship services. How quickly they can be corrupted and turned into entertainment with drums, dance, rock bands, and the like. Let us be vigilant lest Satan and his hosts tempt us to deviate from the proper worship of God. Psalter 6:2, 4, 5.

March 6 Read Exodus 32:7-10

For forty days God communed with Moses on Mt. Sinai and gave him detailed instructions for the erection of the tabernacle. All its furnishings were described in detail as was the duties of the priests, the offerings to be required, and how the Sabbath was to be observed. This tabernacle would be God’s holy dwelling place and it betokened spiritual blessings for Israel and glorious communion with Jehovah their covenant God. Now, with surprising abruptness, the manner of God’s revelation to Moses changed. He said to Moses: “Go get thee down…. for thy people have corrupted themselves.” He further calls them a stiffnecked or stubborn people and threatens to consume them in his hot anger. God is a just God and is stirred to righteous wrath against sin. If it were not for his great mercy, we too would be consumed, but he has punished our sins and the sins of all his elect children in Christ. What a wonderful redemption and what an incentive for us to pray, “Lead me Lord, lead me in thy righteousness.” Psalter 61:1-4.

March 7 Read Exodus 32:11-14

In response to the Lord’s statement that he will destroy the people and make a great multitude of Moses instead, Moses entreats the Lord not to carry this out for the sake of God’s name and the covenant promises he swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Then we read, “And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.” God’s repentance is a difficult concept to understand since two apparently contradictory attitudes of God are depicted in this chapter. Briefly we would state that God’s eternal counsel is unchangeable. With man, repentance means to change one’s mind and reverse one’s purpose. Does God change his mind? To ask this question is to answer it. It was never God’s intention to destroy the nation as a whole at this time, but he speaks to us in human terms. All God’s works are eternal. He loves eternally, hates eternally and repents eternally. Therefore when we read in Scripture of God repenting we must always bear in mind that, which on our part is called repentance, is on the part of God but a means to an end, namely the realization of his eternal purpose. Psalter 137:1-3.

March 8 Read Exodus 32:14-24

After Moses made his intercession to God, he descended from the mount with the two stone tables of the law in his hands accompanied by Joshua. The noise of the people’s revelry reached their ears and Joshua, not being a party to God’s conversation to Moses earlier, imagines that it is a noise of war. Moses, who knew better, exclaims that it was the sounds of singing and feasting. As they come upon the scene of the golden calf and the dancing, Moses was greatly angered. He broke the stone tables, signifying that they broke the covenant, burnt the golden calf, ground it to powder and spread it in their drinking water. He takes Aaron to task for his leading part in this debacle, who in turn offers as a poor excuse that the people are to blame, and that the formation of the golden calf came by accident. Is this typical of you and me and our children, dear reader, to try and excuse our sins by placing the blame elsewhere? It is all too common a reaction when we are accused of a fault. If we are to blame, let us admit it, confess it, and seek forgiveness at the foot of the cross. Psalter 110:1-3.

March 9 Read Exodus 32:25-29

Judgment is about to fall upon Israel. The people persisted in their debauchery and naked dancing even after Moses appeared in their midst. We read in verse 29 that he called upon the people to consecrate themselves to the Lord. Then he stands at a distance from them at the gate of the camp and issues the call, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come unto me.” This call implied that by separating himself from the people, that person was sincere in his resolve to stand for the honor of God’s name and was opposed to the wicked idolaters. The sons of Levi respond to Moses’ call and they are given a severe mission to carry out. God himself demands the death penalty as the only way to get rid of the offense. They go throughout the camp slaying the wicked element who persisted in their evil conduct and about three thousand men fell. People of God, do you also hear the call, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” This comes to us each day. Already in Paradise the Lord put enmity between the church and world and we are called to live antithetical lives in this sinful world. Do so without fear for God is faithful and not one of his children is ever lost. Psalter 128:1-3.

March 10 Read Exodus 32:30-35

A new day dawned after yesterday’s judgment and a somber and subdued people stood before Moses. He tells them that their sin was great and that he will attempt to make atonement for them. Soon Moses stood on the mount once more before the Lord and said, “Oh, this people have sinned a great sin….yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin___;” his words faltered and broke. He couldn’t finish this by saying that from now on the people would abide by God’s law as a basis for forgiveness, for he knew that would not happen. His only other option was, “and if not blot me out of thy book.” This was a touching and beautiful prayer, but this could not be the basis for forgiveness. Moses was a mere man and could not make atonement for the sins of others. God answered him, “Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” Forgiveness could only be possible by a perfect and sinless Mediator who could satisfy all the demands of God’s justice. That came in the person of Jesus Christ and thanks be to God, we too may be assured of our forgiveness in him. Psalter 140:1, 2, 4.

March 11 Read Exodus 33:1-6

The consequences of the golden calf worship soon became evident to the Israelites. The Lord declared that when they depart on their journey to the promised land he would send an angel before them, but he himself would not be in their midst. Further, they are castigated as a stiffnecked people and told to strip themselves of all ornaments as a symbol of mourning and repentance. Sin always has consequences. The nation of Israel as a nation eventually falls away. Their sin of unbelief follows them throughout their history. They die in the desert, serve gods of heathen nations, enter into captivity, and finally crucify the Messiah. Even though the nation is rejected, there is a remnant according to election that is saved. God will not and can not reject his elect covenant seed. This remnant heeded Moses’ words and humbled themselves under God’s chastening. When we ourselves are chastened, we humbly submit in repentance for we know from Hebrews 12:6 that, “whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth,” but, “afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11). Psalter 12:1, 2, 4.

March 12 Read Exodus 33:7-11

At the same time that the people were humbled and stripped of their ornaments, Moses removed the tabernacle, or tent of meeting (for the final tabernacle was not made as yet) afar off from the camp. This action was in accord with the word of the Lord that he would not go up in the midst of the people. The people were most attentive to this event and watched closely from their tent doors when Moses entered the tabernacle and the cloudy pillar descended upon it. This further motivated the people to repentance, for we read that they worshipped at their tent doors. But Moses and the people are far from being at ease for as yet no assurance had been given that their great sin was pardoned. Had not he said that he would consume them? Yet, they had a ray of hope when the cloudy pillar descends and the Lord talks face to face with Moses. We also read, “that everyone that sought the Lord went out unto the tabernacle. To seek the Lord means that we fall prostrate at his feet, confess our sins, and make supplication for forgiveness. The same Spirit that worked repentance in the hearts of the penitent Israelites works in our hearts as well. Thanks be to God for his abundant mercy. Psalter 72:1, 2, 4.

March 13 Read Exodus 33:12-17

Moses still has no rest. He is called to lead this multitude on their way, but must first have the assurance that God will go up with them. He pleads on the basis that because he has found grace in the eyes of the Lord that the Lord will also be gracious to Israel and lead them on their way with his favor. If God would not go with them, how could they ever be brought to the blessings of the promised land? God answered and said, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” What a blessed promise this was to Moses and what a precious promise this is to us as churches and individuals today. We too are pilgrims and strangers on the earth making our journey through the wilderness of this world seeking a better country. So readily we cling to the things of this world with temptations facing us on every side. We cannot make this journey alone. Let us earnestly pray that God’s presence and favor accompany us until we reach that promised land. Psalter 323:1, 2, 4.

March 14 Read Exodus 33:18-23

Encouraged by the assurance of God’s presence to guide the nation, Moses found the boldness to pray, “shew me thy glory.” The Lord answers that he will indeed reveal his goodness manifested in his grace and mercy. But his face will not be seen. No man on this earth with his sinful and corrupt nature can possibly behold the face of God which is infinitely glorious. That must wait until we enter heaven with new and changed natures. Then we will behold the face of God in the glorified Christ. Now we only have an indirect revelation of God’s glory as his face looks away from us, but its radiation is seen as it were, from behind. And when God states that he will show mercy on whom he will and be gracious to whom he will, he proclaims his absolute sovereignty. His goodness is always particular and this is a great comfort for you and me and the church of all ages. “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Rom. 9:16). Psalter 378:1-3.

March 15 Read Exodus 34:1-3

The first two tables of stone on which were written the law of the covenant were broken to pieces by Moses as he descended Mount Sinai and beheld the terrible sins of the multitude. Now, after the intercession by Moses, God instructs him to hew two tables of stone to replace the original ones and to come up alone into the presence of the Lord at the top of the mount. And as before, no one might be seen near the mount including their flocks and herds. This was a very comforting and reassuring sign to Moses that the Lord would heal the breach and again maintain his covenant with his people. We see in this how God is longsuffering with his people and for the sake of his elect remnant will never leave them nor forsake them. But for those who harden themselves in the way of sin, God will visit those sins even unto the third and fourth generation of their reprobate seed. May we with humility and reverence worship the Lord and cling by faith to his covenant promises. Psalter 398:1-3.

March 16 Read Exodus 34:4-10

Moses stood on the top of the mountain and the Lord descended in a cloud. Hiding Moses in the cleft of the rock, the Lord passed by, covering Moses’ eyes and proclaimed the name of the Lord. It was a significant and awe-inspiring event. The name given was The LORD, The LORD God, which emphasized his might and glory. It also revealed that his grace and mercy was eternally sure. He will keep that mercy for thousands by forgiving iniquity, but by no means clearing the guilty. Is not this a paradox? All men are guilty. However, there is perfect harmony between God’s justice and his righteousness. God’s elect are justified by the removal of their guilt through the atonement of Christ. God is a consuming fire to the wicked and their sins are visited in their generations. In response to this revelation Moses worshipped and acknowledged that the Israelites were a stiffnecked people. He asked God to pardon them and go with them and take them for his inheritance. People of God, let this same prayer arise from our hearts as we travel on our pilgrimage here below. Psalter 415:1, 2, 6.

March 17 Read Exodus 34:29-35

A phenomenon occurred while Moses spent forty days on the top of the mount. A reflection of the Lord’s beauty on Moses’ face caused it to shine. He descended the mount with the two tables of the law in his hands and immediately Aaron and the people observed that his face shown so brightly that they were afraid to come near him. Moses was unaware of this until he perceived their reaction and as a result had to cover his face with a veil when he spoke with them. This brightness could be nothing else than the glory of God as revealed in Christ. The reaction of the people was fear. They saw nothing but the law which condemned them. They could not fully behold Christ who is the end of the law. But now Christ has come, the law is fulfilled and the glory remains. That glory we behold in the scriptures. We read in II Cor. 3:18, “But we all with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Let us then not cover our faces or close the scriptures, but read them diligently for they are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16). Psalter 41:1, 2, 4.

February 5 Read Daniel 3:13-18

Nebuchadnezzar, king of heathen Babylon and symbol of the power of this world issued an edict “Worship my golden image.” Three young Jewish lads, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were faced with the choice to worship this image or be cast into a fiery furnace. Did they attempt to compromise a bit or look for some way to escape this horrible dilemma? Not at all, but stated “We are not careful to answer thee in this matter.” They did not waver nor were they fatalists, but in childlike faith placed their trust in God even though it could mean physical death for them. We know that in this case God miraculously delivered them. Perhaps we will never be faced with such a severe test, but Satan is always tempting us to deny our faith. Whether these trials are small or large, we must pray for grace to be steadfast as were the three young men who stood before the king. May we, by God’s grace, pray for strength to resist the world and fight the good fight of faith. Sing Psalter 346:1, 2.

February 6 Read Habakkuk 3:14-19

We have here a wonderful confession of joy by the prophet Habakkuk at a time of impending trouble and destruction. In chapter one we read of the cruel Chaldeans whom the Lord would send against Judah because of their sins. Even though the prophet trembled at this prospect, yet he could “rest in the day of trouble.” Then he exclaimed that though the entire land should become utterly desolate, yet he would rejoice in the God of his salvation. And not only would he submit, but bear it willingly and even leap for joy. What a lesson for us. It takes faith to utter these words, not an attitude of Stoicism in which one is unmoved by joy or grief, but a living faith wrought by God the object of our faith and author of our salvation. We may encounter bitter disappointments or suffer great loss, yet in all trials we must look at the present in the light of the future and praise God for his marvelous grace. Sing Psalter 20:1-3.

February 7 Read Malachi 3:16-18

The voice of revelation was silent for a period of four hundred years after these words of Malachi were written. At that time the exiles had returned from captivity, Jerusalem and the temple were restored, and a form of worship was restored. However, this formal worship was polluted. The priests profaned the holiness of God; the Sadducees, who denied the angel world and the resurrection, were in power as were the Pharisees, a proud, self-righteous sect who preached righteousness by the works of the law. In the midst of this was a remnant of true believers whom God reserved to himself. These sought each other’s company and spoke to each other of the Lord Whom they loved. God heard them and remembered them in his book. Our situation is not so different today. Can those comforting words be said about us? Parents, do you love to speak about God with your fellow saints and set good examples for your children? Young people do you count it a privilege to attend societies so you may mutually edify each other? The Lord listens to those who fear him and counts them as his jewels. Sing Psalter 309:1-4.

February 8 Read Matthew 6:24-34

The central thought in this passage is an exhortation to seek first the kingdom of God, thereby making this a priority in our lives. We are citizens of that heavenly kingdom whose ruler is God through Christ. That means that each of us must desire to serve its God, obey its laws and to seek it as the fundamental principle of our lives. We seek it, children, when we walk in obedience. We seek it, young people, when we keep ourselves pure and when we search for a godly life mate. We seek it, adults, when we sacrifice all for it, when we love the truth and are willing to be despised for God’s sake. Can we seek this kingdom in and of ourselves? No, it is the work of God in regeneration, giving us the new life of the kingdom in our hearts. In the way of putting that kingdom first in all of our thoughts, words and deeds, God promises that our earthly needs will be supplied. Let us thank, love and serve this sovereign and providential King. Sing Psalter 49:1-3.

February 9 Read Mark 9:17-27

We read here about doubt and trust, unbelief and belief. The distraught father of the demon possessed son sought Jesus’ help after his disciples could not cast out the evil spirit. He said to Jesus, “If thou canst… .” Jesus then answered, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible.” In effect, Jesus forces him to look into his heart and examine his faith. By grace he then exclaims through tears of repentance, “I (do) believe; help thou my unbelief.” What about your assurance of faith, dear reader? Do you sometimes doubt God’s work of grace in your heart? We are not always living on the mountain top of faith, but when you sink into the valleys, hear God’s word telling you, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” Phil. 1:6. Then we can also echo this confession, “Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” Sing Psalter 185:1-3.

February 10 Read John 6:58-69

After Jesus fed a great multitude with bread, he departed from them by ship across the Sea of Galilee, for this people were intent on making him their king. They would have a king that could deliver them from their enemies and fill them with food. When they found him on the morrow, Jesus rebuked them and proclaimed that he was the bread of life which came down from heaven. This kind of king and this kind of bread they despised and soon all left him. Jesus turned to his disciples and said “Will ye also go away?” How true this is yet today. People want a social gospel, one that exalts man. They do not want a righteous and holy God Who loves truth and justice. They do not want to hear about sin and depravity, particular grace and judgment to come. By God’s undeserved grace we can humbly answer Jesus’ question and say, “Lord to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” People of God, may we indeed count it a privilege to feed on that Word from week to week. Sing Psalter 333.

February 11 Read Acts 5:17-29

There are many passages in Scripture that command us to be subject to the civil magistrates for they are powers ordained of God. As a rule, most of their laws are reasonable and the child of God has no problem to obey them. The only time we may and must refuse to obey is when we are commanded to do something contrary to God’s Word. Peter and the apostles, in obedience to Christ’s command to be his witnesses, publicly proclaimed his gospel. They were imprisoned and beaten as a result. Perhaps we may not be faced with such severe demands, but our calling is the same nevertheless. Will we refuse to work on Sunday or refuse to join a godless labor union even if it costs us our jobs? These are two examples, but let them serve to guide us in this important principle. May we heed the words of Christ in Luke 16:10 “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much .” Sing Psalter 161:1-3

February 12 Read Romans 8:24-28

We have a most blessed confession in verse 28: “We know that all things work together for good…” This is an amazing statement which only the child of God can possible make. All things! Can you imagine that? Not just the things that we would call pleasant, but also the trials, the heartaches, sicknesses, loss of material possessions, and even death itself. How can that be? The answer is that it is good to those who love God. And who are those who love God? They are those whom God loves, for we read in I John 4:19, “We love him because he first loved us .” All things that happen to us are sovereignly appointed in love for our salvation, and in that confidence we can declare, “For we know.” Then face today, tomorrow, and all the rest of our days which God is pleased to give us in that blessed assurance. Sing Psalter 191:1, 6, 7.

February 13 Read II Cor. 6:14-18

God saw fit to place his church in the world surrounded by unbelievers. He created enmity between the children of God and the children of the world at the very beginning of the human race. In all events of history, God leads his church unto salvation, and uses the world of unbelief in spite of themselves to accomplish this purpose. The world is the tares among the wheat and the scaffolding in the building of his temple. As God’s children, young and old alike, we are called to live in the world but not to be a part of that world. Our passage today tells us that we must not enter into their activities or have close fellowship with them. This is especially true for you, young people. Even though higher education or job seeking puts you in contact with that world, remember your holy calling is to not compromise your principles. Especially as you seek friends and your life’s mate, pray for guidance that you may truly agree in faith, hope and doctrine. Sing Psalter 328:1, 2, 4.

February 14 Read Eph. 6:10-17

You have many different names as members of God’s church in the world. Some examples are sheep, branches, living stones, and we could name many others. Today we fit the description of soldiers, called to put on the whole armour of God. Five parts of this armour are for defense and one for offense. The Roman soldier at the time in which this epistle was written was well equipped to repel the arrows and swords of the enemy. Today we are called to put on the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith and helmet of salvation as a sure defense against the attacks of Satan. This is spiritual armour, most necessary to overcome our spiritual enemies. The weapon of offense is the sword of the Spirit, namely the Word of God. Feast on that Word today as you hear it proclaimed, and by faith put on the entire armour so that you may be a well equipped soldier in the army of God. Sing Psalter 352:1-4.

February 15 Read III John 1-4

The last verse of our passage today can be echoed with great fervor by many people, but especially pastors, elders and parents. To hear that their children walk in the truth is indeed a cause for rejoicing. What is truth? Truth is a virtue of God; it belongs to his eternal unchangeableness. Truth is revealed in Scripture and there is no truth apart from Holy Scripture. When children walk in the truth, they walk in obedience to that Word and that brings joy. When the spiritual children of the pastor and elders walk in the truth, there is harmony and growth in knowledge and faith. When parents see their children walk in truth, then love, peace, and covenant fellowship abounds. On the contrary, when children or young people do not walk in truth, but rather in rebellion and disobedience, great sorrow is the result. Pastors and elders labor then in heaviness and sorrow, and parents with grief and tears. Children and young people, pray for grace to walk in the truth and you will reap rich harvests of joy. Sing Psalter 213:1-3.

February 16

“The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him; But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob, from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel” (Genesis 49:23, 24). We have in these verses a metaphor that pictures a lonely bowman surrounded by fierce enemies who hate him and aim their arrows at his very heart. These words, uttered by Jacob as he lay a-dying, were directed at Joseph. We all know the history of Joseph when his cruel brothers sold him as a slave, and the resultant unjust persecution he had to endure. We can compare this picture with the nation of Israel when we follow their history. And think of Jesus Christ himself who was reviled, forsaken by all and even put to death. And how true is this today of the church and its members. But all through history, and even now, the battle is not ours, but the Lord’s. The stone of Israel by his mighty hands will give his people the power to fight the warfare of faith with victory assured. All praise to the Captain of our salvation. Psalter 207.

February 17

“The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1). We do not know for certain what the occasion was or the circumstances of David when he composed this psalm, but we know he had many enemies and faced many dangers. Our lives may be relatively calm in comparison but these words are timely to take upon our own lips every day. Even as David expresses confidence in the God of his salvation as his only hope, so we also must realize that our strength is really nothing compared to our enemies that assail us. The world hates us and seeks our ruin; the devil strives to undermine our assurance of salvation, and our own flesh faints with fear and weakness. Though the night may be dark, God is our light. Though the evil that threatens us may be great, God is our salvation. Though our enemies may be numerous and strong, they shall stumble and fall for God is our strength. Take courage, people of God, and go forward without fear, for the victory is certain through faith. Psalter 163.

February 18

“Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:4). What a welcome prospect is a time of rest after many hours of toil and labor. This of course is a picture, however imperfect, of the rest of which our text is speaking. We read inGenesis 2:2 that God “rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” Adam, the first man, was called to labor that he might enter into God’s rest, but he failed through unbelief. God as a Shepherd throughout history led his people eventually into Canaan, which was a symbol of the heavenly rest. But this rest was not final. There is a blessed and eternal rest for the people of God, a heavenly and glorious City. We are called to enter into that rest. Oh, the realization of that rest cannot possibly depend on our labor, but only on the amazing work of our Savior, the true Rest-giver, who suffered and died for us. Nevertheless, we are admonished to labor for that rest. This means that all things that we do must be subservient to the heavenly. We cannot love the things above and the things of this world at the same time. By grace we willingly sacrifice all things for the attainment of that final rest. In that glorious rest we shall enjoy pleasures forevermore. Psalter 363.

February 19

“Come behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” (Psalm 46:8, 10, 11). Who among us has not seen the desolations that God has recently brought in the earth? Most of us have not seen these personally, but surely through the means of television and newspaper, we can behold it before our very eyes. Who can forget the destruction, loss of life, and utter hopelessness caused by a tsunami, earthquakes and hurricanes? Beside all that, wars continue to rage in various places. Shall we echo the world’s sentiment that surely a loving God would never cause all this? Shall we join in their foolish reasoning that Mother Nature is very capricious? On the contrary, we see that God speaks in judgment and we are very still. God will be exalted despite the raised fists in rebellion against him. The Lord of hosts is very powerful. He is powerful to cause utter destruction by a single word. He is also powerful to be our refuge unto all eternity. Let us humble ourselves, before his majesty, and exalt his Holy name. Psalter 124.

February 20

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour” (Ephesians 5:1, 2). This word of God addresses us with an admonition to be followers of God that is demonstrated by a godly walk. A person’s walk is his way of life and it soon becomes apparent whom they follow or imitate. Many people follow the popular idols of this world as worthy examples to emulate, but that way leads to destruction. Dear reader, let us not be followers of the devil and his allurements, but rather follow the pattern of God himself. Then by his enabling grace we walk in love to him and our neighbor, which is the bond of perfectness, because Christ has first loved us and because he loved us, he gave himself for us on the cross, a perfect and sweet smelling sacrifice to God. To be followers of God often means we will be despised and ridiculed by the world. But even then we must walk in love and pray for them that despitefully use us. In that way we are imitators of God and blessed by him. Psalter 20.

February 21

“There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:26, 27 a). What a beautiful picture of love and security is given in the face of fearful anxiety and danger. Picture for example a little child who is hurting or is afraid. What does he do? He runs to the arms of his father and feels safe in his loving embrace. So it is for us who are the Jeshurun that God loves. Individually, and as the little flock, the church, we have many enemies that assail and threaten us. But listen! There is none like our God who rides upon the heavens above and bears us up from underneath. Although everything around us is temporary and unstable, yet those everlasting arms hold us tightly and cause us to persevere unto the end. What a glorious God and Savior is this God of Jeshurun! Psalter 126.

February 22

“The hope of the righteous shall be gladness, but the expectation of the wicked shall perish” (Proverbs 10:28). As is so common in the book of Proverbs, the antithesis is set forth in this verse and presents a contrast between the righteous and the wicked. The righteous have hope and that hope is gladness. We may define hope as faith reaching out into the future, as assurance and longing. They even have that gladness now although they may suffer for the cause of God’s kingdom. The wicked on the other hand has his expectations, but they are expectations based on everything worldly. They seek the pleasures, fame, and riches of this life, but scorn the law of God and despise his precepts. All these things that they seek after will perish, and therefore their expectation must also perish in outer darkness. Not so with the righteous, who long for God’s fellowship now and who by his grace claim the righteousness of Christ as their only hope and salvation. That hope will never be put to shame. That hope is gladness and joy unspeakable realized unto all eternity. Psalter 363.

February 23

“Then he said unto them, O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27). The travelers to Emmaus, who were saddened in their souls by the events of the past few days, were unexpectedly met by a perfect stranger. In response to his question, they had unburdened their hearts. Their anguish concerned the death of the One whom they trusted to be the redeemer of Israel. Jesus answered by addressing them, “O fools and slow of heart.” They were touched but not offended as Jesus reveals to them the only way possible how that the Christ could not attain the promised glory any other way than the Scripture revealed way of suffering and death. What a wonderful sermon Jesus expounded to them. Their eyes were opened, their hearts burned and they understood. People of God, we are privileged to hear similar sermons every Lord’s day how that the Christ ought to have suffered, died, and rose again. The Old and the New Testaments agree with perfect unity regarding the plan of salvation. Believe this gospel with all your heart, and by grace cling to this Christ who brought us salvation. Psalter 58.

February 24

“For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11 b). Have you learned this lesson, dear reader? That lesson is to be content no matter what your circumstances are in life. The grace of contentment is a wonderful and blessed state. By nature we tend to be discontented. It is so easy to become dissatisfied with various aspects of our lives. Perhaps you wish you could afford nicer clothes or a bigger house; maybe a better job or a prettier or more handsome face. And the list goes on and on. When the apostle Paul wrote these words he was in prison, nevertheless he was content. This is because contentment is a matter of the heart. It is a spiritual ability to conform our inner state to our outward conditions. Paul had to learn this when he prayed that God would remove the thorn in his flesh. The answer was, “My grace is sufficient for thee .” This is something we must learn also. We learn it by prayer and fellowship with God. When God is for us, nothing can be against us, for he beholds us in Christ and all things are ours for his sake. Psalter 100.

February 25

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24). The disciples had just heard a wonderful confession by Peter that Jesus was indeed the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus then revealed to them the path of suffering and death that awaited him, to which Peter said, “Be it far from thee Lord.” Jesus rebuked him and then gave his disciples the threefold requirement for his followers. These requirements certainly conflicted with their illusions about Jesus. Instead of earthly glory and fame, one must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Jesus. To deny oneself means to be willing to become nothing and to lose everything for the sake of Christ. To take up one’s cross means that you bear the hated of the world even as it revealed itself in its ultimate expression of hatred when they nailed the Savior to his cross. And as you bear that cross, you follow the leading of the Lord, submissively and willingly, renouncing your own will. To walk this way takes grace. Pray for that grace to persevere in following Christ, and the reward, also of grace, is great beyond comprehension. Psalter 81.

February 26

“O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise” (Psalm 51:15). You will notice that this is a very personal prayer. The psalmist in the preceding verses had poured out his heart in deep confession and contrition for his terrible sins. Following the assurance of forgiveness, he asks God to open his lips in order to utter words of praise. This is a prayer that each of us personally must take on our own lips. But in order to do this, we must realize the implications of such a prayer. We read in Matthew 12:34, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” And so when we pray that our lips may be opened, we of necessity include that our hearts may be opened and cleansed by grace. Only then can we break forth in praise to God. He only is worthy of praise for he is the very essence of goodness. He is righteousness, holiness, truth, Creator and Redeemer. And these are only a few of his glorious virtues. Let us show forth his praises with open lips in word and song, and may our entire lives testify of his grace and goodness. Psalter 141.

February 27

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Dear reader, as you hear the word of God preached to you, do you realize what you are experiencing? That word is described as quick and powerful. This means it is a living and mightily active word and not only that, but it is sharper than a two-edged sword. Any soldier going into battle will make certain that his sword is extremely sharp for his life may depend upon it. A sharp blade will easily penetrate a person’s body. But the word of God is sharper than that sword for it penetrates into your deepest existence, your thoughts, aspirations, motives, and into your heart itself. It judges those thoughts and intents of the heart. It exposes us as we truly are. That word condemns us when it finds sin and hatred within. But it also reproves, and is a savor of life unto life to those in Christ from all eternity. Pray that that word may enter your heart as seed upon well-prepared soil and bring forth fruits of thankfulness and holiness. Psalter 334.

February 28

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession” (Hebrews 4:14). We are called to do two things in this passage, namely, to see and to hold fast. The epistle to the Hebrews was designed to set before the Jews the claims of Christianity. No more were the animal sacrifices by an earthly priest required, for the great High Priest, Jesus Christ, offered up himself once for all and has passed into the heavens. The Hebrew believers were instructed that the types and shadows of the old dispensation had passed away and now they must see with eyes of faith that this great High Priest is exalted in glory. He is the author of their salvation. He is their Savior and Lord. This is our calling too as church of the new dispensation. We either profess Christ or we deny him. Let us hold fast therefore, by grace, to our Lord who as our High Priest, has sacrificed himself for us, makes continual intercession for us and who will one day come again to take us unto himself. Psalter 303.

March 1

“Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh” (Ecclesiastes 11:9, 10 a). You will notice that Scripture addresses covenant youth in the masculine form, but the young women are included as well. One is not necessarily more spiritual than the other, nor more sinful. The very nature of young people is to be active. The young man has energy and stamina and the young woman is at the peak of her beauty. They are called to rejoice and walk in the ways of their heart and in the sight of their eyes. Young people, this certainly does not mean that you may do as you please, ignoring the fifth commandment and conducting yourselves according to your sinful natures and desires. There is a holy God who will bring you into judgment for those things. You are called to walk according to your regenerated heart and spiritually enlightened eyes by putting away all sorts of evil. Pray earnestly for grace to walk in a holy manner before God to whom you are accountable. Psalter 385.

March 2

“Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults” (Psalm 19:12). The psalmist has exclaimed in the earlier verses of this psalm that the law of the Lord is perfect. His statutes are right and his judgments are true and righteous. In the keeping of them is great reward. Then he looks at himself inwardly as he examines the depths of his heart and realizes that often he has sinned unknowingly, not realizing at the time that what happened was indeed sinful. This type of sin is not only peculiar to the psalmist but to each of us as well. Perhaps because of a lack of spiritual discernment, we have sinned unknowingly and inadvertently, but they were sins nevertheless. We are called to discern our inmost thoughts and look at ourselves in the perfect light of God’s law. We discover that we are guilty of secret faults. What must we do? By grace turn to God for understanding of these errors and pray for cleansing and forgiveness based on the redemptive work of Christ our Savior. Psalter 40.

March 3

“Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright and I shall be innocent from the great transgression” (Psalm 19:13). The psalmist has just prayed for understanding and cleansing from his secret sins. Now he asks to be kept back from presumptuous sins. What does this word mean? In this instance it refers to willful and deliberate sins. This is a great evil in the sight of God. Who among us can say that he is not guilty of this type of sin? There are times when we succumb to the lure of the devil, the world, or our own sinful flesh, and sin deliberately even though our conscience accuses us of wrongdoing. We must earnestly pray for deliverance from these sins that they may not have control over us. A similar motivation for deliverance is found in Psalm 119:133, “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” Every step of our lives must be directed by the speech of God. Listen to that speech of God in the Scriptures. Study them, live in constant contact with them, carry them in your heart and be assured of forgiveness and pardon in the way of repentance. Psalter 38.

January 5 Read Exodus 10:1-6

The fearful plague of thunderings and hail had ceased, and once again we read that Pharaoh hardened his heart. This was sovereignly ordained by God, for he instructed Moses to go again to Pharaoh in order to reveal to him and all people the power of God. Moses then describes the impending plague of locusts. God further commands Moses to tell his children and his children’s children the mighty works of God that they might know that he is the Lord. This is our holy calling as well. Do our children realize how great a God we serve? In the measure that we as parents, or teachers, or any other capacity, respect and hold the name of God in reverential fear, so will our children and pupils. What a great blessing for us that our God is a covenant God and what a privilege as well as a solemn responsibility it is to bring forth children and instruct them in the way of the Lord. Psalter 213:1-3.

January 6 Read Exodus 10:7-11

The servants of Pharaoh who were well aware of all that was transpiring in the land, finally advised their king in carefully chosen words to let the men go and serve the Lord their God. They realized that their country was almost in ruins. Pharaoh asked Moses who would go, and Moses, aware of Pharaoh’s deceptions, replied that every soul plus their flocks and herds would go. That answer was not acceptable to Pharaoh and in anger he drove Moses and Aaron from his presence. Even as Moses insisted that every member of every family must be included in the worship of Jehovah, so must we with our families, from the youngest to the oldest attend divine worship. As soon as little children can sit reasonably still, they must be under the official preaching of the Word. The Spirit can and does speak also to their little hearts. We must have none of “children’s church” in place of the preaching of the gospel. As we worship today, thank God that there are no Pharaohs to prevent us from worshiping him as he commands us, and count it a privilege to live in a land that yet allows us the freedom of worship. Psalter 349:1-3.

January 7 Read Exodus 10:12-20

Moses left the courts of Pharaoh and in obedience to God’s command, stretched out his rod over the land of Egypt to bring about the eighth plague, namely hordes of locusts. It was such an incredible host, that one could look out and see nothing but locusts devouring every bit of grass, leaves and vegetation. Under this mighty demonstration of God’s power, Pharaoh hastily calls for Moses and Aaron to exclaim that he has sinned and prays that his sin be forgiven this once. We see here another instance of the wicked calling upon God, not in repentance for all his sins, but for immediate relief from the awful locusts. In Proverbs 28:9 we read, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” How about your prayers, dear reader? Young people, do you make time for personal prayers? Not a hasty, almost memorized prayer, but sincere confession of all sins, and especially specific sins to which you are prone. There is forgiveness at the foot of the cross, for God beholds his people in Christ and imputes to them his righteousness. Pray, people of God, with a sincere heart for “the prayer of the upright is his delight.” Proverbs 15:8(b), Psalter 31:1-3.

January 8 Read Exodus 10:21-23

The Lord isn’t finished with Pharaoh and his host as yet. He will show his awesome power and judgment against this proud ruler by sovereignly hardening his heart even though Pharaoh willfully and deliberately shakes his fist, as it were, in the face of the Almighty. The ninth plague is inflicted upon the land of Egypt. A darkness settled on the land, so black, so thick, and so dense that it could be felt. No light could pierce it, and it brought to a standstill all movement for three days. It had to speak powerfully to the Egyptians who considered the sun to be a god. This darkness pictured to Pharaoh that his cup of iniquity was full and spoke of the judgment to come in that place of outer darkness. These three days of darkness and the three hours of darkness at Christ’s crucifixion spoke of God’s holy wrath against the wicked. What about you and I dear reader? Can we boast that we are not like these people? We deserve no less than they for we read in Eph. 2:3, “(we) were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” How humbling, but listen further in that same passage: “But God who is rich in mercy…hath quickened us together in Christ.” That’s the gospel, that’s our only hope and comfort. “For by grace are ye saved through faith.” Pray that God will strengthen our faith that we may walk as children of the light. Psalter 71:1, 2, 5.

January 9 Read Exodus 10:24-29

The darkness was lifted from Egypt and Pharaoh summons Moses into his presence once more. The terror of that sea of blackness had subsided and so he makes one more attempt to bargain with the Almighty. He agreed to let the people go, including their little ones, but insisted that the flocks and herds be left behind. In his stubborn rebellion he seeks to retain their herds as hostages to insure the peoples’ return. When Moses adamantly maintains that not even a hoof be left behind, Pharaoh in great fury tells him to leave and threatens to slay him if he returns. This should not surprise us, for from the beginning of time, the church has faced persecution and death from the world. Moses was not frightened by the king’s threat, and neither should we be if facing a similar threat, for God is on our side. Most of us live in an environment in which our lives are not threatened because of our faith, but beware lest we become complacent. Satan works diligently in many subtle ways to destroy the church. Our comfort and assurance is that the God who hardened Pharaoh’s heart to deliver his people, and to show his almighty power, is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and he will be our Guide even unto death. Psalter 203:1, 2, 5.

January 10 Read Exodus 11:1-10

The first three verses of this chapter must be considered parenthetical and could better read, “Now the Lord had said to Moses….” Pharaoh is told that the final plague to descend upon Egypt would be the death of every firstborn in the land and describes the great outcry of sorrow coming from every home. In contrast to this, he states that not even a dog would dare to make a sound against the Israelites. He further predicts that Pharaoh and his servants will not only permit the people to go, but will actually bow down to Moses and thrust the Israelites out of Egypt. He then leaves Pharaoh’s presence in great anger. None of this has any effect on the king. He is determined to go in his wicked way and refuses to obey God. But God is on the throne and controls every step of this process in order to show his power and judgment upon the wicked and his mercy to Israel, his firstborn son. What a privilege is ours to serve him. Let us resolve to honor him today by walking in thankful obedience. Psalter 207:1-4.

January 11 Read Exodus 12:1-10

The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron to give specific instructions for their impending departure from Egypt after the last manifestation of his power and wrath would be poured out upon that land. This departure was an event of such importance that even the month in which they were to leave would be the beginning of months on their religious calendar. A lamb with no defects must be selected on the tenth day, kept apart until the fourteenth day, and then be killed with its blood sprinkled on the lintel and side posts of their doors. The lamb must be roasted with fire and eaten in haste with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. All this had significance for the children of Israel as we shall see later in the chapter. These instructions were divinely given by a holy and sovereign God, who rightly demands that we obey him and worship him as he commands. As churches, we are committed to the “regulative principle” of worship. Only those elements of worship are permitted that are prescribed by Scripture. Nothing else may be introduced as part of the worship. Young people and children who will be taking your place in the church, hold fast to this principle, cherish it with all your heart, for only then will God be pleased to bless us. Psalter 222:1, 2, 7.

January 12 Read Exodus 12:11-20

Here we have the institution of the Passover. It was first of all a sacrifice, pointing to the fact that the people of Israel were in themselves no better than the Egyptians. They must be covered by the blood of the lamb to satisfy God’s justice. The Passover lamb in itself could not do this, but only as it pointed to Christ the true Lamb of God. The Passover was also a meal. They had to have sustenance for the journey that would be undertaken, but it was more than that. As his covenant people, they partook of Christ and had fellowship with him. The bitter herbs reminded them of their bondage, while the unleavened bread signified the purging out of the old leaven of sin and their becoming a holy people unto the Lord. This was all typical, of course. The reality is the church redeemed through the sacrifice of the true Lamb of God on Calvary’s cross. Read the description of the church in L.D. 21, Q.A. 21 of the Heidelberg Catechism and thankfully say from the heart “that I am and forever shall remain a living member thereof.” Psalter 374:1, 3, 5.

January 13 Read Exodus 12:21-28

In obedience to God’s command, Moses called the elders of Israel together and related to them all that God spoke to him regarding the Passover preparations and their coming deliverance. They in turn must inform the congregation. He spelled out exactly what they must do and surely explained the great significance of all these instructions. Each thing had its typical and deeper meaning, with the lamb as the central theme. It had to be perfect; its blood must be shed and sprinkled on the lintel and side posts of the door; not a bone could be broken; the people must eat it, and none must remain to be defiled. Space will not suffice to reveal all that this momentous occasion signified, but God in his great mercy showed that the only way that an unworthy people could possibly be redeemed was through the covering of the blood. When the destroyer saw the blood he would pass over that house. What was the people’s reaction when they heard this? We read that they “bowed the head and worshipped”. Today we will hear that same gospel of the Lamb who was slain for his beloved church. Shall we not also bow our heads and worship with unspeakable gratitude for so great a salvation? Psalter 269:1-4.

January 14 Read Exodus 12:29-36

It was midnight on the Lord’s clock and the tenth and last plague was visited upon the Egyptians. Every firstborn in the land from the palace to the prison was struck with death, with no family excluded, plus the firstborn of their cattle. Gone was the wicked pride and rebellion of King Pharaoh. His spirit for the first time is broken, and although his mind is as dark as ever, he is forced to acknowledge that Jehovah is God. He calls for Moses and Aaron yet that night and tells them to leave the country along with the Israelites, their children and their herds. The Egyptians likewise urged the people to depart, and true to the word of the Lord to Moses at the burning bush, they willingly gave jewelry and clothing to the Israelites plus anything else for which they asked. There are many references throughout Scripture of Israel being called out of Egypt and is rich with typology. Even as the nation of Israel, whom God called his firstborn Son (Ex. 4:22) is called out of bondage and sin, so God’s firstborn Son, Jesus Christ, is also called out of Egypt (Matt. 2:15) and must die to satisfy the justice of God and redeem his church. Is that firstborn Son your Savior and Lord, dear reader? Then pray for grace to leave the Egypt of this world and consecrate your life to his service. Psalter 289:1, 14, 15.

January 15 Read Exodus 12:37-42

What a memorable night that was when this huge multitude of people began their exodus from the land of Egypt. No more lashes from the overseer’s whips and no more servitude in bondage. It is estimated that some two million souls laden with spoil from the Egyptians, plus much cattle began this journey. We read that the sojourning of the children of Israel who dwelt in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. Now they leave in haste which meant that they could only take unleavened bread for their journey. Much significance is given to this exodus as a wonderwork of the Lord and the people are instructed to observe this great deliverance throughout their generations. Every step of the way the Lord reminded the Israelites of his glorious redemption by signs and wonders. He also reminds the church today of that same redemption through the finished work of Christ Jesus. We are reminded of it through partaking of the Lord’s Supper and through the preaching of the Word. Treasure it, people of God, young and old and instruct your children accordingly. Psalter 191:5, 6, 7.

January 16 Read Exodus 12:43-51

This passage relates the Lord’s instructions to Moses regarding the ordinance of the Passover prior to their departure from Egypt. Only those who bore the sign of the covenant could partake of the paschal lamb. The Lord was very meticulous in describing who was allowed to participate in this solemn occasion. To desecrate the eating of the Passover lamb was a profaning of the ordinance. To partake in faith was a most blessed privilege. We read that the children of Israel did as the Lord commanded. Young people, we realize that parents, pastors and elders encourage you to publicly profess your faith in Christ. When this occurs, it is a cause for them and the entire church to rejoice. But do you realize that Christ himself said, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father, which is in heaven” (Matt. 10:32). What an incentive! May you by God’s grace be led to fully participate in the communion of the saints. Psalter 112:1-3.

January 17 Read Exodus 13:1-10

God is determined, and rightly so, that his work of redemption be remembered, not only by the people that actually left the bondage of Egypt, but by their generations as well. How the Lord stressed that this deliverance was brought about by him alone! Twice he states that with a strong hand he brought them out of Egypt. His claim on Israel is absolute for they are his people whom he actually called his firstborn son (Ex. 4:22). He established the ordinance of the feast of unleavened bread, a seven day event culminating in a feast to the Lord. It would be a sign upon their hand, a memorial between their eyes, and a law in their mouth. Tell this to thy son, the Lord says, that they may see in picture form, the deliverance from sin, the earthly pilgrimage through the desert to the heavenly Canaan, and how it all points to Christ. Without his perfect sacrifice, there could be no pardon for sins, no redemption and no hope of eternal glory. But he satisfied God’s justice and he “ever liveth to make intercession for us” (Rom. 7:25). Remember this, people of God, and be sure to tell your children. Psalter 215:1-3.

January 18 Read Exodus 13:11-16

One more ordinance God established to be observed, when he brought Israel into the land of Canaan, was the consecration of the firstborn. All the firstborn sons of the nation and every firstborn male animal were to be consecrated to the Lord. The firstlings of all clean beasts were to be sacrificed, but the firstborn of unclean animals such as donkeys were to be redeemed, or bought back by sacrificing a lamb in its place. And once again the Lord stresses the point that when their sons asked the meaning of this ordinance, the parents must instruct them of the great deliverance from the house of bondage by the strength of the Lord. Also that the Lord slew all the firstborn of Egypt but in his mercy spared Israel’s firstborn. Therefore every firstborn male shall be called holy to the Lord. The parents are required to redeem them with a sacrifice. We too, as God’s people, are redeemed; not with sacrifices, of silver and gold, “but with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Having that knowledge then, shall we not walk each day, whether we are young or old, in a manner consistent with that confession? Psalter 111:1, 3, 4.

January 19 Read Exodus 13:17-22

One might think that the Lord would lead this tremendous host by the shortest possible route to the promised land of Canaan. But the Lord in his wisdom had many reasons not to do so. The shortest route meant military encounters with the Philistines and although the people acquired some weapons, they were not ready for battle. They must first undergo a long period of training and learn many spiritual lessons in the wilderness. Many other reasons will unfold as we delve into their long desert journey. God never forsakes his people, but leads them each step of the way. The Israelites had their pillar of cloud and fire. We have God’s Word which is a lamp to our feet and a light upon our path. Sometimes God leads us in a way of pain, sorrow or trials, and although it is difficult for our flesh to bear, yet we know it is for our good and we must with patience wait on him, praying, “thy will be done.” Psalter 210:1, 4, 5.

January 20 Read Exodus 14:1-12

We may ask, Why did the Lord lead the children of Israel into a situation in which Pharaoh would believe they were hopelessly trapped? One answer is given that the Lord purposed to harden Pharaoh’s heart which will lead him to his final destruction. Another is that he will be “honoured upon Pharaoh” thereby glorifying his own name. We also read of the first instance of Israel murmuring against the Lord when they see the Egyptians coming after them with an army. The Lord deliberately leads them into an impossible situation so that they may realize that they cannot rely on their own strength to deliver them. Trapped between the mountains and the Red Sea, there was no avenue of escape except by divine deliverance. We too are encompassed by a mountain of sin and a sea of guilt and there is no hope for deliverance, except for the regenerating grace of God in our hearts giving us new life and the desire to serve him. Pray for grace each day to walk in thankful obedience. Psalter 352:1-4.

January 21 Read Exodus 14:13-18

Moses reacted to the people’s rebellion by saying, “Fear ye not, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” He answers them that this will be the last they will see of the Egyptians. At the same time he must have cried to the Lord, for the Lord said, “Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward.” Then he instructs Moses to lift up his rod and divide the sea. The Lord twice states that he will have the honor upon Pharaoh and that the Egyptians must acknowledge that he is the Lord. We see multitudes today feverishly pursuing the fame, riches and pleasures that the world has to offer, but it all leads to destruction. Are we listening to the words of Moses, “Fear not, and see the salvation of the Lord”? Then follows the Lord’s command: “Go forward.” Let us also follow this command by faith with him as our guide, and strive to bring glory to his name. Psalter 375: 1, 3, 4.

January 22 Read Exodus 14:19-22

What a marvelous occurrence took place in this passage of Scripture. First of all the leading pillar of fire which was the manifestation of Christ’s presence moved behind the children of Israel and was a shining light to them, but darkness to the Egyptians. The effect of this separation by the Lord was that the enemy could not come near his people. When Moses stretched out his rod the waters divided, making walls on both sides forming a dry path in the midst of the Red Sea. Unbelievers in their folly try to find natural causes for this phenomena, but this was a wonder, a marvelous sign of the power of God, who leads his people by his grace. This was also an act of faith on the part of Israel, for we read in Hebrews 11:29, “By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land.” It is also typical of baptism as we read in the prayer of the baptism form: “(thou) has led thy people Israel through the midst of the Sea upon dry ground, by which baptism was signified.” Read this beautiful form, children and young people. Cherish your covenant sign and do not bring shame to it by sinful actions. Thank God for his mercy in choosing you and walk as one of his professing children. Psalter 143:1, 3.

January 23 Read Exodus 14:23-31

We read of the final destruction and judgment of Pharaoh and his army. Although the last plague had broken his resistance, yet he was not humbled in true repentance. When he heard that Israel was encamped by the Red Sea, he was determined by wicked hatred to pursue and return them to slavery. This was God’s doing, as he hardened Pharaoh’s heart because he will show his power over this evil tyrant. It was a disaster for the Egyptians as they in their folly pursued Israel in the sea. When the Israelites were safely across the water, Moses is instructed to stretch out his hand that the waters might engulf and drown the Egyptians. God is glorified in the salvation of his people and the destruction of the enemy. The reaction of Israel was that they feared the Lord and believed. Oh, not every one possessed faith and believed, but those whom God chose from all eternity did. Can you say, dear reader, as the father of the demon possessed son said to Jesus, “Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief”? Then you have everything! Psalter 342:1-3.

January 24 Read Exodus 15:1-13

When Moses and the people of Israel fully comprehended the amazing deliverance that the Lord accomplished on their behalf, they couldn’t contain themselves and burst into a mighty chorus of praise. They were free, free to live their lives unshackled by cruel taskmasters. Led by Moses, the hills echoed with this inspired psalm of praise that extolled God and him alone. “He is a man of war,” they sang. He destroyed the enemy. His right hand dashed them in pieces; his wrath burned them as straw; by his breath the waters served to both kill the enemy, but save his people. This forerunner of the Psalms gives all the glory to God, extolling his greatness, revealing his wrath, but showing mercy to his redeemed people. We read in James 5:13<, “Is any merry? Let him sing psalms.” Let us do likewise. God gave us songs to sing and reasons to sing them. Moses’ psalm of praise pointed to salvation in Christ. Let us join their chorus too and sing, “The Lord is my strength and song and he is become my salvation.” Psalter 290:1, 2, 8.

January 25 Read Exodus 15:14-21

Sometimes we tend to worry about the future. We see wars and unrest, increasing wickedness in the world, and impending persecution of the church rearing its ugly head. The church is so small. What will our children and grandchildren have to face in their lives? The Lord is well aware of this, even as he knew that the children of Israel would face many formidable enemies on their journey to Canaan. What do we hear the mighty chorus of the Israelites sing? “Fear grips Philistia, Edom is dismayed, Moab trembles, the Canaanites melt with fear.” The Israelites were given this assurance as they began their pilgrimage to the earthly Canaan. We too have this assurance on our way to the heavenly Canaan, and although our journey may be difficult at times for the flesh, we can confidently say with the apostle Paul in Rom. 8:31, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” That alone is our hope and comfort. Psalter 137:1, 2, 6.

January 26 Read Exodus 15:22-27

The Israelites began their journey into the desert. In these first three days, the scenery began to change from one of fertile plains of Egypt to barren expanses of wilderness. They began their journey with confidence and probably expected that ahead of them lay only a smooth road into Canaan. But now come the trials. Their supply of water is exhausted, they are tired and thirsty, and when they came to Marah they found water but it was so bitter they could not drink it. So they murmur against Moses, but in actuality they murmured against Christ who was the antetype of Moses and who leads his people out of sin and death. The Lord instructs Moses to cast a tree into the waters and miraculously they were made sweet. We too tend to murmur when we encounter disappointments and trials in our lives. This is sinful, for when we are led through the wilderness of trouble and bitterness, it is to prove and test us that our faith may be made stronger. Pray for grace to patiently endure afflictions knowing that all things work together for our good. Psalter 329:1, 2, 4.

January 27 Read Exodus 16:1-8

After a restful stay at Elim for about a month, the children of Israel resumed their journey into the wilderness. Their supply of food soon ran out and again they murmured, this time very sinfully, exclaiming that they would rather had died in Egypt with their stomachs full than to die from hunger in this wilderness. How soon they forgot the wonder works of God and his promise that he would lead them to the promised land. We must not believe that every one, head for head, murmured. While the majority complained, the remnant prayed. The Lord tells Moses that he will rain bread from heaven in the morning and provide flesh in the evening for their daily sustenance. That bread from heaven was a material substance that gave physical nourishment. It was a picture of the true bread from heaven of which you may partake today in faith as you attend divine worship and hear the preaching of the Word. Christ is that living bread. Hear him today. May we truly hunger for that bread and be filled with thanksgiving and praise to God for such a great salvation. Psalter 311:1, 2, 5.

January 28 Read Exodus 16:9-21

Before the people could actually see and eat the manna that the Lord would provide, they must assemble and behold the glory of God in the cloud. This indicated that the manna was a very evident sign of the presence of the Lord as the God of their salvation. The giving of the manna not only would sustain them physically, but was also meant to be a trial of their faith. Every day they must gather it, an omer per person, which amounted to about five pints each. None of it might be left until the morning since it would then decay and become rancid as many found out. This meant that each day anew they were completely dependent on God for their existence. Many received it as only physical food, but to those who believed, the manna served as a means to strengthen their faith and to confess “that man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:3). May that be our confession as well, trusting him not only to supply our daily bread, but above all, grace to walk in thankfulness and obedience unto him. Psalter 292:1, 3, 4, 5.

January 29 Read Exodus 16:22-31

In this passage we read about a special provision made for the Sabbath. God instituted the Sabbath in Paradise and we read no more of it until now, but we should not assume that the people were unfamiliar with it. However, now the Lord gives a precept that called for its strict observance in the cessation of all manual labor. To that end, no manna would fall on the Sabbath and the people were to gather a double portion on the previous day, which would be miraculously preserved. The Lord instituted this day as a day of rest from all weekly toil, a holy day, consecrated to him and his service. How do you celebrate the Sabbath, dear reader? Let us remind ourselves what the Lord says in Isaiah 58:13, 14: “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Psalter 320:1-5.

January 30 Read Exodus 16:32-36

This chapter has dealt with the wondrous provision of manna for the children of Israel. It now concludes with instructions from the Lord to fill a container with an omer of manna to be preserved in a sacred place, namely the ark of the testimony. We know that the ark was not yet constructed, so although these verses deal with the issue of manna, this command was probably given to Moses after the tabernacle was built. It was important for the generations following to learn about this manna and all that it signified. It was truly a physical, life sustaining bread, but most importantly it pointed to Christ who is the bread of life. There is life only in Christ. He took away the guilt of our sins and merited eternal life for all his own. Through faith we are ingrafted into him. Therefore the people must teach their generations the wonderful works of God. Young people, feast on that hidden manna, the Word of God. Parents, teach your children how privileged they are as his covenant seed, and never cease to instill in them the greatness and goodness of our God. Psalter 81:1, 2, 4.

January 31 Read Exodus 17:1-7

The Lord led the people of Israel in a southerly direction through rugged mountainous terrain, devoid of vegetation, to a place called Rephidim. They found no water for themselves, their children and their cattle. They were hot, tired, dusty and thirsty. Instead of prayerfully looking to the Lord for help, who had wondrously sustained them thus far, the majority of the people demanded that Moses give them water. And to compound their sinful murmuring, they say in effect, “you have brought us out of Egypt to kill us with thirst” and were ready to stone him. When Moses cried to the Lord, he is told to take the elders and his rod and go to the rock at Horeb. There he must strike the rock to obtain water. Jehovah’s presence in the cloud and the elders beside Moses confirmed the importance of the occasion. The rock was smitten and water gushed out. This was a picture of Christ, the rock who was smitten of God for our sins and from whom proceedeth living waters. What is your reaction, people of God, when your faith is tried? Do you rebel and murmur, or prayerfully and patiently pray for grace to be submissive and wait upon him? May God grant us that patience that endures to the end. Psalter 60:1, 3, 4.

February 1 Read Exodus 17:8-16

The Amalekites, who were descendants of Esau, attacked the Israelites while they were at Rephidim. We read in Deuteronomy 25:17 and 18 that they struck down all who lagged behind when they were faint and weary, and significantly, the reason is given that the Amalekites feared not God. A band of men was chosen and proceeded to fight Amalek. Moses took the rod of God in his hand and stood on a hill. When the rod was stretched out, Israel prevailed; when the rod was let down, Amalek prevailed. This rod was the symbol of the power of God. The lifting up and letting down of the rod testified that they were fighting the battle of the Lord against Amalek who opposed him. It also showed that they could not win in their own strength, and it proved that the victory was not theirs but Jehovah’s. This is true for us, too, as God’s people. We are called upon daily to fight the battle of faith. If we attempt to do so in our own power, we will fail. Only through faith, which is a gift of God, can we prevail. Significantly the Lord commands a memorial to be written for the church of all ages that Amalek is a prototype of the powers of darkness which war against it. An altar is erected and called: “Jehovah, my Banner.” Hold that banner before you, people of God, as you march to that heavenly Canaan. Psalter 353:1-3.

February 2 Read Exodus 18:1-6

We have an account here of the meeting of Moses and his father-in-law, Jethro. Jethro, also called Reuel, was the priest of Midian and is believed to be a descendant of Abraham through Keturah. He brings with him Moses’ wife and two sons. We are informed in these verses that Moses had sent Zipporah with her children back to Jethro, most likely after the occurrence at the inn in chapter 4:25. Jethro is a God-fearing priest and, although the historic line of the covenant is continued with Jacob, we see that it does not immediately die out in other generations. Moses had lived with Jethro for forty years while God prepared him for the arduous task of leading Israel out of bondage and up to Canaan. The names of his two sons are given, and it is interesting to note the meaning of them. Gershom means “stranger” which Moses experienced in the land of Median, away from his own people. Eliezer means “The Lord is my help and will deliver me from the sword of Pharaoh.” Most of us don’t follow this custom, but there’s much to be said for both parents and children when a name is chosen with a godly connotation. Psalter 360:1, 4, 5.

February 3 Read Exodus 18:7-12

Even in Midian the news had come to Jethro’s ears about the mighty deliverance wrought by God for his people Israel. Now as he sat in Moses’ tent, Moses carefully recounted in detail all what had transpired in the land of Egypt up to the present time. Upon hearing all of this, Jethro breaks forth with a joyful exclamation: “Blessed be the Lord who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians.” Then, as a priest in his own right, he offered a sacrifice of burnt offerings to the Lord. Aaron and all the elders of Israel were summoned to this sacred service after which they ate bread before the Lord. What a beautiful and solemn occasion! Today being the Lord’s day, we have the same privilege. We bring the sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart (Ps. 51:17), which is acceptable to God. We also feast on the bread of life, which is the Word of God, and break forth with a doxology of praise, “Blest be the Lord our father’s God.” That is a great blessing, people of God, a reason for joyful thanksgiving and it is a solemn responsibility to faithfully use these means. “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation” (Heb. 2:3). Psalter 266:1-3.

February 4 Read Exodus 18:13-27

The very next morning after the sacrificial feast offered by Jethro, Moses resumed his duties as lawgiver and judge of the people. Jethro observed how dedicated Moses was to this task and how much work it involved from morning to evening. Being a man of wisdom, Jethro soon realized that this burden was too heavy for Moses. He proposed that if God approved, able men should be selected from the people to judge small matters between persons, and any great matters or necessary spiritual guidance be handled by Moses. Moses wisely went with this matter to the Lord as Jethro proposed. The result was that a workable system was put into practice thereby lifting an almost impossible burden of work from Moses. God saw to it that Jethro appeared in that moment of history to make a necessary change. God is aware of all our problems and heartaches that burden us. He may not send a Jethro into our lives to solve our difficulties, but he does say, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” I Peter 5:6, 7. Psalter 398:1-3.

May 1 Read Matthew 4:1-11

For our meditations this month we will listen to the words of Jesus that He spoke during His early ministry on earth. One of the first instances is His answers to the devil, who tempted Him in the wilderness. The devil sought to undermine His earthly mission and to cause Him to distrust His heavenly Father. “If thou be the Son of God” was the devil’s challenge, wickedly setting before Jesus a way for Him without suffering. Resolutely, Jesus answers the devil “depart from me, for it is written.” What is your response, young people, as you encounter many temptations in your lives? It is easy to succumb to them and enjoy the pleasures of sin. When wicked thoughts enter your mind, do you dwell on them, or pray that they may be erased from your mind, and say “depart from me, for it is written?” May we all, by grace, follow the example of our Savior “who was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:15, 16) Psalter 249.

May 2 Read Luke 4:16-30

Jesus began His earthly ministry by going to the synagogue in Nazareth where He read from Isaiah and preached the word. The listeners were surprised with His teaching and the gracious words that He spoke. But instead of believing that He Himself was the one of whom Isaiah testified, they said disdainfully “Is not this Joseph’s son?” Jesus pointed out that they were as guilty of unbelief as Israel was in the days of Elijah when he was sent to a widow in the Phoenician town of Zarephath. He also reminded them that despite the fact that there were many lepers in Israel, none were cleansed except Naaman the Syrian. The word of God always has a two-fold effect. It either hardens in unbelief or softens and comforts. Jesus’ audience rejected His word to their own condemnation. What is your reaction to the preaching of the gospel, dear reader? Are you one of the poor who are enriched, the broken-hearted who are comforted, the captive who is set free, the blind who receive sight, and the bruised that is healed? God grant to you in His grace that the preaching of His word may have these positive effects. Psalter 337.

May 3 Read Isaiah 57:13-15, Matthew 5:3

Jesus began His sermon on the mount by pronouncing that the poor in spirit are blessed for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. This is a statement that is incomprehensible to the mind of this world. Doesn’t the natural man crave riches and all that this implies, namely influence, power and luxuries? But the riches of this world and those who imagine they are spiritually rich in themselves have no place in the kingdom of heaven. Only the poor in spirit, those who by grace alone realize that they are naked, and wretched and miserable, and who confess that with true contrition, are the blessed subjects of that kingdom. They are truly blessed already for theirs is the kingdom even now. This is a spiritual kingdom founded in the blood of our Savior, in which God in Christ is the King and all the elect are the willing subjects of that kingdom. It will come to its final glorious manifestation when Christ returns upon the clouds of heaven. Let us confess that we are poor in ourselves but paradoxically rich beyond measure as those who will inherit that blessed kingdom. Psalter 186.

May 4 Read Ecclesiastes 7:1-6, Matthew 5:4

By nature we do not like events or situations that cause us to mourn. The world about us loves gaiety and merriment and superficial laughter. We as God’s people are often prone to follow this course too, but what does God’s word say? “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting.” And “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Surely there is enjoyment in our lives, and we are also told to rejoice. But true rejoicing and true comfort for the child of God comes only in the way of genuine sorrow and mourning because of our sins. In a life of sin there can be found no joy or satisfaction, for then we live apart from God. And to live apart from God is death. When God works in our hearts and makes us see our sins and how corrupt we are, we mourn as the publican who smote his breast with the cry “God be merciful to me, a sinner.” Experiencing forgiveness, we are comforted and blessed. In our imperfect walk on this earth, we daily fall short of our calling to love God and our neighbor with all our heart. But each day anew, our Father hears our prayers for forgiveness, and sends the Comforter to dwell in our hearts, assuring us of pardon. Psalter 144.

May 5 Read Psalm 37:1-11, Matthew 5:5

A common misconception is that meekness is weakness. Moses was a strong leader who faced many a crisis with courage, led Israel with valor, yet he is described as “very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3). Meekness is a spiritual power, a strength that enables one to endure injury and revilement with patience for Christ’s sake. By nature we are quick to seek revenge and strike back when we are reviled or wrongly treated. Exactly the opposite of that was our Savior Himself Who was the meekest of the meek. He trod a path of suffering, so deep and dark, was reviled and hated, and although He could consume His enemies by the breath of His mouth, yet endured even the cross with meekness for our sakes. What an example for us to emulate! Meekness is a gift of grace. Oh we must fight a battle to be sure, as we live our lives on this earth. But we fight a spiritual battle with spiritual armor and our weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. The sure victory belongs to the meek and they shall dwell forever in the new earth where only righteousness shall dwell. Psalter 61.

May 6 Read John 6:28-35, Matthew 5:6

In this fourth beatitude, Jesus describes for us a certain spiritual quality of the citizens of the kingdom of heaven. He tells us it is blessed to be hungry and thirsty for righteousness. Righteousness, as we saw in earlier meditations literally means to be right, or straight, as a straight line. God, Who loves Himself as the highest good, is the absolute standard of righteousness and what is just and good in harmony with His holiness. And in His merciful electing love, He gave His Son to obtain righteousness for us. In II Corinthians 5:21 we read, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Only those who are made spiritually alive by regenerating grace can hunger and thirst after righteousness. Dear reader, can it be said of you that you hunger and thirst after righteousness? Then you will not seek after the carnal pleasures of this world. This hunger and thirst will cause you to attend the worship services faithfully on the Lord’s Day. It will cause you to pray daily and seek God’s guidance through His word. Then you will be filled, now in principle, and one day fully and completely. Psalter 32.

May 7 Read Proverbs 14:21-31, Matthew 5:7

To receive mercy from God is a wonderful gift. Mercy can be compared to a flowing stream of water that is not plugged up or stopped, but receives continuously from its source only when it constantly gives. In the way of our showing mercy to others does God’s mercy flow to us. This cannot possibly mean that our showing mercy is first, and that then we are rewarded with God’s mercy. The very opposite is true. By nature we are not merciful, but selfish and hard-hearted. Only because God, Who is rich in mercy, loved us in Christ, and determined to lift us out of our misery unto eternal glory, can we in turn be merciful. The wicked may think that their programs of welfare and philanthropy are works of mercy, but the Bible tells us that the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. Only those who have tasted the riches of God’s mercy bestowed in their hearts are the merciful that shall in turn receive mercy themselves. Let us then “be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32). Psalter 228.

May 8 Read Psalm 51:1-10, Matthew 5:8

How is it possible to obtain purity of heart? Our heart, according to Jer. 17:9, “is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Out of the heart are the issues of life and from it spring forth all our plans, thoughts and aspirations. If something is to be pure, it must be chaste and genuine and free from moral fault or guilt or anything that would pollute it. This purity of heart is not something to which natural man can ever attain apart from the sovereign work of God based on the death and resurrection of Christ. When the Spirit enters our polluted heart and cleanses it from sin and corruption and breathes into it new life, it is principally pure. In this present life we see through a glass darkly, but one day we will see God face to face and know Him even as we are known. That will indeed be a most blessed prospect imaginable. The pure in heart in this life have not attained to perfection by any means, but they are pure in heart nevertheless because Christ lives in them and they have the desire to walk according to all of God’s commandments. Do you find this desire in your heart, dear reader? Then you are truly blessed. Psalter 204.

May 9 Read Ephesians 2:11-17, Matthew 5:9

In the previous beatitudes, we have seen various descriptions of the children of God in the world and this seventh and last beatitude fittingly calls those blessed who are peacemakers. As we pointed out last month, Scripture declares that there is no peace to the wicked for they are likened to the troubled sea that cannot rest. Even when the wicked sit at their peace tables, they cannot find peace for they seek it without the cross of Christ. God alone is the original peacemaker. He lives a life of perfect peace in Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in covenant relationship. And Ephesians 2 tells us that Christ is our peace, for we were strangers from the covenant promises, but He has reconciled us to God by the cross. Then we have peace in our hearts and it will be reflected in our thoughts and actions. As we bear the image of the true Peacemaker, we will be scorned by the world, for when we preach and witness to that way of peace and obedience to God, they will hate us. But they cannot separate us from our Father in heaven, for even as we are now His children by the Spirit of adoption, we shall, in the last day, be revealed to all the world as His own dear children, to live with Him forever in glory. Psalter 232.

May 10 Read John 15:17-27, Matthew 5:10-12

These verses deal with the persecution that not only the disciples must anticipate, but also all who are faithful witnesses in the world of God’s word and of His righteousness. The history of God’s people and of the faithful prophets proves that according to the measure that they were faithful, the world revealed its hatred of them. As long as you tone down the antithesis, speak of a God who loves all men, refrain from reproving those who sin, the world will tolerate you, for you speak their language. But when in the name of Christ you speak out for the truth, defend His holy name, and show by word and deed that your allegiance is to Him alone, you will experience persecution. The blessedness of which these texts speak does not find its cause in the suffering, for suffering of itself is not a reason for rejoicing. But the persecutions are unmistakable signs of God’s work in us, of His love and grace. It takes grace to suffer for His name’s sake. Without grace we would not be able to bear it. In that knowledge we have joy now, and we look forward to our eternal reward of grace in heaven where our rejoicing will be exceedingly great. Psalter 188.

May 11 Read Colossians 4:1-6, Matthew 5:13

In this text Jesus proclaimed to the disciples and the people who were gathered to hear Him “Ye are the salt of the earth.” It is an admonition to the citizens of the heavenly kingdom regarding their exalted position on the earth. Salt had various uses in Bible times including that of a preservative, medicinal purposes, or for seasoning food. Because Jesus spoke of salt losing its savor or flavor, He points out that it is that aspect of salt, namely its tastefulness, to which He refers. Just as salt enhances the flavor of food, so is the church called to be the salt of the earth, and through their presence, the earth in all its fullness is made palatable to God’s taste. This implies a calling for us, dear readers, to be pleasing to God as we walk in obedience to Him on this earth. When we allow our sinful natures to influence our lives in the service of sin rather than God, we become distasteful as salt that has lost its savor. God never casts His children away, but through the hard way of chastisement restores us to usefulness again. Only through the power of Christ can we truly be the salt of the earth that is pleasing to God. Let us strive each day by His grace to fulfill that calling. Psalter 328.

May 12 Read John 3:18-21, Matthew 5:14-16

This is the second description of the church in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. “Ye are the light of the world,” He exclaims, and compares her to a city set on a hill that cannot be hid. Some would say that we must be conspicuous in the world by seeking political office and striving to make this world a better place. But this is not the calling of the church. By emitting the true light of the word and testifying to all about them by an antithetical walk, the church will not fail to draw attention to itself. When their light shines, the world that loves darkness rather than the light becomes enraged and seeks to snuff out that light. How the world hated the prophets who shone their light, and look what they did to Christ, the Light of the world. However, the church may never hide that light for it attracts as well as it repels. All for whom Christ died will be drawn irresistibly by that light to Him, and they alone will glorify God. Each of us personally is called to let our light shine and the world will watch us intently. Let it never be said of us that we brought shame to the cause of Christ by our actions, but rather walk in humble obedience. Then our light will shine and the holy name of God will be glorified. Psalter 71.

May 13 Read Luke 16:13-17, Matthew 5:17-19

With these words Jesus speaks a word of admonition and warning to those who were the church of His day. They must not have the mistaken idea that He came to make the law of none effect. The law and the prophets of which He speaks had reference to all that is written in the Old Testament Scriptures concerning the law of God in our lives including the moral, civil and ceremonial laws. The law of liberty that Jesus preached did not suggest that He came to disannul the law, as some might conclude, but to fulfill every aspect of it. Every prophecy concerning Him, down to the last judgment and final glory of His kingdom will be fulfilled to the letter. He further warns us against not taking seriously the breaking of these commandments, and especially directs this word to every preacher and teacher. In their professional capacity they are called not to break even the least of these commandments or teach others to do so. The positive aspect of keeping God’s law and teaching others to do so is the promise that those will be great in the kingdom of heaven. May we by grace strive to keep God’s commandments and “stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.” (Gal. 5:1). Psalter 41.

May 14 Read Matthew 23:25-33, Matthew 5:20

What a shocking statement this was when Jesus announced that except the righteousness of the people exceeded the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees; they could in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven. The Pharisees and scribes were highly esteemed in Israel, the Pharisees as those who diligently kept all the Mosaic laws plus the traditions of the fathers, and the scribes who were the theologians of the day by studying and interpreting the law. However, their so-called righteousness was completely void of love towards God and the neighbor. Theirs was a self-serving righteousness to gain the praise of men and to promote their own selfish goals. They even believed that by this outward keeping of the law, they would be rewarded with eternal life. But Jesus called them whited sepulchers, attractive on the outside, but rotten within. True righteousness must be grounded in love, love toward God and love toward the neighbor. This is our calling, dear reader, as citizens of the kingdom of heaven. We must first of all honor and obey God rather than be concerned with our own desires. When we seek God’s glory, then we will also be concerned for the welfare of our neighbor. Only this genuine righteousness, based on the righteousness of Christ alone and imparted to us by grace, is acceptable to God. May God be pleased to grant that to us. Psalter 385.

May 15 Read I Peter 3:8-15, Matthew 5:21-26

In this passage, Jesus instructs us as well as the people who were present as to the correct meaning of the law in general, and of the sixth commandment in particular. The Jews interpreted the law in a catalogued fashion with greater and lesser and least commandments, but were blind to the real essence of the law, namely, “Thou shalt not covet,” which stresses that not the least thought contrary to any of God’s commandments ever rise in our hearts. Jesus points out the absurdity of their approach to the law when He cites the three examples of hatred and curses hurled at a brother and the accompanying punishments. Against their perversion of the law, Jesus makes plain that the very thought of hatred and revenge is already murder. He further points out how impossible it is to truly worship God at His altar or in His sanctuary, especially in prayer when we have offended a brother or harbor unconfessed sins in our heart. No rest and peace will be truly ours until we reconcile with our brother and have our slate of sins wiped clean by humble confession and repentance. May each of us by the grace and mercy of God in Christ strive to keep this commandment, as well as all of them, motivated by loving our God and our neighbor with all our heart. Psalter 24.

May 16 Read Proverbs 6:20-26, Matthew 5:27-32

Jesus is speaking to His hearers regarding the proper understanding of the seventh commandment. Notice that He lets the text of Ex. 20:14 stand just as it was given on Mt. Sinai, however, He gives a very different interpretation of this commandment from what the Jews practiced. They simply made this commandment refer to the physical act of adultery. Jesus points out that this commandment is broken already when sinful desires arise in our eyes and hearts. Lust is powerful and appealing. Her victims are many. Giving in to lust can cost one his self-respect, his family, his relationship to God, and even his life. Jesus addresses this admonition to the man, as a representative head, but it does not exclude women as participants of these desires. Is the remedy to be taken in the literal sense, namely the actual plucking out of the eye and the cutting off of the hand? No, but we believe that the eye and hand are the instruments that the heart employs in this sin. We must turn to the Lord in sincerity and ask Him to remove these sins from our heart and make it pure. Jesus then emphasizes the principle of life-long holy wedlock. The Jews interpreted the words of Moses in such a way that it gave them much room for divorce and sinful practices. Jesus points out that one may put away his or her mate only for the case of fornication, and any remarriage of either party is adulterous. May we by God’s grace live chaste and pure lives and pray that we may not succumb to the lust of the flesh which is so prevalent in the world today. Psalter 384.

May 17 Read James 5:9-12, Matthew 5:33-37

Jesus addresses another perversion of the law on the part of the Jews and that has to do with the swearing of oaths. Jesus is not contending with Moses’ statement in Number 30:2, but points to the evil practice of the Jews who saw in these words a general permission to use all sorts of oaths, concluding that those which did not directly name God had no binding force. Here again they corrupt and distort the oath to their own destruction, not seeing the spiritual meaning that we “perform our oaths unto the Lord.” To do that implies that the truth dwells in our hearts and that we hate the lie. Jesus goes on to explain that the oaths of the Jews, regardless whether they swore by heaven, or earth, or Jerusalem, or their own heads, were true oaths even though they used them with the understanding that they were not binding. Behind everything stands the Creator, and all things live, move, and have their being in Him, so it is folly to swear by the creature as they did. We, as God’s people who live from the principle of the new life in our hearts, need not swear at all, but with hearts pledged to truth, our lips will find no need to add anything to our “yea” and “nay.” Psalter 68.

May 18 Read I Peter 3:8-12, Matthew 5:38-42

Jesus is establishing a principle in this passage that we are not to live by the motive of retaliation or revenge for wrongs that are done to us. He refers to the teaching of Moses that “if a man cause a blemish in his neighbor; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; …eye for eye, tooth for tooth…” (Lev. 24:19, 20). Does this pose a contradiction when Jesus places His teaching over against Moses? On the contrary, for Jesus is not talking about the execution of justice by the proper authorities, but a personal revenge by the Jews against those who may have wronged them. We must not do to others as they have done to us, but rather treat them as we would have them do to us. To illustrate His point, Jesus gives four examples by which He would show us proper conduct over against them who do evil to us. By turning the other cheek when smitten, the other man is put to shame; by giving up our cloak in addition to our coat, we are calling attention to his evil but not adding another evil over against it; by going the extra mile, we endure hardship and give full measure; and when one comes to borrow from us, we show liberality and mercy. These are the principles that must guide us as children of the kingdom who are meek, merciful and peacemakers. Let us strive to so live that these virtues may be displayed in our lives. Psalter 24.

May 19 Read Romans 12:14-21, Matthew 5:43-48

In this rather well known and controversial passage, we are called upon as citizens of the kingdom of heaven to love our enemies, pray for them, and be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. This idea of perfection is not that we obtain perfect sinlessness in this life, but as it were a ripe and fully developed fruit. It is not without defects, but it has reached its potential in ripeness, flavor and color. God’s love is perfected in us and fills our minds and wills. Who is our enemy and how must we love him? We all know that loving our neighbor as ourselves is one of the main principles of the law. Our neighbor can be our enemy as well as our friend. So our neighbor is anyone whose life touches ours. And the pattern given for that love is God’s providential dealings in creation with good and evil, and with the righteous and unrighteous; as God deals without discrimination, so too must we deal with the neighbor. The proponents of common grace consider the gifts of rain and sunshine as an attitude of favor and grace toward the reprobate. These gifts are certainly good, and they are blessings for the elect, but are always curses for the reprobate. Loving our enemy means we return blessing for cursing and good for evil. We admonish and reprove him when necessary and seek his salvation. We must not love only our friends as the publicans did. Let us walk in obedience to Christ’s teaching and experience His blessings. Psalter 370.

May 20 Read Mark 12:38-44, Matthew 6:1-4

The opening verses of this chapter describe one instance of the false piety of the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus warns us of their hypocrisy in the matter of alms giving. These men took great pride in their self-righteousness, and as a result chose public places to show off their charities. God’s glory was not their concern. They delighted in the praise of men and that was their reward. Contrasted to this manner of giving must be our motive and method. To be absolutely free from the praise of men, Jesus uses a figure of speech to describe how our giving must take place, namely that what the right hand does in the giving of alms, is to be done so secretly that the left hand may not find out. True giving is a matter of the heart. It must be done to please God and glorify Him. How many of us give to kingdom causes with that attitude? Actually, with respect to God, we are only stewards and that implies much. We don’t possess a hair of our head, not a minute of our time, not a slice of bread, not a drop of water, not a penny of our money. All is God’s and is placed in our trust. We may not do with it as we please, but constantly ask, “What is God’s will with respect to my possessions?” Let us be fully conscious of our duty as faithful stewards who must one day give account to God for the goods entrusted to us. Psalter 97.

May 21 Read Luke 18:9-14, Matthew 6:5-8

This passage relates another example of false piety of the scribes and Pharisees in regard to their prayers. In keeping with their pride and self-righteousness, they found occasion to stand in the synagogues and on busy street corners in order to make a display to men and receive their glory. Now it is not wrong as such to want men to see us worshipping God and calling on His name in sincerity. However, these hypocrites wanted men to see them praying because they were glorying in themselves and not in God. Jesus not only condemned this action, but also the vain babblings which their lips uttered. An example of such praying is the priests of Baal during the time of the prophet Elijah, who from morning to noon repeated over and over “O Baal, hear us.” And Catholics with their rosaries, fall into this same category. In contrast, Jesus instructed them to retreat to a private room and commune with their Father in prayer. Then they must not use vain repetitions or seek the things on earth, but the Father’s glory and honor. They are assured that for the sake of Christ, He will hear them and reward them. That reward is a reward of grace, and will culminate at the appearance of Christ, when openly before the eyes of angels, men and devils, all will see that in their prayers, they gave God all the glory. Psalter 312.

May 22 Read John 14:11-16, Matthew 6:9

After warning us in the previous verses that prayer must not consist of outward show, but rather a heartfelt communion with God, Jesus taught His disciples and us how to pray in the words of the beautiful and well known Lord’s Prayer. As we have seen, God is revealed to us by many names that tell us much about Him. Here, Jesus is teaching us that when we pray, we must begin with a form of address. How we address God is important because that will determine our attitude as we pray. Therefore Jesus instructs us to say “Our Father.” Only a true child of God can really address Him as “Father.” This implies a loving relationship, much like the earthly bond between a child and his father or mother. In a godly family there is respect for the authority and position of parents. With childlike faith then, we pray to our Father and add “which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name,” which immediately impresses upon us His glorious majesty and our unworthiness. But because of Christ, we approach this Triune God in confidence for He has made us His children, and although this is a mystery, yet we believe it and are assured of His love and mercy. Let us pray then as children of our heavenly Father with the assurance that He will surely hear us for the sake of Christ. Psalter 278.

May 23 Read Luke 22:14-18, Matthew 6:10

In this verse we are taught to pray for the coming of God’s kingdom and for obedience to the will of God. It is only by grace that we can utter these words and truly desire their accomplishment. This kingdom of God is a spiritual commonwealth in which Christ is King. It consists of willing subjects who serve this King and love Him and these subjects experience His dwelling in their hearts. This kingdom will finally be realized in all its perfections when Christ returns in glory. Are we so attached to this world sometimes that we do not long for this Kingdom to come? When life is pleasant and free from problems, we may place this petition in the back of our minds, but when sickness ravages our bodies, or trials overwhelm us, our outlook tends to change. God sometimes uses these means to bring us to our knees in order that we may truly desire His Kingdom to come and also that we may be submissive to His perfect will. May we by grace utter these petitions to our Father in heaven with the confidence that He will hear us for the sake of Christ and give us His peace. Psalter 395.

May 24 Read Psalm 132:13-18, Matthew 6:11

This petition in the prayer that the Lord gave us is short and simple, yet necessary and instructive for the child of God. What does it mean and why should we pray for daily bread? First of all it shows to us that we are earthly creatures with bodies that must be nourished in order to exist and function. How can we hallow the name of God, or seek His kingdom, or obey His will without a body and all it requires? So this petition certainly includes more than mere bread. It presupposes that we require shelter, clothing, and money for necessities of life. Although in our present day modern life, we have many luxuries, these are not included in this petition. It means exactly what it says, “Give us what we need for this day.” The Lord knows what we need better than we do. It may be that what we think we need, we shouldn’t have, and so the Lord withholds that from us. And sometimes the Lord gives to us in His wisdom what we don’t wish for, but it is good for us nevertheless. Let each of us ask for our daily bread in childlike faith, “Give unto me this day, dear Father, that which Thou knowest is good and necessary for me in order to live my life on this earth in such a way that my trust may be alone in Thee and that Thy holy name is glorified.” Psalter 56.

May 25 Read Matthew 18:23-35, Matthew 6:12

This petition assumes, and rightly so, that we have acquired debts; and debts require that they either must be paid or canceled. In the gospel of Luke, the word “sin” is used in the place of “debts,” and in the Heidelberg Catechism we read of our transgressions and depravity. That is a picture of our heavy load of guilt as we lift our voices in prayer for pardon to our Father in heaven. We know that He is terribly displeased with all sins and since we are unable of ourselves to pay these debts, we have only one recourse left. That recourse is a sincere petition that God will dismiss these charges and forgive our sins. We must note here that Jesus adds to our prayer for forgiveness a limiting clause, “as we forgive our debtors.” This clause certainly cannot mean that this must be a ground for our plea for forgiveness, but that God grants us the grace of forgiveness as we forgive one another. We must be sure that we hold no unforgiving attitude toward anyone when we ourselves plead for forgiveness. Our Father, Who is rich in mercy, then beholds us in Christ and grants us pardon for His sake. Psalter 83.

May 26 Read I Corinthians 10:11-15, Matthew 6:13a

As long as we are in the world we are going to be surrounded by temptation. We battle constantly with the old man of sin that dwells in our flesh. We live in a world that always beckons us to join them in their sinful pleasures, and we are enticed by the devil to forsake the difficult way of godliness. Every day we fight this battle in varying degrees. The world readily embraces all sorts of evil and corrupt pleasures on their headlong journey to destruction. Without fervent prayer for divine intervention by the Spirit, we would be overcome by temptations. Only the regenerated child of God by the grace and power of that Spirit is deeply conscious of his weakness to stand firm, so he prays that when he meets temptations, he may not be led into them. People of God let us pray every day “deliver us from evil,” until that blessed day when we and all of God’s people will obtain the final victory over sin through the merits of our Savior Who became sin for us. Psalter 385.

May 27 Read Psalm 103:19-22, Matthew 6:13b

This concluding doxology to the Lord’s Prayer is beautifully expressed in the Heidelberg Catechism as follows: “all these (things) we ask of thee, because thou, being our king and almighty, art willing and able to give us all good; and all this we pray for that thereby not we, but thy holy name may be glorified forever.” (Q.128) This is a fitting exclamation and tribute of praise to God and is closely connected to the last petition. Because God is the supreme and sovereign king, all power and glory belong to Him, and this is the motive and ground for the entire prayer. Not only does the kingdom belong to God now, but it is His forever. The same is true for His power and glory. Let us learn then, to whom we must pray, how we must pray, for what we must pray, and in humble gratitude be assured that our prayers will be heard and answered. Psalter 267.

May 28 Read Isaiah 58:1-8, Matthew 6:16-18

Fasting in Scripture signified a state of humility before God because of sin. It often accompanied prayer and usually involved abstinence of food. Many instances of fasting are recorded in the Bible, although the observance of this practice is now abolished among us, “yet the truth and substance of them remain with us in Jesus Christ, in whom they have their completion” (Belgic Confession, Article 25). There were private fastings by individuals as well as periods of fasting by the Jewish nation. Jesus in this passage refers to private fasting and condemned the Pharisees who practiced it hypocritically to gain the applause and praise of men for their outward form of piety. Jesus does not introduce a new law regarding fasting, but forbids all outward displays of this practice. True fasting is done in secret before God with a sincere and contrite heart. Have you ever fasted? We aren’t advocating a regular regimen of fasting, but there might be times in our lives when we could profitably abstain from some things for our spiritual benefit and draw ever closer to our God. Psalter 112.

May 29 Read Proverbs 19:14-17, Matthew 6:19-21

Jesus turns to a subject that is prevalent and in many cases, all consuming throughout the world. In accord with man’s covetous nature, he is obsessed with the gaining and retention of wealth and possessions. Acquiring wealth is in itself not wrong. However, it is a rare person who is not affected in a negative manner when wealth becomes great. Jesus points out that treasures that are stored on this earth are of short duration and subject to corruption and loss. It follows that the happiness that these riches afford the owners is also of uncertain and short duration. In contrast, we must treasure other types of riches that are not subject to destructive forces or loss by thieves. Jesus speaks of these in verse 33, “the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” This is a matter of the heart and the treasures laid up in heaven are secure forever. People of God be good stewards of all that the Lord gives you, but “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth… For when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” (Col. 3:2, 4) Psalter 135.

May 30 Read Isaiah 29:13-15, Matthew 6:22-23

What a marvelous organ of the human body is the eye. It is the agent of physical sight that we are endowed with by the Creator. Jesus points out that the light, or lamp of the body is the eye. Without becoming too technical, we might say that a man’s physical or rational eye corresponds to his spiritual eye. The natural man with an unregenerate heart can rationally see the light, but he is spiritually blind. He sees God in creation, can hear His word, and can read it, but he despises God in his heart and holds the truth in unrighteousness. Hence the light in him is darkness, and even more, it is great and absolute darkness. But when God is pleased to transmit to our spiritual eye the radiance of His Being, the wonder of the cross, and the pure and holy light from His throne, then we have a single eye that fills our whole body with true light. Our eyes that once were full of darkness have been healed and we are new creatures in Christ. Let us pray for grace to walk in that light to His glory. Psalter 236.

May 31 Read Matthew 6:24-33

In this passage Jesus points out how various anxieties in life cause unnecessary worries and concerns in the lives of men and that their Heavenly Father knows all of their needs. Then He directs them to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. This kingdom, as we have seen, is a spiritual kingdom realized first of all in the hearts of His people and finally realized in perfection when Christ returns. Seeking the kingdom means we must be members of the true church of Jesus Christ, and confess the truth with fellow believers. We do not relocate to an area where there is no such church despite the allurement of a lucrative job. Young people, bear this in mind when choosing a college or a career. Seeking the kingdom includes purity of life, seeking a godly mate, establishing a Christian home, bringing forth covenant seed with all of its attendant responsibilities. It means fervent in prayer, ready to suffer loss for the cause of the gospel, and maintaining an antithetical walk in the midst of the world. The reward is of grace alone. Of ourselves we are unworthy; but thanks be to God who is faithful, who guides us by His counsel, and will take us to glory. Psalter 203.

April 1 Read Psalm 86:12-15

We often come across the terms longsuffering and forbearance in Scripture. Both of these words as they stand by themselves are neutral, having in common the idea of restraining oneself or holding oneself in check. Therefore they can refer to a restraining of oneself either in anger or love. However, Scripture is plain that longsuffering is an aspect of mercy to the elect, whereas forbearance is an attitude of wrath against the wicked. We would describe Longsuffering as that attribute of God whereby in divine love for His people, He regards them in mercy and restrains His desire to save them out of their present afflictions because all the elect must be born and gathered before they enter the portals of glory. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise… but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish…” (II Pet. 3:9). He is speaking to the church, to you and I, as we trod this vale of tears. Cling to that promise by faith “and account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation” (II Pet. 3:15a). Psalter 363.

April 2 Read Psalm 92:5-11

Yesterday we saw that the longsuffering of God in Scripture denotes an activity of divine restraint towards His people in love. Contrasted to this is the Forbearance of God whereby He restrains His desire to destroy the wicked because their cup of iniquity must first be filled and because they too must serve His purpose in gathering the elect. We might be tempted to contemplate as did Asaph in Psalm 73 about the prosperity of the wicked or consider the necessity of raising up a Pharaoh who mercilessly oppressed God’s people. But Scripture tells us that they were raised up that God might reveal His power in them. And then consider those wicked men who nailed the Son of God’s love to the accursed tree. In God’s forbearance He endured that vile act not because He loved them or would give them time to repent, but because He loved His people who were saved through the blood of His Son. Knowing that God will surely judge the wicked and vindicate the righteous, we have the peace that passeth all understanding. Psalter 201.

April 3 Read Psalm 25:1-10

“What is truth?” said Pilate to Jesus. Oh, Pilate knew in an earthly sense what it was, but his eyes were blinded to the fact that before him stood the very essence of truth itself—God manifested in the flesh. God is Truth. We may speak of truth in the subjective, objective, or logical sense of the word, or simply define it as the presentation of reality. God alone is for us the only truth because He alone is the absolute reality. Christ is the revelation of the truth as are the Scriptures, for in them the Lord has made Himself known to us. These same Scriptures, we are told in I Timothy 3:17, “are profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Young people, always speak the truth, live the truth, confess the truth and study the truth. Be ready and able to refute the lies that Satan constantly promotes even under the guise of truth. May it truly be said of you, which is the fervent desire of every godly parent and pastor: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (III John 4). Psalter 325.

April 4 Read Isaiah 46:5-11

A doctrine that we believe and confess is the Counsel of God. This is such an overwhelming and profound truth that no comprehensive explanation of it can possibly be made in a few sentences. To maintain the truth of God’s counsel is of great comfort to us as believers. The counsel of God refers to the eternal thoughts, knowledge, and wisdom of God whereby He sovereignly determined all things, events, and development in the entire creation. This counsel of God precedes all things and embraces all things. He is eternally active, before, during and after the creation and will ever be so. As creatures we are limited to change and time. The Lord has determined the habitations of all the people of the earth and set the bounds of their lives. And this is never done arbitrarily, but in perfect wisdom and justice. It includes the sinful deeds of men even as we read in Acts 2:23: “Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” This is a precious truth, a comforting doctrine, and a great incentive to walk each day in thankful obedience to God for saving such sinners as we are. Psalter 404.

April 5 Read Isaiah 45:1-6

One of the decrees in the counsel of God is that of sovereign predestination which concerns the eternal destiny of all rational, moral creatures. This is not a doctrine that is popular in the nominal church, nor of any who embrace Arminian theology. But it is the heart of the gospel. It consists of both Election and Reprobation. Election is God’s eternal good pleasure whereby He determined to save a certain number of persons, redeemed in Christ, out of mere grace, and bring them to everlasting glory. Those persons, though fallen and undeserving by nature are drawn irresistibly by His Spirit and Word unto faith and sanctification. These are the ones described in Scripture as hungry and thirsty for righteousness, as poor in spirit, as meek and merciful, as pure in heart, and as those who mourn because of their sins. How about you, dear reader, are you sorry for your sins and do you sincerely desire and pray for forgiveness? That is the fruit of the Spirit in your heart and you may rest assured of your election and that nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Psalter 86.

April 6 Read Romans 9:10-17

The truth of Divine Election not only implies Reprobation but it logically demands it. To maintain one means that we also emphasize the other. Reprobation is that eternal and sovereign decree of God whereby in contrast to those whom He has elected, He justly leaves the others in the misery of their sins which they willingly embrace as enemies of the truth, and to whom is reserved eternal perdition. These two doctrines are not equal in significance and importance, for Scripture testifies that reprobation serves election as tares exist for the wheat. The child of God must never and can never gloat in the fact that he and not his neighbor was and is the object of divine compassion and mercy. All things serve for the gathering of the Church that God loves and for whom alone Christ died. Let us then fall on our knees in thankful wonder that we are the objects of His love through no merit of our own. Psalter 146.

April 7 Read Isaiah 45:5-12

There are two terms with which many are familiar when we speak of the counsel of God, and they are Supralapsarianism and Infralapsarianism. Space does not permit doing justice to these views, but we should know what they stand for. The prefix “supra” and “infra” mean “above” and “below” respectively. The word “lapsis”, common to both, means “fall.” Therefore, the former means: above the fall and the latter: below the fall. The Infralapsarian presents the following order in the counsel of God: creation—fall—election and reprobation. The Supralapsarian presents this order, also in the counsel of God; election and reprobation—fall—creation. Many arguments are raised in defense of both viewpoints and you may wish to explore this for yourself, but we believe and maintain that Supralapsarianism is truly Scriptural and the only consistent setting forth of the decree of God’s predestination. To reveal God’s own eternal glory, Christ the covenant head of the elect church was first in His counsel. “For who hath known the mind of the Lord?… For of him, and through him, and to him are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:34, 36). Psalter 211.

April 8 Read Psalm 145:8-13

As we have mentioned before, many of God’s virtues are closely related to each other. Such is the case with His Dominion. Dominion has to do with rule and power. He is the supreme Ruler and Authority over all the works of His hands. Psalm 72 portrays Solomon as a type of Christ who would have dominion from sea to sea. The apostle Peter uses this term when he breaks out in a doxology of praise: “that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever” (I Peter 3:11). There is also an earthly reflection of dominion given to the creature. After Adam was formed by God, he was given a charge to have dominion over the fish, the fowl, and every living thing that moved upon the earth. We too have that calling. Never may we abuse it, but always exercise it properly as stewards of God’s creation until our Lord returns upon the clouds of heaven as King, Judge, and Savior. Psalter 200.

April 9 Read Psalm 150

Scripture often speaks of God’s Excellency. This is a word that means an outstanding and valuable quality. God alone is the only and highest possible standard of excellence. In Job 37:2 we read that the Almighty is “excellent in power,” and Psalm 81 begins “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” The apostle Peter, in referring to the transfiguration of Christ, said he heard a voice from the excellent glory. The apostle Paul in Phil. 3:8 exclaims “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of God.” Dear reader, can you make this same confession as Paul, even to the cost of your life? Life is a precious gift and we must respect our bodies as the temple of God. Therefore we care for our bodies and do not willfully expose them to danger as exhorted in the Heidelberg Catechism. The excellency of the knowledge of God is more precious than life itself. Strive then to grow in that excellent knowledge of our God and experience the assurance and joy of your salvation. Psalter 174.

April 10 Read Psalm 90:13-17

Our God is a God of Beauty. The dictionary defines beauty as the “qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.” When we think of beauty we picture a scene or an object of loveliness, charm, or comeliness, with nothing to detract from it. Only God is truly beautiful because He is pure and holy with no imperfections. Beauty is reflected in creation, but because sin reared its ugly head, this beauty is marred. Beauty in Scripture is often mentioned in connection with the worship of God in His house. Today we have that privilege and obligation. Listen to the psalmist who states that the desire of God’s people is to “behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple” (Ps. 27:2). Because your minister proclaims the good tidings of salvation, their feet are described as beautiful (Is. 52:7). And the message of salvation is described as “beauty for ashes” (Is. 61:3). Let us never neglect this privilege and never cease to thank our God who will one day change our vile bodies like unto His glorious body. Then we shall behold Him in the true beauty of holiness. Psalter 349.

April 11 Read II Timothy 2:8-13

To be considered faithful, one must be loyal, firm in adherence to promises and steadfast in affection and allegiance. Our God is that not only, but so much more since He alone is the sole faithful One. God’s Faithfulness is extolled abundantly in Holy Writ. The prophet Jeremiah in bitter anguish lamented the destruction of Jerusalem, but still he exclaimed, “Great is thy faithfulness” (Lam. 3:23). In Psalm 89 the Lord repeatedly points out how His people are reproached and how often they forsake His law, and though He will visit their sins with His chastisement, yet He will keep His covenant and not permit His faithfulness to fail. This affords great comfort to the church. People of God, we are called to be stewards of the mysteries and the manifold grace of God. Do you know what is required of stewards? It is that they are found faithful. Can this be said of us? Pray that when the Lord returns we may by grace hear Him say “Well done thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matt. 25:21). Psalter 241.

April 12 Read Micah 7:18-20

What a great and wonderful benefit is God’s Forgiveness. Psalm 103 begins by calling us to bless the Lord and not forget all His benefits. The very first benefit mentioned is the forgiveness of our iniquities. No blessing is more important than this, for in forgiveness, salvation is begun. Do we realize how awful sin really is? When we sin against the most high majesty of God, we are saying that we refuse to have Him rule over us, and therefore disobey His holy laws. God’s justice demands satisfaction and we know from our Heidelberg Catechism that there is only one way we can be delivered from our sins. God in His great mercy provided that way. His only begotten Son who became flesh took on Himself the guilt of our sins and paid the price of our pardon on His cross. Through Him we have forgiveness, full and free. Woe unto us if we lightly regard God’s forgiveness and think that we may be careless about our sins or continue in them. Rather, in sincerity of heart let us pray, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me,” and partake of the forgiving mercy of God. Psalter 83.

April 13 Read Psalm 36:5-9

A fountain is commonly known as a source from which something proceeds. And most of us then picture in our minds a gushing stream or sprays of water. Our God is known in Scripture as a Fountain of living water. This is a beautiful and descriptive term that rightly views God as a source. In fact He is the source of all things. And just as water is indispensable for us to maintain earthly life, so that living water which He reveals to us in His Word is absolutely necessary for us to live spiritually. The apostle James compares our mouths to a fountain when he states that out of the same mouth proceeds both blessing and cursing. He chides us with the words “these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet waters and bitter?” Let us beware that this may not be said of us. Instead, let our words be acceptable in the sight of God and let us be thirsty for the water of life that proceeds from Him alone. Psalter 94.

April 14 Read Psalm 138:1-5

When we speak of the Glory of God we picture a wonderful display of splendor, honor, and awesome majesty of the Most High. Those who beheld the glory of the Lord displayed in biblical history experienced an event or appearance so awesome that it instilled great fear and dread in their hearts. God’s glory appeared at various times when a sin of great magnitude was committed. Isaiah had a vision of the Lord’s glory that caused the seraphims to cover their faces and feet, and made Isaiah cry out “Woe is me for I am undone.” At the momentous occasion of Jesus’ birth, the glory of the Lord shone round about the shepherds and they were sore afraid. At the last day the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father and every knee shall bow before Him. Let each of us, whether young or old be reminded again of our daily calling: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (I Cor. 10:31). Thanks be to God that one day by His grace we may be partakers of His glory. Psalter 15.

April 15 Read Psalm 145:1-6

The word “great” is certainly a familiar word in our vocabulary. The Bible very often uses this word or various forms of it. One of its uses is to describe a virtue of our God. Listen to the opening words of Psalm 48: “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.” The word “greatness” means markedly superior, predominant in quality, or large in measure. These are human definitions, but in our limited way describe how great is our God. Psalm 77:3 asks the question “who is so great a God as our God?” The obvious answer is that there is no God like our God, nor can there possibly be. And the psalmist then goes on to describe the great wonders that God wrought in the realm of nature and in the care of His people. The virgin Mary magnified the Lord saying, “he that is mighty hath done to me great things” (Luke 1:49). Dear people of God, let us also join in that refrain of praise for that greatest gift of all, namely Immanuel, God with us, Who redeemed us from the guilt of our sins and made us heirs of salvation. Psalter 399.

April 16 Read Isaiah 58:6-11

It is a frightening experience to be lost. Imagine yourself stranded in a large strange city where danger lurks and you have no map or anyone to show you to your destination. Or picture yourself in a jungle or forest, hopelessly lost with no compass or guide, or, worst of all, trying to find your way in the sea of temptations, the paths of sin, the wilderness of carnal pleasures, the mountains of self-righteousness and the valleys of death without a proper guide. That is the situation of those who in their pride claim that they are the masters of their fate and the captain of their souls. Oh let that never be true of us. God, Who is a God of grace to His people, is our Guide. Even as He led His people Israel from the bondage of Egypt to the promised land of Canaan, so He leads us day by day on our pilgrimage to the heavenly Canaan. Jesus promised the church that the Spirit of Truth would come to guide them into all truth and even now He dwells in our hearts. God has also given us His Word that is a lamp to our feet and light to our paths. He has also promised that He will be our Guide even unto death. Blessed Guide and blessed pathway that leads us to glory. Psalter 203.

April 17 Read Psalm 70

All of us require help of some sort during our lifetime, and it is safe to say that each of us has helped others also. To help means that we render necessary aid or give support and assistance to someone or to a cause that requires it. There is physical help by willing hands, financial assistance or moral support, to name a few. However, unless this is done with a proper godly motive, such help is in vain. Our God is often called our Help or Helper, and this is a protecting, loving and perfect help. This doesn’t mean that we are always spared from trials and sorrows, but He gives His helping grace to His children according to need, always knowing what is best for each of them. In the Psalms especially we read how God’s children plead for His help and deliverance knowing that He will surely hear them. Let us always be ready and willing to help those in need as the Lord places them in our path, for Jesus said “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40). Psalter 352.

April 18 Read Psalm 91:1-7

Another descriptive name of Jehovah that we frequently see in Holy Writ is the Most High God. When someone or something is defined as high, we determine that it has an elevated status, that it is advanced in development or that it has an elevated character. These are but feeble descriptions of the Lord Most High. He is not higher or even the most high among other gods. He is God alone, the only true and living God Most High. Psalm 47:2 states that the “Lord most high is terrible.” This means that He is awe-inspiring in might and splendor. We also find this term used where God is portrayed as a protector and refuge of His people. Who can possibly snatch away even one of His children when He as the Most High covers them with His wings, protects them with His shield and delivers them from the arrows and plagues of the devil? Nothing can separate us from His love. Are you troubled and afflicted with the cares of this world? Are you perhaps suffering from a serious illness? Does your cross seem too heavy to bear? Listen to God Who says “when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28). Psalter 259.

April 19 Read Zechariah 1:12-16

Did you know that we serve a jealous God? Among His many and glorious virtues, God’s Jealousy is very real. To most of our minds, this term does not have the best connotation and for good reason. We usually interpret jealousy as meaning an envious or intolerant attitude toward our fellow man suspected of enjoying an advantage over us. This is a sin that we must prayerfully avoid and discontinue. Jealousy can also mean a guarding of a possession with jealous vigilance. We read in Exodus 34:14, “For thou shalt worship no other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” God will not tolerate the worship of any idol gods nor will He allow the profaning of His name for He declares in Ezekiel 39:25, “I will be jealous for my holy name.” The prophet Elijah in the depths of discouragement said twice to the Lord: “I have been very jealous for the Lord God of Hosts…and I, even I only, am left” (I Kings 19:10, 14). But the Lord responded that He reserved to Himself seven thousand who had not bowed to Baal. Be truly thankful, people of God that we are preserved unto all eternity by a faithful God who cares for us with godly jealousy. Psalter 95.

April 20 Read Psalm 24

“God is King forever: let the nations tremble.” Most of us are familiar with this versification of Psalm 99. That God is King is a fact that is attested to throughout all Scripture. When we speak of a king, we also speak of a kingdom, as well as subjects of that kingdom, and the sovereign authority of that king to rule over these subjects. As king, God is the supreme Sovereign over all the universe. This kingdom is also Christ’s as bestowed on Him by the Father, Who has put all things under His feet. This kingdom is spiritual, an absolute monarchy, and all the elect are the subjects of this kingdom. This king also rules in every realm of nature, providentially determining the rise and fall of civilizations, and making all things subservient to the cause of His kingdom. What a privilege that we may be a part of this kingdom and be willing subjects under the rule of this glorious King. The final aspect of this kingdom will come when the “heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (II Peter 3:10). The church of all ages will then inherit the new heavens and earth, and dwell eternally in unspeakable glory. Let us pray fervently “O Lord, Thy kingdom come.” Psalter 266.

April 21 Read Psalm 95:1-6

Closely related to God as Creator, is God our Maker. We are reminded of this in the very first chapter of Genesis when God said “Let us make man in our image.” “Make” means to bring into being by forming or shaping, or causing to happen. By His creative word all things came into existence in their proper order. Man, in distinction from the beasts, however, was made after God’s image, and as such he is a rational, moral creature, accountable to God. When Adam and Eve fell into sin, we read that God made coats of skins to cover them that opened the way of sacrifice and pointed to the perfect atoning sacrifice of Christ. From the beginning to the end of Scripture, God tells us what He does as our Maker, He makes us His own sons and daughters; He makes His face to shine upon us; He makes us willing in the day of His power; He makes a way to escape when we are tempted; Christ makes intercession for us before His Father; and finally God will make all things new. Let us consecrate our lives to this glorious Maker, and pray “thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God” (Ps. 40:17). Psalter 269.

April 22 Read Romans 2:13-18

Men everywhere seek peace. In a world filled with unrest, tension and war, the desire for and the emphasis is on peace. What is peace? One can say it is cessation from hostilities, quietness, and harmony, but is that really the essence of peace? The ungodly desires a form of peace and seeks out its worldly counselors and spends millions on organizations such as the United Nations, only to see their efforts crumble in failure time and again. The reason of course, is found in Scripture: “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Is. 57:21). True peace is this: “Be careful (anxious) for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and mind through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6, 7). Young people, you are faced with many decisions, temptations and problems as you are becoming adults. Don’t try to solve them in your own strength, but go in prayer to the God of Peace and ask that His will be made known to you. Only in this way will you be blessed and find true peace. Psalter 7.

April 23 Read I Peter 2:5-10

Today we will not discuss a specific virtue of God, but rather the preciousness of His relationship to us and our relationship to Him. We would define the term “precious” as something of great value, something deeply cherished and held in high esteem. God is very precious to us, the value of which cannot be described in earthly terms such as money, gems, silver or gold. To have God love us is priceless! He tells us in His word that His precious beloved Son is the chief cornerstone of the church and that He is likewise precious to those who believe (I Peter 2:6, 7). We, as God’s people are precious to Him, both in life and death. We read in Is. 43:4 “Since thou wast precious in my sight…I have loved thee;” and in Psalm 116:15: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” We do not like to think about death, especially as young people, yet the Lord in inscrutable wisdom sees fit on occasion to reach down and take to Himself someone in the vigor of youth. Let each of us, whether young or old, lay hold by faith to God’s precious promises that He will be our guide even to death. Psalter 311.

April 24 Read Matthew 10:28-32

The Providence of God is such a vast subject that it cannot possibly be fully examined in a few sentences. The word itself literally means: to see beforehand, and to make provision accordingly. The term providence only appears once in Scripture and it is used with respect to Felix, an officer of the Roman government. But the idea appears abundantly throughout Scripture and is the generally accepted term to denote divine preservation and government. It is the almighty power of God whereby He executes His counsel and directs all things so that without exception they work together to attain His sovereign determinate counsel. We encourage you to read Lord’s Day 10 of our Heidelberg Catechism and also Art. 13 of our Belgic Confession which beautifully define God’s providence. This doctrine affords us great comfort to know that all things that happen in the realm of creation, or in our personal lives, come not by chance, but by the hand of our h4eavenly Father. Then we do not despair when sorrows beset us or panic unreasonably when tornado warnings or other calamities threaten us. We trust our God with the confidence that nothing can separate us from His love. Psalter 296.

April 25 Read Philippians 4:4-8

Our God is the standard and very essence of Purity. To be pure, someone, or something must be chaste and genuine, and be free from moral fault or guilt or anything that would pollute or weaken it. God’s purity is reflected in His Word. We read in Psalm 12:6 “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” Psalm 119:140 states: “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.” God also requires that our hearts must be pure, for the psalmist asks in Psalm 24 “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place?” The answer is “He that hath clean hands and a pure heart.” Out of the heart are the issues of life and it is the inner spiritual source which gives direction to our entire spiritual life. A pure heart is a regenerated heart that sorrows because of sin and seeks forgiveness at the cross, and strives by grace to lead a holy life. The promised blessing of the pure in heart is that they shall see God. There is nothing more wonderful than that! Psalter 42.

April 26 Read Isaiah 48:12-17

“I will sing of my Redeemer, and His wondrous love to me.” So goes the first line of a familiar hymn. What a wonderful reason to break out in a song of praise and thanksgiving to God Who is our Redeemer and Savior. Redeem means to buy back, to pay a ransom for one in captivity, or to free from the consequences of sin. This surely is a picture of us who were conceived and born in sin and utterly corrupt by nature. Without a mediator or redeemer to deliver us from that bondage, our cause would be hopeless. But God, Who is rich in mercy, provided a Redeemer who paid the price of our ransom. And that price was not gold or silver or precious gems, but the very lifeblood of His own dear Son, Jesus Christ the Righteous. All the bloody sacrifices of the Old Testament pointed to Him, and Job, even in the midst of severe trials and sufferings, could boldly say “I know that my redeemer liveth…and in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:25, 26). Make this your confession also, dear reader, and rejoice with thanksgiving to God for His wonderful redemptive grace. Psalter 280.

April 27 Read Psalm 62

If you are caught outside in a howling storm accompanied by torrents of rain or if you are in a small boat and the waves threaten to overwhelm you, what would be your reaction? Undoubtedly you would strive to find refuge and shelter where you would be safe and protected. Scripture ascribes this comforting characteristic of Refuge to God in many passages. Listen to Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Although God can, and does protect us according to His will in our daily lives, yet this is a spiritual refuge. When the storms of temptation surround us, when the waves of doubt overwhelm us, when Satan hurls his fiery darts at us, or we are buffeted by the winds of persecution, don’t seek to find safety in our own strength, but by grace turn to the eternal God who is our refuge and whose everlasting arms are underneath us to carry us to His bosom. He will thrust out the enemy that threatens our souls. We trust and pray, dear reader, that this God is your refuge where you will be eternally safe. Psalter 128.

April 28 Read Psalm 61

Closely related to the truth of God as our refuge that we saw yesterday, is God Who is our Rock. Whereas the former is pictured as a shelter, the idea of a rock is that of a firm and immovable foundation. Near the end of his life, Moses recounts the faithfulness and mercy of God to the people of Israel and breaks forth in a song: “He is the Rock, his work is perfect” (Deut. 32:4). We are all familiar with the conclusion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount where He contrasts the foolish and wise men who built their houses upon sand and upon a rock respectively. Jesus Christ is the spiritual Rock upon which we must build our homes. That is the only sure foundation. Any other will crumble and fall as a prey to the evil one. We sometimes sing: “The Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord”. How true it is that the Church must be founded upon the truth as it is in Jesus Christ. The gates of hell cannot prevail against it. Let each one of us by God’s grace, love that truth, hold to that truth, and never forsake it. Psalter 111.

April 29 Read Psalm 98

Our subject today is that totally wonderful gift of God, namely Salvation. Salvation means that we are loved eternally by God and chosen unto eternal life. Implied in salvation is first of all, deliverance from the lowest possible depths of misery, which is the plight of every child of God as he is conceived and born as a natural child of Adam. It further implies that he is raised to the highest possible good and that he is safely preserved in that state. No one can possibly pluck him out of the hand of God for it is His sovereign work in Christ. Salvation cannot be offered as something that anyone can accept or reject as it may please them, for it is God’s work from beginning to end, and the way of salvation is the way of sin and grace through the cross of Christ whereby we are justified and sanctified through His Spirit. By faith we believe all that God reveals to us in His word, by faith we are kept in that truth, and by the power of God we receive the end of that faith, even the salvation of our souls. “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord” (Ps. 116:12, 13). Psalter 331.

April 30 Read John 10:11-18

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” These are familiar and well loved words and are often the first Bible verses that little children commit to memory. The symbol of God as our Shepherd is a beautiful one. He feeds the sheep. He leads them, and He protects them. The character of sheep is that they wander away. They cannot find proper pasture and do not know the way back to the fold. This description fits us for we read in Isaiah 53:6: “All we like sheep have gone astray.” Sheep are also defenseless, so the shepherd must defend them from wolves even unto death. Only a true shepherd, and not a hireling would do that. God as our Shepherd does indeed watch over and protect His precious flock. In John 10, Jesus declares: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” God in the flesh did exactly that. No one took His life, but He voluntarily laid it down in atoning death for all the elect sheep of all ages. We are fed with the living word so that all our needs are supplied. And when we must walk through the valley of the shadow of death, even there we need not fear, for our Shepherd is there to take us to our heavenly fold where we may experience His goodness and mercy forevermore. Psalter 55.

March 1 Read Psalm 119:17-24

For this series of meditations we plan to discuss in brief some of the names, attributes and virtues of God. These can in no wise be in-depth theological treatises on the unspeakable glorious being that is God, nor will we attempt to debate all the distinctions between these terms. We hope, however, that God may be pleased to reveal to us some glimpses of His greatness as we look through Scripture. As we do so, may we humble ourselves before His majesty and consider ourselves greatly blessed that we may serve Him and love Him. You undoubtedly realize that all we know about God is what He Himself has revealed to us in His word. But knowledge alone will profit us nothing unless the Spirit imparts the gift of faith to us. Then we not only know intellectually, but by grace we also believe that word and experience the joy and wonder of His love and mercy. Let us then explore these great wonders of God’s revelation to us and pray that our eyes of faith may be opened and our hearts made receptive to these truths. Sing Psalter 333.

March 2 Read Deuteronomy 6:4-15

In the first article of the Belgic Confession, we read, “We believe with the heart, and confess with the mouth, that there is one only simple and spiritual Being, which we call God.” God reveals Himself to us in many ways. One of these ways is by His names. Our names are temporal and changeable. God is God and His name is unchangeable and reveals who He is. That God is a simple being means that God is one. He is completely independent and sovereign. Many people believe in polytheism, or “many gods.” We read in Scripture of the nations with their various idol gods. Even today there are multitudes of people who worship spirits, or heavenly bodies, or imagine that they behold God in various objects of nature. To worship a god that must compete with other gods is abhorrent and unthinkable as well as comfortless and hopeless. Our God is one within Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit with no conflict or discord. He is one from all eternity and nothing frustrates His purpose. Let us bow then in humble adoration and extol His great name. Psalter 15.

March 3 Read Revelation 15:1-4

God is the Almighty One. He is pleased to reveal Himself at various times and circumstances as the alone mighty God. He is not merely the mightiest among others and must struggle to gain the victory. He knows no opposition. He uses all things, even the devil and his evil hosts to realize His purpose. Beginning in the book of Genesis when God appeared to Abram as the Almighty God, and reading this same term in numerous passages throughout Scripture, finally culminating in Revelation chapter 21, we see that our God is indeed the Almighty One. When we are beset with fears, and Satan takes advantage of our weaknesses, what a comfort it is to know that the Almighty One is in full control of all things. Nothing can frustrate His counsel, and nothing can separate us from His love in Christ. Sing Psalter 242.

March 4 Read Psalm 24

Another name for God that appears in Scripture more than fifty times is the “Lord of hosts.” Twice we read of the term “Lord of Sabaoth” which means the same thing. Our God is not only almighty in His Being, but He is surrounded by a host of angels who worship Him constantly, and willingly do His pleasure. This expresses to us His royal glory and majestic power. Picture in your mind for a moment an earthly king who has become great and powerful with a huge army fully prepared for warfare and conquest. Who would not tremble at their approach? But we would not even dare to compare this earthly king and His armies to the Lord and His hosts. We read in Psalm 2 that the kings of the earth take counsel against the Lord in rebellion. But what is His response? He laughs at them and holds them in derision. Let us bow before this Lord of Hosts, not in dread or unbelief, but in holy awe and godly fear, and by grace abide under the shadow of His protective wings. Psalter 228.

March 5 Read Exodus 6:1-8

God is known to us by many names. Each one is significant and reveals to us different characteristics of His holiness and perfections. The name Jehovah, usually translated as “Lord”, is well known to us and is of great comfort to His people. The name Jahweh, or Jehovah, means literally “I Am That I Am”, and is explained to Moses in Exodus 3:14. It is in this name that God reveals Himself as the unchangeable covenant God. He loves His people in a covenant friendship in Christ from before the foundation of the world. In Psalm 35:14, we read “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.” Can you think of anything more beautiful and picturesque than that? A secret is not made known to an enemy, but to a friend, and where secrets are exchanged, there is intimate friendship and love. Jehovah, the unchangeable One transforms us from children of darkness to children of light and makes us by grace to fear Him. This is not a fear of terror, but of love. Dear reader, do you hear this secret of Jehovah as He speaks to you through the preaching of the Word? God grant that this blessed gospel may fill your heart with assurance and praise. Sing Psalter 71.

March 6 Read I John 3:1-3

More common and frequent in the New Testament is the name of “Father” when referring to God. This name also appears in the Old Testament, to be sure, but usually in a different connotation, namely that of generating or of bringing forth. As a father, God led His people out of bondage and into the land of Canaan. In the New Testament we are taught to address God as “our Father” in childlike faith. As you attend worship today, you confess with your fellow saints and the church of all ages the very first words of the Apostolic Creed: “I believe in God the Father.” We are His adopted sons and daughters, and just as earthly parents adopt a child and bestow on it all legal rights of sonship, so we belong to God and are rightfully His through His adoption of us. This is a great wonder of grace, and God even promises us that we shall be like Him. In our flesh we are frail, infirm, and sinful, but one day in glory we shall be changed to be like our heavenly Father perfectly. Let us by grace echo the words “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” Sing Psalter 278.

March 7 Read Isaiah 40:25-31

Our God is the Creator of the heaven and the earth. In His eternal counsel, He purposed according to His will to call into being by His word, a creation. This creation perfectly serves God’s purpose. He declared it good and everything about it is adapted to the end that He determined. It must sustain life as we know it, so that man, the crown of creation, could commune with the Creator and enjoy His fellowship. Through this creation the elect must be gathered through the struggle of sin and grace. Christ must appear in this creation to redeem His church and He will return to it as Judge at the last day. The present heaven and earth is a picture of the new heaven and the new earth where righteousness dwells. Do you believe in this Creator, dear reader? Young people, you are exhorted to “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth” (Eccl. 12:1a). Multitudes scoff at the idea of a sovereign Creator and wallow instead in the evil pit of evolutionism. But thanks be to God that by His grace we may embrace this truth regarding our great Creator and look forward to dwelling forever in the new creation purchased for us by the blood of Christ our Savior. Sing Psalter 37.

March 8 Read Romans 11:33-36

One of the attributes of God is His Independency. All His attributes and virtues are interwoven and connected with each other because He is so infinitely great. But even though we cannot separate one from another, each has its own distinct characteristics. When we say that God is independent we confess that He is the self-sufficient One who owes His existence to nothing and no one. All things are dependent upon Him. He is always first and none can resist His will. In Psalm 115:3 we read: “But our God is in the heavens; He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased”. On the contrary, we are dependent creatures. When we are born, we are helpless, totally dependent upon others for our very life. Every day we are dependent upon our heavenly Father for our daily bread and for every breath that we take. Above all we are dependent upon God for our spiritual well being, for the gift of a new life in Christ and the Spirit in our hearts so we may respond, “All that I am, I owe to Thee.” Sing Psalter 383.

March 9 Read Job 11:7-9

As we pursue in a limited measure the attributes and virtues of our God, we see glimpses of how great and wonderful is the God whom we are privileged to serve. We will look for a moment at God’s Infinity. The dictionary defines the term infinite as “subject to no limitation or external determination.” This means that there are no limitations to God’s being or perfections. He is bound by nothing whatsoever. We are finite creatures; of the earth, earthly and unable to so much as move a muscle in and of ourselves. We are also bound by time and space, and as creatures of the dust, our time on earth will come to an end. By contrast, God is boundless and endless and although it is difficult for our human minds to conceive of such a wonder, yet by faith we embrace this infinite God who is pleased to reveal Himself to us. Let us then confess with the psalmist “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unreachable” (Ps. 145:3). Sing Psalter 394.

March 10 Read Deuteronomy 32:1-4

God is the very essence and implication of Perfection. There is absolutely no flaw or imperfection in His entire being or in His works. It is inconceivable and even blasphemous to think that God makes mistakes or that we have the right to question His motives. We read in Psalm 19:7, “The law of the Lord is perfect.” Hebrews 12:2 speaks of “that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God,” and in Deuteronomy 32:4 we read, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect.” As creatures, we often use the term “perfect” to describe an object or decision that suits our purpose or fits some situation. But in our sin cursed world there is nothing perfect, nothing without flaws or imperfections. There was only one perfect man who ever trod this earth. That was our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ whom the Father sent in perfect wisdom, and who gave Himself a perfect sacrifice for our redemption. Because of that, we, and all God’s people, will one day dwell in glory and behold all of God’s perfections in Christ. That is surely a glorious prospect to behold and to strive for by His grace. Sing Psalter 40.

March 11 Read Psalm 102:25-28

Closely related to God’s infinity is His Eternity. He is not limited to or by time, and lives His endless life in all its infinite perfections. It is difficult to think of this virtue of God apart from our own existence. We see beginnings and endings constantly in our lives, so how can we comprehend eternity? Perhaps “endless time” would be one definition, since Scripture does speak of it in that sense, such as in Ephesians 3:21: “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.” When we think of the ungodly who must spend an eternity in hell, we tremble at the very thought of it. In this too, God is just, for the wicked hate Him, and willfully walk in sin and rebellion. But look again at the text we just quoted which points to the endless life of the church. Are you a living member of that church for whom Christ died? By nature we do not deserve a place there, but by His grace and mercy we are engrafted into Christ and nothing can separate us from His love. Thank Him then unceasingly and live a life that is consistent with your confession. Sing Psalter 275.

March 12 Read Isaiah 66:1, 2

We will look today and tomorrow at the virtue or attribute of God that we call His Omnipresence. He is at once beyond all the laws of space and yet He completely fills that space. That means that He is transcendent, or above all, and that He is also immanent, or in all things. That God is transcendent is taught in Scripture such as I Kings 8:27: “but will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?” He is beyond the limits of all possible knowledge and experience. This transcendency of God implies that He is not to be identified with the creature or the works of His hands in nature as the Pantheists maintain. Pantheism literally means “all is god,” and since God is all things, the inevitable conclusion must be that there is no God. All we have then is just a world, and therefore no sin, no prayer and no religion. People of God, don’t ever succumb to this heresy, but maintain God’s transcendency with the church of all ages. Sing Psalter 211.

March 13 Read Acts 17:24-28

One of the aspects of God’s omnipresence is His Immanency. Not only is He transcendent as we saw yesterday, above and beyond all things, but He is also immanent, meaning that He is constantly in all things. In Jeremiah 23:24 we read, “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” It is impossible to be separate from, or to escape from God, for in Him we live and move and have our being. The ungodly in this life may shake their fist at God or even deny His existence, yet they will behold Him in hell, for He is even there as a consuming fire. For the child of God, however, this doctrine serves to draw us closer to Him and compels us to say “Search me O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23, 24). Sing Psalter 382

March 14 Read Psalm 102:25-28

Another attribute of God is His Immutability. This means that He is the unchangeable One. He always remains the same. Any change would have to be for the better or for the worse, and that is impossible, for He is a God of infinite perfections. Scripture makes it plain that God cannot change as Malachi 3:6 tells us: “For I am the Lord, I change not….” How must we then explain the many passages that speak of God repenting Himself of an action taken? We insist that God’s counsel is unchangeable, but He carries out that counsel in time in harmony with the nature and condition of the creature. He cannot love and hate at the same time as the theory of common grace would have you believe. How can God present a well meant offer to all hearers of the gospel and sincerely desire their salvation when according to His counsel He has no desire or intention to save all who hear? A God who loves today and hates tomorrow is a changeable God and not the God of scripture. People of God, cherish the doctrine of the immutability of God and by grace cling to Him Who is the same yesterday, today and forever. Sing Psalter 86.

March 15 Read Jeremiah 45:5-11

Our God is Omnipotent. He is all-powerful. Nothing can possibly change or resist Him as He carries out His sovereign will and counsel. Does this mean then, that since He can do anything, He is able to sin, or to change, or be tempted? In response we would point out that Scripture surely speaks of many things that God cannot do. He cannot lie, repent, be tempted, or deny Himself. God truly is almighty, able to do all things, but always in harmony with His being and will. When the disciples asked Jesus “Who then can be saved?” He said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Because God’s power is absolute, nothing can frustrate the realization of His eternal counsel. All the elect will be saved, not one ever lost! King’s hearts are in His hands to turn them whithersoever He pleases. We see the sign of the end unfold before our very eyes and observe the wicked world filling their cup of iniquity. God’s omnipotence is a great comfort to the church for we know He loves us and can and will surely save us. Let us bow before Him in humble thanks and trust in this almighty God with all our hearts. Sing Psalter 76.

March 16 Read Romans 9:13-21

In the preceding meditations we have dealt with the incommunicable attributes of God. Those, strictly speaking, are to be ascribed to God alone. There are also communicable attributes of God, which in a creaturely manner are reflected in man. We hope to look at those wonderful virtues of God, but before we do, let us look at a term that is frequently and fittingly used in our circles. That is the Sovereignty of God. The word itself is not found in our pew bibles, yet it is the embodiment of all those attributes of God that we have discussed. Sovereignty is supreme and unlimited authority with absolute power to enforce that authority. God declares that He “hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” It is a terrible indictment of the wicked, who scornfully question His perfect justice, but it gives unspeakable comfort to all the elect who by grace are sorry for their sins and cast themselves before His throne of mercy. Sing Psalter 269.

March 17 Read Romans 11:33-36

Our God is a God of Knowledge. Because He is the source of all knowledge, He completely knows Himself and all His works. In fact His knowledge is actually foreknowledge in the sense that it is a causative, all-determining knowledge. Our knowledge is determined by the things themselves, and only after they exist. Our knowledge is limited and must be earned, herefore it is superficial and temporal and subject to development. Because God knows the end from the beginning, all things are ever before Him. Some would have it that the foreknowledge of God means that He sees beforehand what man’s reaction and choice will be, and then He acts accordingly. Then man determines things and not God, which denies His sovereignty. God knows the wicked and determines their end, but never contrary to their willful rejection of Him. God also knows our hearts, which by nature were hearts of stone, but which He transforms to hearts of flesh by the wonder of regeneration. Make this your prayer, dear reader: “Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee” (Ps. 143:8b). Sing Psalter 207.

March 18 Read I Corinthians 2:6-9

 Wisdom is that virtue of God whereby He is able to adapt all things by divinely ordained means to the greatest glory of His name. Throughout Scripture, all true wisdom is ascribed to God. He is the all-wise, all discerning One. Scripture also speaks of wisdom in a creaturely sense. We might define it as the ability to use one’s knowledge to the best advantage. God’s people are exhorted to get wisdom and Proverbs 8:35 states that “whoso findeth me (wisdom) findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord”. Contrasted to this is the wisdom of this world that is described as foolishness with God. Let us say with the inspired psalmist “O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all” (Ps. 104:24). But especially in the work of redemption and salvation are the riches and depths of God’s wisdom revealed. Pray for wisdom, people of God, that we may dedicate our lives to His service and use all our gifts and talents to His glory. Sing Psalter 288.

March 19 Read Matthew 19:16, 17

“Only God is truly good,” said Jesus to the rich young ruler who addressed Him as “Good Master.” Because of the apparently casual way he approached Jesus, it was necessary to impress upon him the tremendous implication of this virtue. Here Jesus uses the term in its absolute sense. God’s Goodness is the implication of His infinite perfection by which He knows Himself as the absolute good, and as such reveals Himself to man. Scripture abounds with passages extolling God’s goodness. That He is good to all is true in the sense that He gives good gifts to all. But He never gives these good gifts such as food, rain and sunshine to the wicked in His grace and love. Because His goodness can never be separated from His holiness and justice, only those who fear Him, all His elect children, are the recipients of His mercy, forgiveness and love. People of God, let us together confess with the psalmist: “For thou Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee” (Ps. 86:5). Sing Psalter 233.

March 20 Read I John 1:5-7

How many of us thought of God this morning when we first opened our eyes to the light? Perhaps not too many of us did. But we should have, for the Bible tells us that God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all. Before creation there was only darkness, but on the first day God made the light. Surely the darkness too is a gift of God, so that we may sleep, but figuratively, light signifies life whereas darkness implies evil and death. Earthly life as we know it could not be sustained without light. And our spiritual lives could not flourish without the light of the Word. God is called the “Father of lights” in James chapter one, and Jesus not only proclaimed Himself the light of the world, but tells us also that we are lights and must let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. Today, as you worship God with fellow believers, pray that your hearing may be mixed with faith as you listen to that Word which is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Sing Psalter 71.

March 21 Read I Peter 1:13-16

Perhaps no other attribute of God is more prominent in Scripture than His Holiness. The word itself means ethical purity and freedom from moral defilement. God alone is the Holy One so that He is completely consecrated to Himself and distinct from all creatures. He is the God of eternal and infinite perfections, so glorious that the seraphims covered their faces and feet and cried “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory” (Is. 6:3). However, Holy Writ also speaks of holiness that expresses a relationship such as holy people, holy oil, holy place, etc. These persons or things do not signify an inner spiritual virtue, but they are called holy because they have been separated from common use and consecrated to a particular service of God. People of God, we are all called unto holiness and especially we would address you, young people, who are in the vigor and strength of youth. Pray that you may walk in holiness, set apart from the world, consecrated to God, and experience His rich blessing. Sing Psalter 267.

March 22 Read Psalm 11

God is the only criterion and absolute standard of Righteousness. The word itself literally means to be right or straight as a straight line. There are so many aspects to the righteousness of God that it is impossible to do justice to this virtue in a few words. Suffice it to say, that God does not merely possess righteousness or that it cleaves to Him, but righteousness is His very being. Related to this term is the idea of perfect judgment. As judge, God is righteous, for He wills and acts always in conformity and harmony with His infinite holiness. When Abraham confronts the Lord at the impending destruction of Sodom, he exclaims “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” God always deals righteously and justly both with the righteous and with the wicked. We also read of righteousness in connection with man. This, however, is a gift of God’s grace, namely the righteousness of Christ imputed to the elect sinner. Christ justified us in perfect harmony with the will of God and as such, we may one day stand before the tribunal of God and hear those blessed words “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you” (Matt. 25:34). Sing Psalter 6.

March 23 Read Isaiah 45:20-23

Closely related to the virtue of God’s righteousness is His Justice. It is safe to say that His righteousness and justice are one. However, we may distinguish between the two by saying that His justice is a manifestation of His righteousness. Earthly judges are called to judge rightly, that is, in conformance with the law. A just judge is one who not only knows what is right, but also fearlessly enforces that right. Many earthly judges willfully pervert justice to serve their own interests and are not concerned with what is right. Because God’s righteousness and justice cannot be separated, He is forever right and just. Always He is a God of salvation to His chosen people in Christ, but a God of righteous anger and indignation towards the wicked who do not fear Him. People of God, here is our calling as we listen to the inspired prophet in Micah 6:8, “He hath shewed thee O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Sing Psalter 271.

March 24 Read Psalm 90:7-14

Our topic for today is not popular or embraced in most of the church world today. That is the Anger or Wrath of God. God is presented as a God of love, full of kindness and benevolence who loves all men and winks at sin. Although it is certainly true that God is love, yet Scripture often speaks of His anger. Our God is not only angry with the wicked every day with a holy wrath, but is a consuming fire to them, jealously defending the honor and glory of His name. There is also the anger of man, but most of man’s anger is evil. We become angry with God, with our fellow man undeservingly, or with events in our lives, and this is sinful. This kind of anger must be controlled and overcome by humble repentance with a plea for mercy and forgiveness. Scripture does speak of a righteous anger: “Be ye angry and sin not.” There are times when we must be angry with a fellow saint should they sin or speak against the truth. But this must be done in humility and mercy, always remembering that our Father in heaven is slow to anger with us and plenteous in mercy. Sing Psalter 102.

March 25 Read I John 4:7-9

On this day commonly called Good Friday, we consider the attribute of God’s Love. Especially on this day we are constrained to quote I John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” Can you think of a more fitting text to ponder as we see the greatest revelation of God’s love manifested to us as we commemorate the bitter and shameful death of our Savior? Just think for a moment, how we, fallen sinners, corrupt and evil and very unlovable by nature, are eternally loved by God through Christ, the crucified One. What depths of love, what boundless mercy was displayed when God sent His Son who willingly died in our place. Our earthly minds cannot comprehend or fathom this great love of God. Only because He loved us first, can we possibly return love to Him and to our neighbor. Thank Him with all your heart, people of God, and go forward in gratitude and obedience. Sing Psalter 376.

March 26 Read Deuteronomy 7:6-9

Yesterday in consideration of Good Friday, we saw the supreme manifestation of God’s love in sending His Son to die. Today we will try to obtain another glimpse of the attribute of God’s Love. The word love means to “fasten or join together” with delight. Scripture emphasizes that God is love, first of all with Himself. His life is a life of love and eternally He has fellowship with Himself as the triune God in the bond of infinite perfection. Love is also described as the bond of perfectness. Love, therefore binds and unites two or more persons and implies that we seek one another and rejoice in one another in this bond of perfection which characterizes us in principle. God’s love is never a universal love as many teach and promote. His love is particular. Only His elect people chosen eternally in Christ are the objects of His love. He hates the wicked every day and never delights in the objects of His eternal wrath. That we may be the objects of God’s love is the greatest treasure imaginable. Let us praise and thank Him and love one another as He has loved us. Sing Psalter 377.

March 27 Read Acts 13:26-33

Can you think of a more fitting day to think upon that amazing power of God whereby He brings life out of death? Today we commemorate the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This wondrous work of God of re-creation is even more marvelous than the creation of the heavens and earth. Death as we know it is so final and so permanent. For the wicked, death is horrible despair and endless torment in hell. For the believer, however, death has lost its sting and the grave its power. Because Christ is risen from the dead, He has become the first fruits of all who die in Him. God, Who is the resurrection and the life, shall change our vile bodies like unto the glorious body of our Savior, a body that is fitted for the endless glory that awaits us. Think of this great power and love of God as you confess today with your fellow saints: “I believe in the resurrection of the body: and the life everlasting.” Then go forward with renewed faith, walking in thankfulness and obedience to the God of our salvation. Sing Psalter 29.

March 28 Read Ephesians 2:1-10

Our God is a God of Grace. He proclaimed His name to Moses, on the mount saying “The Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious…”(Ex. 34:6). We often refer to the word “grace” as “unmerited favor.” Although this is true, it could also be said of all God’s attributes. The fundamental meaning is a virtue that is charming, beautiful, attractive, and pleasant. Rev. H. Hoeksema defines it as follows: “grace is that divine virtue according to which God is the perfection of all beauty and loveliness, and contemplates Himself as such with infinite delight” (Reformed Dogmatics, p. 112). That God is a God of all grace means that He is gracious in Himself. He is also the Author and Source of all grace and apart from Him there can be no grace. Grace is also seen in Scripture as an irresistible, almighty, and efficacious power of God that transforms the dead sinner from his filthy corrupt state to one who is “accepted in the Beloved”. Ephesians chapter two describes how we were dead in trespasses and sins, but were made alive by the grace of God through faith and that it is all a gift of God. What a precious gift. What a gracious God who is the very embodiment of all loveliness and perfections. Sing Psalter 164.

March 29 Read Ephesians 1:1-6

Yesterday we saw that grace is an attribute of God, most attractive, all-powerful, irresistible and revealed in the beauty of His being. Because Scripture always testifies that grace is sovereignly bestowed only on the objects of His electing love and mercy in Christ, it is always particular, never common to all. We read in Ephesians 2, “By grace are ye saved through faith.” If the grace of God were common to all men, then all would be saved. This deviation from the truth of Scripture has led to more and more errors, and we see abundant evidence how it destroys the antithesis and embraces amalgamation with the world and its culture. By the providence of God, there were faithful ministers and parishioners who would not and could not subscribe to that common grace theory. Thus the Protestant Reformed Churches were born who vigorously defend the truth of sovereign, free, and particular grace. Young people, hold on to this truth for your sakes and for the sake of the generations following. Sing Psalter 397.

March 30 Read I Peter 1:1-5

“O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever” (Ps. 136:1). Every verse of this psalm rings out with this glad refrain “for his mercy endureth forever.” Mercy is an attribute that shows forth the divine affection of God. He is not only tenderly affected toward Himself as the highest and only good, but also wills that His people are blessed in Him and therefore He saves them out of their great misery and gives them salvation in Christ. Because the love of God is the ground of His mercy, and because God’s love is so great, the Bible often describes His mercy as plenteous, rich, and abundant. The mercy of God also reveals itself as compassion, pity, and kindness toward His afflicted people. This mercy was first displayed when Adam and Eve fell into sin in Paradise. They fell into the arms of God’s mercy and every single child of God who ever lived or will live throughout the history of the world will be saved through the mercy of God in Christ. Give thanks unto this God whose mercy endureth forever. Sing Psalter 94.

March 31 Read Romans 9:13-18

Yesterday we saw that God’s mercy is a divine affection for Himself as the only blessed and highest good. Today we wish to elaborate a bit more on the objects of that Mercy and their subsequent calling. God tells us in Romans chapter nine that He will have mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. God in sovereign and perfect justice makes some the objects of His grace and mercy according to His decree of election. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” The reward of those that are merciful is the obtaining of mercy themselves. Does this mean that our showing mercy is first? That can never be, for by nature we are unmerciful. But God’s stream of mercy to us reaches our hearts and makes us merciful in turn. The office of the deacons is to dispense the mercies of Christ officially through the church. However, each of us has a calling to also show mercy and compassion to those whom God places in our path and are in need. Sing Psalter 326.

 July 1 Read Hebrews 2:1-4

Our meditations this month will center on the miracles of Jesus during His earthly ministry. Commentators have written volumes on definitions and categories of miracles. Miracles abound throughout the entire Scripture and may possibly be defined as an extra-ordinary work of God that is essentially a sign and wonder of His grace to His people. The principal miracle of all time is the incarnation of the Son of God. All other miracles point to this great wonder that we believe by faith. The world scoffs at the biblical account of miracles and either offers some contrived naturalistic cause, or else they blatantly deny them in unbelief. But may we by the miracle of regeneration bow before the word of God, be instructed by it, and embrace it with believing hearts. Sing Psalter 173:1, 4 and 5.

 July 2 Read John 2:1-11

Shortly after Jesus began His earthly ministry with newly gathered disciples, we read of His attendance at a wedding and the performance of His first miracle. After lovingly rebuking His mother who wished to see Him display His power for the wrong reason, He miraculously turned water into an abundance of excellent wine. Several lessons can be learned from this account. Jesus honored the state of marriage by His presence and approved the enjoyment of proper feasting and happiness. Wine, according to Scripture, “maketh glad the heart of man” (Ps. 104:15), and “cheereth God and man” (Ju. 9:13), but obviously it must be used in moderation. However, the main purpose of this miracle was to manifest His glory and to strengthen the faith of the disciples. Just as Jesus’ preaching always had a two-fold effect, so did His miracles. By faith let us behold these wondrous works of our Savior with a believing heart and stand in awe at His power, grace and mercy. Sing Psalter 288:1-4.

July 3 Read John 4:46-54

Jesus returned from Jerusalem and Samaria once again to Cana of Galilee, where He was met by a distraught nobleman whose son was at the point of death in Capernaum. He had heard of Jesus as a great miracle worker, and as a last resort asked Jesus to come to his home and heal his son. Jesus countered his request by stating that he, along with others, would not believe unless they saw signs and wonders. Not to be deterred, the nobleman again pleads with Jesus to come. In response Jesus said simply, “go thy way; thy son liveth.” Faith sprang into action at these words and the man believed. Though several miles separated Cana from Capernaum, the mighty power of Jesus is revealed as the nobleman’s servants met him and told him of his son’s recovery at the very time of Jesus’ words. Then we read that his entire household believed. Our God is a covenant God who shows mercy to believers and their seed. What an incentive for us who are parents to nurture our children in the truths of the gospel and to those who are children, to thank God and walk in obedience to Him. Sing Psalter 213:1-3.

July 4 Read Luke 5:1-4

Jesus’ fame as a preacher and miracle worker caused many people to seek Him out and as a result they “pressed upon him to hear the word of God.” So Jesus went into Peter’s ship, and from a short distance away, sat down and taught the people. Jesus now uses this occasion to demonstrate His divinity, not only to the people, but especially to Peter as He officially calls him to the office of disciple and apostle. Jesus instructs Peter to cast his net into the deep, and although Peter argued that they caught nothing all night, yet at His word he would comply. The miraculous result of Jesus’ powerful word wrought such a sense of awe and fear in Peter’s heart that he fell in contrition and dread before Jesus. To allay his fear, Jesus said, “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” Upon hearing that, Peter, James and John forsook all and followed Jesus. This is our calling as well. Not all are called to preach the gospel, but all have the calling as our Baptism Form states: “that we forsake the world, crucify our old nature, and walk in a new and holy life.” Sing Psalter 127:1, 2 and 8.

July 5 Read Matt. 8:23-27

A wondrous miracle indeed and a comforting lesson for the disciples, for the church, and for each one of us today! A tempest arose on the Sea of Galilee as Jesus and His disciples were crossing over to the other side. This was no ordinary storm even though the sea was susceptible to high winds. This divinely ordained storm pictured what the church in the world must face on the sea of life. The disciples must learn that the powers of darkness threaten to overwhelm the small boat that is representative of the church. We too must learn that of ourselves we are powerless to withstand the trials and storms that afflict us. This miracle is a sign that there is only One who can save us from perishing, whether that is the church that is constantly attacked by Satan, or we as believers who are constantly attacked by the world, the devil or our own flesh. Let us also cry out to Him who has power over the wind and waves: “Lord save us; or we perish,” and go forward in confidence and faith that He will surely save us. Sing Psalter 241:1, 7 and 8.

July 6 Read Luke 8:26-39

We read here of a seeking shepherd and a mighty Lord. When Jesus stepped out of the ship in the country of the Gadarenes, a man met Him who was possessed with many devils. In spite of themselves, the devils fall down before Jesus, recognizing His absolute authority, and beseeched Him not to send them yet to the abyss of death. Knowing that they must relinquish their hold on this man, they foolishly request that they might enter into a nearby herd of swine. This was granted to them and they went to their doom when the swine perished. What an amazing demonstration of the power of Jesus over the devils and what mercy was displayed by Him who “is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). What was the reaction of the Gadarenes? Instead of rejoicing over a man made whole, they sorrowed over the loss of swine and urged Jesus to depart from them. Jesus graciously says to the man and to us who have been delivered from the power of the devil: “Return to thine house and shew how great things God has done unto thee.” Sing Psalter 385:1-3.

July 7 Read Mark 5:22-24, 35-43

“Be not afraid, only believe.” These were the words that Jesus spoke to Jairus when the message arrived that his daughter had died. How could Jesus say that? When there is yet life, there is yet hope. But now it is too late and death has claimed its victim. Again these words echo in our ears: “Be not afraid, only believe.” It was not man who spoke those words, but He who is the Resurrection and the Life Himself. The scornful laughter of the spectators turned to silence and astonishment as the sovereign Lord of the universe demonstrated His power over death itself. And not only does He have power over physical life and death, but more importantly, over spiritual life and death. We read in Ephesians 2:1, “And you hath he quickened (made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sins.” This miracle points to that wonder work of Christ by His Spirit who gives us a new life in regeneration that we might live “unto the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:14). Sing Psalter 319:1 and 2.

July 8 Read Mark 5:25-34

“Who touched me?” exclaimed Jesus as He made His way to Jairus’ home, even though throngs of people crowded about Him. They were eager to see some miracles done by this wonder worker about whom they had heard so much. The words He spoke held little interest for them but they pressed in on Him to satisfy their curiosity. There was one woman, however, who approached Jesus with a different attitude. Jesus was her last hope for a cure from her devastating illness and believed that if she could but touch His garment she would be cured. With a childlike faith she did just that and immediately was made whole. Jesus willingly healed her, but asked “Who touched me?” so that she could publicly make her confession of faith known. Trembling before Him she fell down and explained why she touched Jesus. “Fear not,” said Jesus, “go in peace, thy faith hath made thee whole.” Let us also with contrite hearts touch the hem of Jesus’ garment in faith and prayer desiring that we may be made whole from the guilt of our sins and experience the peace of forgiveness. Sing Psalter 141:1 and 2.

July 9 Read Matthew 9:27-31

After Jesus left the home of Jairus, two blind men followed Him, crying out for mercy. By addressing Jesus as the son of David, it appears that these two men of Israel recognized Him as the promised Messiah. Jesus seemingly ignores them until He came to His lodging place. But these men were persistent. Had they not heard from the book of Isaiah that the Messiah would open the eyes of the blind? When Jesus asked them if they believed He could heal them, the earnestness of their faith was evident in their simple answer: “Yea, Lord.” The touch of Jesus upon their eyes gave them sight. We are not certain why Jesus forbade them to tell others about this miracle, but even though they were bursting inside to relate the details, it is not to their credit that they disobeyed. We are reminded by this miracle that blindness or darkness is a picture of sin. Without the redemptive work of Christ, we too would grope about in spiritual blindness. But thanks be to God, He has touched our eyes of faith and we see Him and we love Him because He first loved us. Sing Psalter 383:1, 2 and 5.

July 10 Read Mark 2:1-12

We notice many facets that appear in this account of the healing of the paralytic. We see Jesus teaching in a crowded house at Capernaum; among those present were believers and the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees. An interruption occurs when a penitent and helpless man appears before Jesus in an unusual way—he is let down through the roof by his friends. Jesus in mercy says, “Son be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee.” More wonderful words than these could never be heard by anyone. But what a startling effect they caused in the hearts of the scribes and Pharisees who silently accused Jesus of blasphemy. Then Jesus revealed the thoughts of their hearts and demonstrated that He was worthy of belief by also healing the man of his physical infirmity. The Pharisees were hardened in their sins, but the penitent paralytic not only experienced bodily healing, but also tasted the gracious forgiveness from the Son of Man. The Savior is no longer on earth, but even now in heaven intercedes for us with the Father. Let us confess our sins, forsake them by His grace and go on our way rejoicing. Sing Psalter 233:1-3.

July 11 Read Matthew 8:1-4

Leprosy in Biblical history was the most loathsome and feared disease imaginable. It not only was incurable at that time but, according to the law, it signified legal impurity, a sign and token of sin and spiritual corruption. Whoever fell victim to it was cut off from the congregation and experienced a living death. The leper in our passage today had undoubtedly heard tidings of miraculous healings wrought by Jesus. Upon seeking and finding Him, he fell down in faith and worshiped Him, saying simply, “Lord if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” Jesus, moved with compassion, touched him and healed him. Who can fathom the infinite power of the Lord? Who can understand the depth of His love and mercy toward His own? By nature we too are lepers, disfigured with sin and worthy to be cast away from His presence. However, Jesus came into our flesh, suffered our curse and paid the ransom for our sins. Having the beginning of this new life within us, let us nurture it by His grace, praying daily for cleansing and forgiveness. Sing Psalter 351.

July 12 Read Luke 7:1-10

This Roman centurion gave evidence of a man upon whom many graces had been conferred. Although he was a powerful Gentile, he acknowledged the God of Abraham as the one to be feared. He showed great love and anxiety for a servant. In deep humility he sent Jewish elders to Jesus, feeling himself unworthy even to have Jesus enter his home. In faith he believed that only a word from Jesus would suffice to heal his servant, saying that if he himself could but speak to the soldiers under his command and they would obey, how much more effective and powerful would be a word from Jesus. Responding to this, Jesus marveled and exclaimed that he had not found such faith in all Israel. We are still privileged to hear the word of Christ every Lord’s day. He bids us to come to His house. Let us do so gladly with hearts made receptive by His Spirit. Sing Psalter 349:1 and 2.

July 13 Read Mark 1:21-28

The worshippers in the synagogue were astounded at the teaching of Jesus. He spoke with authority, expounded the word perfectly, and not as the self-seeking scribes. In the audience a cry rang out from a man possessed with a devil, “I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.” Although this was true, Jesus would not allow this testimony, and He rebuked the devil and called him out of the man. What a display of power! What must we think of demon possession in our day and age? We know from Scripture that Satan is not only a “roaring lion…seeking whom he may devour,” but also “is transformed into an angel of light.” We believe that all non-Christians are under his power and do his bidding. We also know that he hates God’s people and does all in his power to destroy their faith. But the devils are all under the sovereign control of God and because Christ delivered His people from their power, the Christian can never be demon possessed. May this knowledge comfort us and cause us to live closer to our God by a holy walk and prayer. Sing Psalter 249:1-3.

July 14 Read Matthew 8:14-17

This miracle is recorded in all three synoptic gospels. Mark and Luke state that Jesus left the synagogue where He healed the demoniac and then entered the home of Simon Peter where Peter’s mother-in-law lay sick. Luke describes her illness as a great fever, but which left her upon Jesus’ touch. In Matthew’s account we read that the Scriptures were being fulfilled where Isaiah prophesied of the One who “took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” Throngs of sick people were brought to Jesus for His healing touch. According to Scripture, demon possession, blindness, deafness and leprosy are symbols of the spiritual powers of darkness and sin. These diseases abounded when Jesus was on earth and serve as pictures of us in our spiritual corruption. He took to His cross all these sicknesses and infirmities, all our guilt and sins, and paid the ultimate price so that we can stand justified in the sight of a holy God. What a tremendous price! What an unspeakable gift! What a glorious Savior! Sing Psalter 137:1, 2 and 6.

July 15 Read Luke 7:11-16

There is a saying that goes: “where there’s life, there’s hope.” But that was not the case as a funeral procession made its way out of the city of Nain led by a widow whose only son had died. A widow’s lot was difficult enough when her husband, and provider, was dead, but now her only son was gone as well. As Jesus providentially met this sad procession, he was filled with compassion for this widow. “Weep not” He said. Then He touched the coffin and spoke a powerful word that caused the dead to rise up and live. Nothing but divine power could perform this greatest kind of miracle. Fear and awe gripped the people who were present as they glorified God and realized that He visited His people. This miracle is a sign to us that God by His Spirit visits us and raises us from our spiritual death by His regenerating grace to a new life in Him. Let us strive then to live according to that principle whether we are young or old, and praise God for His grace and mercy. Sing Psalter 203:1, 3 and 5.

July 16 Read John 5:1-18

Some important lessons may be learned from this narrative of the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda. This man who could not walk for thirty-eight years was made whole by a word from Jesus. We too are unable to walk in the ways of God except by His regenerating power and grace. We also may hear His word from week to week exhorting us to walk in repentance and godliness. Because Jesus healed on the Sabbath day, the Jews found great fault with Him. Jesus responded to that charge by saying, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” They rightly discerned that Jesus made Himself equal with God and hated Him all the more for it. We stand in awe at these words, heartily confessing that Jesus is very God and that our calling in regard to the Sabbath is to be busy in the works of God. We rest from our daily labors, not in idleness, but in spiritual activity that glorifies Him and edifies us. Sing Psalter 320:1, 4 and 5.

July 17 Read John 6:1-15

All the gospels relate this miracle of Jesus. His fame as a wonder worker and healer had spread throughout the country, and as a result vast throngs of people constantly followed Him. Jesus and His disciples sought a quiet place to rest, but could not escape from this multitude who were by now weary and hungry. Jesus, moved with compassion, multiplied the loaves of bread and fish, and fed the people with much food remaining. What a picture and sign this miracle means to you and I today! We find in Jesus the true Bread of Life that He bestows upon us abundantly. We eat of this heavenly bread through the preached Word and the Lord’s Supper. Let us never follow Jesus, as did the multitude, for purely carnal reasons and then forsake Him when they realized His kingdom was not earthly, but spiritual. But in faith, fall at the foot of His cross, and humbly respond in the words of Peter (vs. 68): “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” Sing Psalter 334:1 and 4.

July 18 Read Matthew 14:22-33

Do you see a comparison in your life at times, dear reader, with the disciple Peter? Jesus had sent the disciples by boat across the Sea of Galilee while He went apart into a mountain to pray. The boat made little headway in the storm that arose and toward morning the disciples were weary and afraid. Then they saw Jesus miraculously walking upon the water toward them who calmed their fears. Impetuous Peter asked and was granted permission from Jesus to come to Him upon the water. When he kept his eyes on Jesus, he walked on the water, but when he looked down at the wind and the waves, he began to sink. He cried, “Lord save me,” and Jesus lifted him up after reprimanding him for his doubting. We too, regardless of our age, have times of relatively strong faith, but all too often when we don’t look to Jesus, we start to sink in the waves of doubt and despair. Listen then to Jesus who calls us to be fervent in prayer, to read His word, and to cast all our cares upon Him. In this way we have peace and assurance that He will never leave or forsake us. Sing Psalter 202:1 and 2.

July 19 Read John 9

This is a lengthy and interesting account of a notable miracle of Jesus and the controversy that resulted afterwards. Without going into details because of space restrictions, we see that Jesus demonstrated that He is the Light of the world in causing the blind to see. Various reactions occurred. The hypocritical Pharisees considered Jesus a fraud because He healed on the Sabbath day. They examined the man who was healed from his blindness, and his faith, although understandably weak at first, became progressively stronger, and as a result of his testimony he was excommunicated from the religious and social life of Israel. But when Jesus searched this man out afterward and revealed to him who He really was, the man’s faith was strengthened and he worshipped Him. Are we too prepared to give up everything for the cause of Christ? Are we ready to defend our faith in the truth of the gospel over against false and heretical views that are so prevalent today? May God give us grace always to be faithful to Him who is the Light of the World. Sing Psalter 305:1, 4 and 6.

July 20 Read Luke 13:10-17

Jesus made a point to perform many of His miracles on the Sabbath day to expose the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and to teach the people the proper principle of that day. We see Jesus, teaching in the synagogue in this passage, who encountered a woman of Israel severely bowed down with a chronic infirmity. Jesus also described her as being bound by Satan. So, although she frequented the synagogue, we may believe that the devil also afflicted her in a special way. When Jesus saw her, He spoke a word and touched her. Immediately she stood straight and glorified God in faith and thanksgiving. What a picture of a merciful God who “raiseth them that are bowed down” (Ps. 146:8) with a load of sin and guilt! As usual, the ruler of the synagogue was indignant with Jesus not only, but also the people who sought healing. Jesus effectively silenced His accuser and as a result we read that His adversaries were ashamed, but the people rejoiced. This is a picture too of the glorious return of our Savior who as sovereign king will destroy His enemies, but take us, and all His beloved people, to dwell with Him forever. Sing Psalter 198:1, 6 and 7.

July 21 Read Luke 17:11-17

We have here an account of ten lepers who met Jesus as He was journeying to Jerusalem from Galilee. These victims of this horrible disease, which was the outward symbol of sin and death, called to Him from a distance for mercy. Instead of instantly healing them by a word or a touch, Jesus told them simply to show themselves to the priests. Only when the priests pronounced them clean could they resume their place in society. To their credit they proceeded on their errand and as they went they realized they were healed. It is note-worthy that only one returned to give thanks to Jesus and he was a Samaritan. All the rest who were Jews did not return to their benefactor in gratitude. Jesus pointedly referred to these two reactions by saying that none returned to give glory to God except for this stranger. What about you and I dear reader, who once “were by nature children of wrath,” but now are “quickened (made alive) together with Christ”? Shall we not return thanks and praise to our God unceasingly for so great a salvation? Sing Psalter 164:1, 3 and 4.

July 22 Read Matthew 15:21-28

The manner in which Jesus performed His many miracles of healing was not always the same. Each one took into account the circumstances peculiar to the individuals who sought the Master’s help. In this case, a Gentile woman besought Jesus to heal her demon-possessed daughter. Interestingly, Jesus seemingly ignored her pleas for help until even his disciples were so annoyed by her persistence that they asked Jesus to send her away. But Jesus’ very silence stirred her faith into greater zeal and Jesus, testing her faith, said that it was not proper to cast the children’s bread to the dogs, meaning that He came primarily to bring the gospel to Israel. Not deterred in the least, this woman replied that even the dogs desired to eat the crumbs that fell from the master’s table. Jesus commended her for her great faith and healed her daughter. Sometimes we struggle for an answer to our prayers and it seems that they are unheard. It is possible that God’s will may not be our will or desires and then we pray for the grace of submission and contentment, knowing that our Heavenly Father loves us and will turn all things, even our afflictions, for our good and His glory. Sing Psalter 324:1, 2 and 4.

July 23 Read Mark 7:31-37

The prophet Isaiah testified that “the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped…and the tongue of the dumb shall sing”(Is. 35:5,6). Jesus fulfilled this prophecy when the deaf and mute man was brought to Him. Here again we see that instead of laying His hands upon him, Jesus took him aside from the crowd and did three things. First He put His fingers into the man’s ears, a symbolic action to pierce his deafness so he could hear. Then followed the sign of Jesus using the moisture from His own mouth to unseal the man’s tongue that was bound. At the same time Jesus looked to heaven and spoke a Chaldaic word meaning, “be opened.” Immediately he, who most likely never heard or spoke a word in his entire life, was able to speak plainly. Once again the people were astonished, and rightly so, at the mighty power of our Lord. He is not present among us now in His bodily form, but His Spirit lives within us and applies His word powerfully to our hearts, so that our spiritually deaf ears may hear the gospel and our tongues may speak and sing His glorious praises and testify of His greatness. Sing Psalter 399:1 and 4.

July 24 Read Matthew 15:32-39

Some interpreters of Biblical narrative claim that the two accounts of the feeding of the multitudes are one and the same. But this is not true since there are differences in many aspects such as place, time, number fed, number of loaves, fishes and leftovers. In the other account, Jesus spoke of Himself as the Bread of Life (cf. John 6), whereas in this miracle we see the emphasis on His compassion for the people. They had followed Him for three days, and their provisions were depleted. Jesus addresses His disciples with His concerns, but they seemingly are not greatly worried even though they answer that it would be impossible to obtain sufficient food in that wilderness. They were learning to trust their Master to supply their needs. We must do the same. We pray to our Heavenly Father for our daily bread. Not for filled pantries or freezers, but for necessary provisions for each day. In His compassion He cares for our physical needs so that we may serve Him and fulfill our calling as members of His church. Sing Psalter 400:1, 5 and 7.

July 25 Read Mark 8:22-26

As we have seen before, Jesus performed His miracles in various manners, and this one today is no exception. A blind man was brought to Jesus in the city of Bethsaida so that Jesus could touch him and heal him. Instead of saying a word that would instantly restore his sight, Jesus led him out of the town, and put spittle upon his eyes and asked him what he saw. The man answered that he saw men as trees walking. Then Jesus laid His hands upon him once again and he saw clearly. Sometimes we too cannot always understand the way God leads us. Various trials and afflictions affect out spiritual vision no matter how old we are. Our sight is blurred and we cannot find our way in life. Pray earnestly for a season of richer grace that God may open our eyes and hearts to the wonders of His love and mercy, “holding fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised” (Heb. 10:23). Sing Psalter 201:1, 6 and 7.

July 26 Read Mark 9:14-29

Jesus was returning from the mount of transfiguration with His three disciples when He encountered much people. Among them were the scribes who took evil pleasure in the fact that the other disciples could not cast out the demon that violently possessed a child. In response Jesus called the scribes a faithless and perverse generation who were not worthy to have Jesus among them. Then the father of the child implored Jesus to heal his son. When Jesus said “all things are possible to him that believeth,” the man answered with the touching response, “Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief,” and Jesus healed his child. Afterward when the disciples asked Jesus why they could not cast out that devil because earlier they had been given that power, Jesus told them that their faith had weakened because they were not earnest in prayer and fasting. This is a lesson for us also. How diligent and earnest are we in our prayer life? It’s so easy to mumble a few trite words with little thought. May we be stimulated to earnestness and sincerity in our prayers, and be assured that God will hear us and bless us for the sake of Christ. Sing Psalter 235:1 and 3.

July 27 Read Matthew 17:24-27

On this last visit by Jesus to Capernaum where He made His home, the collectors of the temple tax confronted Peter and asked “Does your master pay tribute?” Peter responded in the affirmative and upon entering the house, Jesus spoke to him first with a question relative to the payment of tribute money. Peter undoubtedly was surprised to learn that Jesus was aware of what took place outside on the street. This half shekel payment originally was instituted by the Lord in Exodus 30:11-16 as the amount of the ransom payment for each man’s soul when they were twenty years old and above. Even though Jesus is the great King for whom the temple tax was being collected, and therefore rightfully exempt, yet He intends to pay this tax as usual. To show His Lordship to the disciples, He instructs Peter to go to the sea, cast in a single hook, and the fish he will surely catch will have a shekel in its mouth. This money is to be given to the collectors for Jesus and Peter. On this occasion, as many others, Jesus humbled Himself as a man for He was come not to destroy the law but to fulfill it. This same Jesus by His perfect obedience and redemptive death on the cross is our living Savior and Lord to whom we cling by faith. Sing Psalter 397:1, 2 and 8.

July 28 Read John 11:20-46

This miracle of our Lord that transcends all other miracles is recorded only in the gospel of John and a lengthy chapter is devoted to it. Jesus received a message from Mary and Martha that their brother was sick. Instead of immediately going to Bethany, Jesus deliberately remained where He was for two more days. Then He and His disciples proceeded on their journey that culminated in a miracle so noteworthy that the consequence was “then from that day forward they (chief priests and Pharisees) took counsel together for to put him to death” (v. 53). Not only must Martha and Mary and the disciples be instructed by the words of Jesus, but you and I as well when He said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Not, I will be in the last day. Not, I will be if you believe. But I am the resurrection because I am the life. Resurrection really begins in this life when we are regenerated. Lazarus was raised again to this earthly life to be sure, but once again would have to return to the grave. But through regeneration we become partakers of the resurrection life of Christ by a living faith, and that is a life that death cannot overcome. What a blessed and glorious hope for the believer! Sing Psalter 29:1-3.

July 29 Read Mark 10:46-52

All three synoptic gospels relate this miracle of Jesus. There are slight variations in some details, but we can safely believe Mark’s account as an eyewitness of this event. Bartimaeus was indeed a pitiful figure to behold. Blind and clad in ragged garments with no means to support himself, he had to resort to begging on the road to keep himself alive. Hearing that Jesus was passing by, and undoubtedly aware of whom He was, he cried out “Jesus thou son of David, have mercy on me.” Spurned by the crowd and told to hold his peace, only caused him to repeat his pitiful request with greater fervor. But Jesus heard him. He always hears and seeks His sheep that are wretched and poor and blind, and by grace know themselves as such. Jesus asked him, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?” knowing full well what he wanted. “Lord, that I might receive my sight,” he responded. Let that be our request, as well, dear reader! As Bartimaeus by faith received his sight and cast off his beggar’s rags, may we pray that our spiritual eyes may be opened to the wonders of His grace, discard the filthy rags of our own righteousness, and cast ourselves at His feet for mercy, pardon, and peace. Sing Psalter 117:1 and 4.

July 30 Read Mark 11:12-14, 20-24

On Monday of the Passion Week, Jesus and His disciples left Bethany and were on their way to Jerusalem. We read that Jesus was hungry and saw in the distance a fig tree having leaves, even though it was too early in the season to really have leaves, much less ripe figs. Upon examining the tree and finding no fruit, Jesus pronounced a curse upon it saying, “No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever.” On the following day they passed by the same tree and saw that it was dead from the roots upward. We believe this represents the unbelieving Jewish nation who according to outward appearance seemed to indicate that they bore fruit. They boasted in appearance and outward observance of the law, but forsook the true principle of the law to love God and their neighbor in sincerity. Jesus pronounced a curse upon them so that as a nation they will be barren and wither and die. Jesus used this example to excite faith and confidence in His own disciples and therefore also to us. Let us never be guilty of “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (II Tim. 3:5). Instead by God’s grace, cling to him in true faith and bring forth much fruit. Sing Psalter 25:1-4.

July 31 Read John 21:1-14

The disciples remained in Jerusalem for at least a week after Jesus’ death and resurrection and then made their way into Galilee in compliance with Jesus’ earlier words that He would meet them there after He was risen. They didn’t fully understand all these events and their significance, and so, discouraged and weary of waiting, they decided to forsake their discipleship and return to their former occupation as fishermen. Despite the fact that they were experienced fishermen, they toiled all night and caught nothing. Suddenly toward morning, Jesus appeared near them on the shore and after hearing them say they caught nothing, instructed them to cast out their net once again. We all know the result. At the word of Jesus a large number of fish miraculously entered the net. Didn’t they remember that Jesus told them that they would be fishers of men? The disciples and the church today must not be discouraged and not seek to cast the net of the Word in their own strength. But preach the Word they must! That Word will draw the chosen fish into the net. All the elect will be gathered by that Word for it cannot fail. Let us then, dear reader, be diligent hearers of that Word and by God’s grace hear our Savior say, “Come and dine.” Sing Psalter 337:1, 2 and 4.

The parables of Jesus will be the topic of our meditations this month and we will try to treat one each day. We realize that it is quite impossible to do full justice to them in this fashion. However, we will focus on the main thrust of each parable and if your interest has been stimulated, we recommend the book by H. C. Hanko, The Mysteries of the Kingdom available from the RFPA.

April 1 Read Matthew 13:10-17

As indicated in the above preface, we will study the parables, which were spoken by the Lord during His earthly ministry. First we must ask, what is a parable? And what is the purpose of preaching in parables? Many definitions have been given, but basically a parable is a type of instruction used by Jesus to compare or to contrast earthly and heavenly objects. A parable takes illustrations from the earthly creation that point to and make clear certain truths pertaining to the kingdom of heaven. The purpose is two fold, namely, to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven to God’s children, but to hide them from the wicked and unbelievers in Israel. Oh the wicked could understand the parables in an earthly sense and even realize that Jesus was pointing to them, but because they were not given faith to receive that gospel, they reacted in hate and unbelief. God’s Word always has a twofold effect. It hardens the hearts of the unbelievers, but softens the hearts of His children so that by faith they embrace the blessed gospel. May that latter effect be our reaction as we listen to the parables of our Lord. Psalter 99.

April 2 Read I Corinthians 2:7-16

Jesus declared that the purpose of parables was to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Mysteries in Scripture are not some unexplainable or impenetrable deep and dark secrets. Rather they refer to wonders of grace in the eternal counsel of God, which He is pleased to make known unto us. Therefore the parables are a revelation of the kingdom of Christ. When we speak of this kingdom, we speak of a royal commonwealth where Christ is the absolute sovereign of a kingdom bestowed on Him by the Father. The subjects are His elect people, the character of this kingdom is spiritual, and is realized in the cross of Christ. The reason that these mysteries are hid from the wise and prudent is not due to the fact that they were spoken in restrictive terms difficult to understand, for the language is unmistakably clear. Rather, their carnal minds were blinded. On the other hand, the ability to perceive and understand the mysteries of God is a gift of grace to His people. May God so speak to us that we may spiritually discern the glorious truths of His kingdom. Psalter 397.

April 3 Read Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23

In speaking this parable to the people, Jesus introduced a manner of teaching that hitherto He did not use. Following the presentation of the parable, Jesus also gave the interpretation of it. This is important in order to grasp the principles that we must follow to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Space prevents us from treating all the aspects of this parable, but we may glean an important lesson at Jesus’ feet. How do you hear the preaching of the Word, dear reader? Four kinds of hearers are described corresponding to the four kinds of soil. Only when the heart of the believer has been properly prepared by the Holy Spirit to receive that living seed which is the Word of God can it bring forth faith. Let us pray that the Spirit may so work in us that we may be diligent hearers of that Word in order that the seed of eternal life may be nourished in the fertile soil of our hearts. Psalter 214.

April 4 Read Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Jesus also explained this parable, of the wheat and the tares, to His disciples upon their request. Not only did this parable give comfort and assurance to them as they were beset by the wicked Jewish church leaders of that day, but it also comforts, instructs, and warns the people of God today. The true church has always existed side by side with the false church since its inception for God has His purpose in that. If the church always lived an easy life, free from trials, heresy and opposition from the wicked world, she would become complacent and be easy prey for the enemy. So God placed enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, and the church is called to live an antithetical life. Both must live and grow together until the harvest. Then the wicked shall be gathered and thrust into the eternal fires of hell, but the righteous shall “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Dear reader, do you have spiritual ears to hear the Word of Christ to maintain the antithesis? God grant us grace to hold fast that which we have. Psalter 287.

April 5 Read Mark 4:30-34

In close connection to the preceding parables are the ones of the mustard seed and the leaven. We will look for a moment at the former and listen to Jesus as He compares the kingdom of heaven to a grain of mustard seed. This seed is Christ Himself as He is preached in the Word of the gospel. Just as the mustard seed is small and insignificant in itself, so the Word of truth has always been despised and ignored by the masses. Most desire a word that holds forth a promise of heaven on earth, and men strive ceaselessly to bring this about. But the seed of the Word dropped in the fertile soil of the hearts of God’s people accomplishes great growth. It is never great in the eyes of the world for this is a spiritual kingdom. In this kingdom established by the righteousness of Christ through His cross, are forgiveness, unspeakable blessedness and peace with God. It is an eternal kingdom, an all powerful and glorious kingdom! Are you despised, dear reader, for your faith in that Word? Then “rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven.” Psalter 106.

April 6 Read Matthew 13:33-35

We saw yesterday that the kingdom of God in its outward manifestation is small and insignificant. Today’s parable describes the marvelous increase and growth of that kingdom by means of the preaching of the Word as applied by the Holy Spirit to the hearts of God’s people. The figure used by Jesus is that of a woman who places leaven (or yeast) in a batch of dough in preparation to bake loaves of bread. Just as one cannot see the hidden working of the yeast in the dough, so is the working of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the elect. The leaven is the same as the mustard seed, namely the application of the preaching of the gospel in the fertile soil of the regenerated heart. The nominal church makes a great show with its pompous liturgies and the world brings forth its scientific wonders to establish their own kingdom. But like the hidden leaven, the true gospel of Christ works silently yet powerfully by the Spirit until the entire church of God is purified and sanctified and the final manifestation of the kingdom of heaven is realized. Psalter 81.

April 7 Read Matthew 13:44-46

These two short parables complement each other and both speak of something extremely valuable and costly. In the first, we see that the kingdom of heaven is likened to the treasure itself, whereas in the second, the emphasis is on the seeking of goodly pearls and the great cost involved when the flawless and incomparable pearl is found. The disciples had only an earthly concept of the kingdom as yet and must learn that the kingdom is spiritual and so precious that total sacrifice is demanded in the obtaining of it. Whether one has much earthly riches or few, he must be willing to give up everything for that treasure. That kingdom is essentially salvation itself and covenant fellowship with Christ. All its attendant blessings are bestowed on the citizens of that kingdom. In this life we find that treasure in the Church as she faithfully preaches the gospel of Christ. Are you willing to give all that you have, even your very life if necessary, for that treasure? Then great will be your reward of grace in heaven. Psalter 225.

April 8 Read Matthew 13:47-50

We immediately see some similarity in this parable to that of the tares in the field. However in the former, the idea is that the devil plants the wicked among the saints and they grow up together. This parable instructs us that the kingdom of heaven is gathered by means of a net that is pulled through the sea of the world. This net is the preaching of the Word, given to the Church, and God uses this means to gather all His elect to Himself. This sea is not limited to the Jews only, as His disciples thought, but encompasses all nations wherever God is pleased to send His Word. Whereas both good and bad fish are found in the net, so is it the same in the sphere of the church throughout all ages. God is pleased to gather His church, not as individuals, but organically in the line of generations. But in these generations there is always a carnal element present. God visits the sins of the fathers by cutting off these apostate generations. When the last elect is born and the cup of iniquity is filled by the wicked, the last day arrives and the angels separate the good from the bad. The wicked are cast into hell, but the faithful remnant saved by grace shall enter eternal glory. Let us by faith embrace that Word and thank God for so great a salvation. Psalter 279.

April 9 Read Matthew 18:21-35

This parable deals primarily with forgiveness. In response to Jesus’ teaching earlier in the chapter, Peter asks how many times must he forgive his brother—“till seven times?” Jesus answers that we must forgive without limits. Then came the parable about the servant who had wrongly taken millions of dollars of the king’s money for himself. Upon his request for mercy, the king cancelled the debt. This same man goes to his fellow servant and violently demands immediate payment of a loan of only a few dollars and unjustly sees that he is cast into prison. The lesson we are taught is that our debt to God on account of our sins is so enormous that we cannot possibly pay any or all of it, but that He forgives us for the sake of Christ. Having experienced this forgiveness, we in turn must be more than ready and willing to forgive our fellow saints and show them mercy when they sin against us. If we cannot or will not do this, we cannot expect to receive forgiveness from God for our own mountain of sin against His Most High Majesty. In the way of forgiving our repentant brother whether he comes to us or we go to him, we will experience God’s grace and peace of forgiveness in our own hearts. As we commemorate the death of the Son of God on this Good Friday, may we stand in awe at the depth of God’s love for us. Psalter 83.

April 10 Read Matthew 21:23-32

This parable was occasioned by the question of the Pharisees to Jesus as to what authority He had to cleanse the temple. Jesus countered by asking them whether the baptism of John was from heaven or of men. They dared not answer and so Jesus pointedly spoke this parable about the willing and unwilling sons. He exposed their hypocrisy saying that when John proclaimed the way of righteousness, they did not believe. They religiously kept the outward aspects of the law but the essence, namely faith and repentance and love toward God and the neighbor, they rejected. The despised publicans and harlots who repented at the preaching of John would enter the kingdom of God, but not them unless they too repented. This was a shocking exposure of their self-righteousness and pride, and is a lesson for us as well. What is our response to the preaching of the gospel? Let us, by God’s grace humble ourselves before the cross in the way of repentance and forgiveness. Psalter 363.

April 11 Read Matthew 21:33-44

Jesus exposed the great wickedness of the chief priests and elders by this striking parable. The figure of a vineyard has often been used in Scripture to portray the visible manifestation of the church throughout history. In the old dispensation the nation of Israel was the nominal church and mostly wicked as the husbandmen in the parable. There was always a true remnant of the elect, but as the kingdom developed, sin developed with it. God’s prophets were persecuted and slain throughout the ages until the unspeakable crime was committed of murdering the Son of God. Surely this too was the fulfillment of prophecy that the chief cornerstone would be rejected. But rejoice, dear reader, on this resurrection Sunday because “this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” The grave could not hold our Savior. He took away our sins by His death and now reigns triumphantly. The wicked will all be cast into perdition, but God’s saints will live forever in glory. Hallelujah, He is risen! Psalter 200.

April 12 Read Matthew 20:1-16

This parable has many facets and men have interpreted it in many ways. We will briefly try to uncover the gems of truth that Jesus spoke in answer to Peter’s query about the disciples’ reward for following Him. It is certainly clear that God is the householder who calls through the gospel. This is not an offer, but a command to repent and believe and to labor in the sphere of His kingdom. Some answer the call for their own purposes and glory, such as the Pharisees. Others, although insignificant in the eyes of the world, answer this call with a regenerated heart. These may occupy a humble place in the church, while others are called by God to serve in higher or more responsible positions. In the judgment day all receive proper rewards, even the wicked although theirs is one of condemnation. And the just will receive their reward in proportion to their works of faith, but it is all of grace alone. Let each of us strive to labor faithfully in God’s kingdom in whatever place God is pleased to use us. Psalter 308.

April 13 Read Matthew 22:1-14

What a graphic picture of the call of the gospel that is described for us today. What a powerful effect it accomplishes in the course of history. God the King through His servants issues both the external and internal call to faith and repentance. This is not an offer but a command from a sovereign King. To this external call, most respond by rejecting it and they stand without excuse. The internal call, however, comes by the Spirit irresistibly into the hearts of God’s people and the result is that they bow before the cross in repentance and faith. The Jewish nation was first called but they rejected Christ. In the New Dispensation the Church is gathered from both Jews and Gentiles and the elect are gathered as both the bride of Christ and the wedding feast guests. Mention is made of a man who did not reject the call but came without a wedding garment. The wedding garment, which is the righteousness of Christ alone, was cast aside, for this man was determined to enter based on his own merits. This is still so prevalent today. What a comfort to know that salvation is all of God and therefore we can look forward to being partakers of that glorious wedding feast all because of Christ. Psalter 211.

April 14 Read Matthew 25:1-13

Are you watching for the return of Christ and are you prepared for His return? The disciples were surprised and perplexed when Jesus foretold the destruction of the temple, and so they asked Him pointedly when that would happen and what would be the signs of His coming. Jesus responded by telling of the impending judgment and spoke the parable of the ten virgins. He used the figure of a wedding and the custom of the bride and her maidens to await the coming of the bridegroom. Then ten virgins symbolize the church as manifested in the world and the oil in the lamps as preparedness for Christ’s coming. Many in the church pretend that they desire the return of Christ, but their lives depict the opposite. In contrast, the faithful church lives in hope and expectation of that blessed event and therefore heeds the command “Watch therefore.” Although it may appear that He tarries, yet He is surely coming. The foolish and wicked will hear Christ say, “I know you not”, but He will take His beloved Bride to Himself in unspeakable glory. Let us by His grace watch and wait and be prepared for His coming. Psalter 403.

April 15 Read Matthew 25:14-30

As each of us looks with introspection at our place in the kingdom of God, what do we find and what is our attitude regarding it? We were exhorted in the previous parable to watch for our Lord’s return. Now Jesus explains that during this period of waiting, we must be busy and labor faithfully in the calling and station given to each of us. It is true that God in His wisdom gives each of us our own gifts and abilities to be used in His service, but the point of the parable is that God assigns to each person his own place in His kingdom and he is called to exercise these gifts properly. Whether we are a mother in the home, an elder in the church, or a common laborer, each man’s calling fits his abilities. There are those in the church like the wicked servant in the parable who in pride refuse to labor in their calling. They will receive their due punishment, but the labors of the faithful will be gloriously rewarded for they enter into the joy of their Lord. What an incentive for you and me to pray for grace to labor faithfully in our calling. Psalter 251.

April 16 Read Luke 10:25-37

“And who is my neighbor?” This is the question that was put to Jesus by a Jewish leader who had sought to trap Jesus in His words. Jesus had already told him the principle of the law, namely to love God and the neighbor. Then followed the parable which actually pointed out to this self-righteous man that he should really have said “to whom am I a neighbor?” This question comes to you and me also and we would do well to see what is involved in loving our neighbor. This love must be displayed on our part to whomever God places in our path. This love, rooted in true compassion, must be shown to friend or foe alike. And it must never be done for self-glory but always be motivated and rooted in love for God. Let us look to Christ as He describes the “Good Samaritan” and then heed His words, “Go, and do thou likewise.” Psalter 326.

April 17 Read Luke 11:5-13

“Lord, teach us to pray”, said one of Jesus’ disciples to Him. Jesus responded with the perfect model prayer that we know so well, and followed this with a parable about the friend at midnight. Not only did Jesus teach them how to pray, but by means of this parable gave them the assurance that their prayers would be answered. The man in the parable truly needed food from his neighbor to set before his famished guest and, despite a flat refusal at first, persisted until the neighbor complied with his request. We are not only exhorted to pray but to persevere therein for God is our Father and we are His children and He is delighted to answer us for the sake of His beloved Son. We must not pray prayers for things to satisfy our carnal desires but for our daily bread, that is whatever God in His wisdom has determined is good for us today. Then Jesus went on to say that if an earthly father gives food to his son when he asks this of him, how much more will our heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him. Pray, people of God. Seek and you will find; knock and it shall be opened to you. Psalter 186.

April 18 Read Luke 12:13-21

Upon what do we set our affections in this life, dear readers? Is it primarily in the acquisition of earthly goods and a stubborn determination to provide for a long and comfortable retirement? We hope this is not true, for then we are like the rich fool in the parable who was engrossed in the sin of covetousness. This man in his sinful folly boasted to his soul that by his own strength he gathered all his earthly riches. He failed to realize that these things were really not his at all but given him to be used in the service of God. How easy it is for us to fall into this same sinful thought. Jesus warns us that a man’s life does not consist in an abundance of earthly possessions, but it does consist of faithful stewardship. It consists of heavenly treasures that will last eternally. Essentially this treasure is Christ and all the benefits He bestows upon us by His Spirit. Shall we not then by His grace seek these riches? Then when our soul is required of us, we stand naked in ourselves, but fully clothed with the righteousness of our Savior. Psalter 383.

April 19 Read Luke 13:1-9

After hearing Jesus speak in the previous chapter of judgments that men rightly receive for their sins, some Jews related to Jesus the monstrous crime of Pilate who murdered certain Galileans in the temple. We may rightly assume that their purpose was to condemn these victims as great sinners, while smugly imagining themselves as far better. Jesus deflated their ego immediately by declaring that unless they repent, they too were as guilty. Then follows the parable of the barren fig tree that points to the nation of Israel. All through their history they were wondrously led by God who continually led them, delivered them, fed them, and preached to them. But the majority repeatedly rejected God in wicked unbelief. God always preserved a remnant, but the nation as a whole brought no fruits of repentance and made themselves ripe for judgment. In perfect justice this barren fig tree will be cut down when their cup of iniquity is full. They knew what God justly demanded but they despised His word and hence are without excuse. May we by God’s grace not rebel but walk in daily repentance and experience the mercy of God’s forgiveness in Christ. Psalter 366.

April 20 Read Luke 14:7-11

Is there anyone who is not guilty of the sin of pride? The dictionary defines it as inordinate self-esteem. We may think that this does not apply to us, but we had better think again, for pride is really at the root of all sin. The Pharisees in the parable were singled out as being particularly proud. These vain men prided themselves in keeping the letter of the law and considered themselves better than the average person. We can and do so easily fall into this sin as well. Jesus points out how grievous this is by saying that whosoever exalts himself shall be abased. Then in mercy He adds that he who humbles himself shall be exalted. How can we do that? Only by the power of regenerating grace and prayer can we strive to humble ourselves and plead the merits of our Savior who humbled Himself even to the death of the cross for our sakes. Psalter 141.

April 21 Read Luke 14:16-24

This is the second parable that Jesus spoke during the ceremonial meal at a Pharisee’s house. The first dealt with the pride they displayed by desiring the chief seats. Now Jesus points out their purely selfish motive in inviting their kinsmen and rich neighbors to dine in order that they might receive an invitation in return. This parable points to the glorious banquet feast in heaven. God through the call of the gospel commands all men to faith and repentance. That some come and others refuse is due to the two-edged effect of the sword of the Word. The rich and mighty of this world have no use for the Word and make all sorts of excuses and refusals. God has chosen the poor and despised remnant and mercifully compels them to come to the table by His efficacious and sovereign grace. He justly banishes the wicked from this feast but makes room for those who come by the way of the cross and who are poor in spirit. Do you hear this call of the gospel dear reader? Come to this supper in heartfelt sorrow for sin and you will be assured of a place even now. Psalter 7.

April 22 Read Luke 15:1-7

This is the first of three parables that deal with the finding and restoration of the lost sinner. All are similar, but different in emphasis. Because the gospel of Jesus attracted publicans and sinners, the Pharisees were only too glad to see this. It gave credence to their judgment of Jesus as an imposter for what type of a Messiah, which they pictured, would seek and receive such people as these. Jesus responded with the parable of the lost sheep and the shepherd who sought it. Without elaborating on all of the elements in the parable, we see that the Pharisees and scribes were the ninety and nine sheep who in their own opinion needed no repentance. But the publicans and sinners who represent the elect of God heard the Savior’s words and realized their lost condition. In Isaiah 53:6 we read, “All we like sheep have gone astray.” How true this is for all of us. But Jesus, the Good Shepherd, seeks us, finds us, and brings us back into the fold. Then there is joy in heaven and in our hearts. Psalter 55.

April 23 Read Luke 15:8-10

Whereas the former parable emphasized the seeking shepherd, this one deals with the repentant sinner. It was directed primarily at the Pharisees who in their own estimation needed no repentance. Were they not the leaders of the people and devout keepers of the law? But Jesus exposes their hypocrisy. This short parable speaks of a woman, a lost coin, a broom and a candle. These elements very likely refer respectively to the instituted church, a lost elect sinner, and the preaching of the gospel which is a shining light and which stirs up the sinner’s conscience. God works through means and the preaching of His Word always has an effect. It hardens the reprobate but softens the heart of the elect sinner by the preaching or by the elders. Just as the coin represents a great amount of value to the woman, so each member of the church is of great value to that body. Repentance once again restores fellowship. Repentance involves a sincere sorrow for sin, a conscious turning to God and a confession based only on the cross of Christ. Then there is joy in heaven, joy in the heart of the sinner, and joy in the church. How wondrous are the ways of God, unfathomed and unknown! Psalter 318.

April 24 Read Luke 15:11-32

What a beautiful picture of God’s unchanging love is revealed in this last of three parables directed at the Pharisees who were angered when Jesus received the repentant sinner. The wayward son and his elder brother were both brought up in the church. However, the elder son represented by the Pharisees, only outwardly observed the law and were so zealous that they believed themselves righteous and in no need of repentance. The younger son forsook the church for a time and is a picture of the publicans and sinners who repented at the preaching of Jesus. Where do you and I stand, dear reader? How often do we not stray from the paths of righteousness and if it were not for the sovereign electing love of God, who irresistibly draws us back to the fold of the church, we would perish. Just as the father in the parable receives his prodigal son, so our Heavenly Father receives us with joy when we bow in humble repentance at His feet. How is this possible? Only because Christ took away our sins on the cross. We cannot begin to fathom the depth of God’s forgiving love, but we may humbly believe it by His grace, and look forward to the heavenly banquet prepared for His beloved church. Psalter 280.

April 25 Read Luke 16:1-12

Jesus continues to condemn the proud life-style and earthly goals of the Pharisees and they undoubtedly understood the thrust of His parable, for we read in verse 11 that they heard and derided Him. Commentators however have many problems interpreting this parable. Jesus, by saying that we must make friends of the unrighteous mammon, emphasizes by contrast, our spiritual calling to be good stewards. The steward in the parable, who was responsible for his master’s goods, wasted them, but before he was dismissed he made his master’s creditors indebted to himself by his foresight so he would be provided for. The world in its quest for a paradise on earth will pursue this goal with total dedication. We are stewards too. We are stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. Do we have total devotion for the true riches? Jesus sets before us the example of the world that we must emulate, not for the same goal they strive for, but the enthusiasm they manifest in the attaining of their goal. The reward of the faithless steward was undoubtedly assured when his position was terminated. Our reward as faithful stewards is a reward of grace. Pray for grace to be faithful to our calling. Psalter 36.

April 26 Read Luke 16:19-31

In response to the derision of the Pharisees, Jesus spoke this parable to them that pointed to their deserved punishment. We are all familiar with the rich Jew who, though in his own eyes was a shining example of a righteous law keeper, yet he despised the basic principle of the law to love God and his neighbor. Poor Lazarus, who lay at his gate in dire need of food and help, was intentionally ignored. Death came to both. The rich man awoke in hell but Lazarus was carried to Abraham’s bosom by angels. Although the language is figurative, yet important truths are spoken. Two requests are made to Abraham by the rich man in hell; the first for a drop of water from Lazarus to cool his tongue and the second that Lazarus be sent to his brethren on earth which would convince them to repent. Both requests were denied. His brothers had the gospel that pointed to Christ. God binds Himself to this means, and this Word either softens or hardens. The wicked in hell must confess that God is just, but His people who are persecuted and despised in this life are the ones who by grace believed the gospel of Christ and have fled for refuge to His cross and are forever comforted in heaven. Psalter 113.

April 27 Read Luke 17:7-10

Jesus shows us in this parable how we are duty-bound to use every moment in our lives in complete service to our Creator. He possesses total control over our entire being and labors. All that we have and are has been received from Him. Jesus speaks of a master who owns a servant. This servant is not a hired hand, but literally a slave who is the master’s property and owned by him completely. His duty is to serve his master obediently and willingly, putting forth all effort to accomplish this. Jesus compares this master-slave relation to God who has the right to demand the same from us. We must remember that our person, our life and our labors are all the property of God who demands that we bow before Him in love. We are called to willingly serve Him and confess that even if we performed our calling perfectly, yet we are unprofitable servants who merit nothing. This is a humbling word, but it causes us to realize that we are nothing, that God is everything, and that the only merit we have is that which was merited for us by Christ on the cross. Psalter 107.

April 28 Read Luke 18:1-8

A great incentive to pray fervently and not to faint is given to the church by the Lord in this parable. Even as the widow continually cries to the earthly judge for vindication from her adversaries, so the church, which is beset by many enemies from within and without, cries to God for protection and deliverance. We have here a comparison made between the earthly judge and the righteous Judge of all the earth, but we also have a sharp contrast between the two. The earthly judge was evil and did not care one whit for the widow’s plight, but because of her tireless and persistent cries, he avenged her of her adversaries. The heavenly Judge loves justice, will always do what is right, and is deeply concerned with the prayers of His beloved church. Jesus said that if an earthly judge would avenge the widow, how much more would not God deliver His church from their enemies. Although it may seem that God does not answer, yet He is longsuffering and assures us that we will emerge from our trials purified and ready for our place in glory. Psalter 387.

April 29 Read Luke 18:9-15

How simple was the example, but how profound the message that Jesus spoke in condemnation of the proud and justification of the humble. The sin of pride reached its culmination in the Pharisee who entered the temple to pray. God must be pleased with him he thought, since he could keep every aspect of the law and more. Surely he merited salvation. A despised publican also entered the temple, but he went to an obscure corner. The Pharisee extolled himself in front of the people. The publican, unable to articulate a prayer, could only whisper to God for mercy. Oh, the publican wasn’t free of the sin of pride any more than we are, but by the grace of God he realized his sin and in faith pleaded for forgiveness. The Pharisee willfully ignored the heart of the law to love God and the neighbor. He loved himself and therefore hated others and really God as well. Jesus condemned this sin and told of the consequences, but stated that the publican went home justified. What a glorious blessing! Justification speaks of sins forgiven and peace with God through Christ. Let us also each day anew pray, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Psalter 140.

April 30 Read Luke 19:11-27

The disciples as well as the people expected that now Jesus was going to establish His earthly kingdom. To correct this misconception, He spoke this parable of the nobleman who was going to a far country to obtain a kingdom and then return. Prior to his leaving he distributed a pound apiece to his servants in order that they might trade or invest them until he came back. Jesus is this nobleman who went to heaven to establish His spiritual kingdom and will return when all things are ready. This cannot occur until the last elect is born and converted and the cup of iniquity is filled by the wicked. The pound signifies His Word that He gives to the church with the calling to use and be faithful to that Word. The faithful in the church speak of it and make good use of it in their church, homes, schools, and wherever they go. There are others in the church that may outwardly profess a love for that Word, but hide it and never speak or use it. May we use that Word diligently until our Lord returns, and in the measure of our faithfulness expect a reward, not of merit, but by sovereign grace alone. Psalter 337.

March 1 Read II Timothy 1:12-14

For our meditations this month we will treat the topic of faith. This great gift of God has many aspects. We hope to define it, examine it, determine whom the objects are, what it produces, how it is worked, and in whom is this faith exemplified in Scripture. It is described in many ways and set forth in all our creeds. We speak of historical faith, temporary faith, miraculous faith and saving faith. Some speak of faith as a work which man performs, others a joint effort between man and God. Many, if not most people in the church world today, insist that faith is a condition to salvation. What do you say dear reader? Do you possess faith? We hope that together we may examine this marvelous gift of God, be instructed from Scripture, and receive comfort and assurance that though we are unworthy, we are the recipients of saving faith by the mercy of God. Sing Psalter 190.

March 2 Read Hebrews 11:1-3

What is true saving faith? Scripture and our creeds define it in various ways. It is the substance or assurance of things hoped for, the evidence or conviction of things not seen. According to the Heidelberg Catechism it is a certain knowledge and an assured confidence which the Holy Spirit works by the gospel in our hearts. It is also a living bond that unites us with Christ and is our conscious act of believing. Rev. H. Hoeksema describes it in his Reformed Dogmatics as “that work of God in the elect, regenerated and called sinner whereby the latter is engrafted into Christ and embraces and appropriates Christ and all His benefits, relying upon Him in time and eternity.” It is a gift of inestimable value, and because it is a gift, we see that it is not earned or purchased by us, but rather bestowed upon us by our Heavenly Father who loves us. A precious gift indeed! Sing Psalter 7.

March 3 Read Hebrews 12:1-3

In our last meditation we gave some definitions of saving faith. We saw in passing who the author was and who the recipients were. We wish to point out today more specifically who is the author of this faith. It is the work of the Triune God. Scripture abounds with passages to confirm this. We just read in Hebrews 12 that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. In Ephesians 6:23 we read “Peace be to the brethren and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” And in Galatians 5:22, we read of faith being one of the fruits of the Spirit. Faith was one of the blessings that Christ purchased for us by His death. By the power of the cross we believe, which is the activity of faith. It is all of God, nothing of man. Hence, we can contribute nothing towards our salvation. How then can faith ever be a condition which one exercises to attain his salvation? But sinful man in his pride wants to maintain that position. Be thankful to God for preserving this precious truth for us and by His grace hold it fast and teach it to our children. Sing Psalter 273.

March 4 Read I Timothy 1:17-20

Besides saving faith, we sometimes speak of historical faith. It is usually understood as an objective agreement or belief in certain truths and facts in Scripture without that belief grounded in a regenerated heart. Satan certainly has knowledge of the Scriptures, as we read in James 2:19, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” Now it is true of course that one who possesses saving faith also believes the historical truths of the Word. But paradoxically, the more one who is unregenerated knows about Scripture, the more his unbelief will become manifest and the greater his condemnation. Pray daily that the Spirit may give us contrite and sincere hearts that are receptive to the great truths of Scripture. Sing Psalter 334.

March 5 Read Matthew 13:3-6, 20, 21

Temporary or temporal faith is another form of faith that is not rooted in the principle of a regenerated heart. Those who possess it may believe that they have true faith, but it is grounded in their emotions. It is a self-centered faith in one who is swayed by a strong emotional preacher or an enthusiastic revival, and is fascinated from an intellectual point of view of the glories of the kingdom of heaven. That kingdom promises relief from earthly woes, and holds forth eternal happiness and bliss. But when persecution or tribulation comes their way they stumble and fall. It never was a genuine faith that when tried, worketh patience according to James 1:3. How do you react, dear reader, when trials and temptations assail you? Do you despair and become angry with your lot? May God give us the grace to know that also the sorrows and woes that befall us are really for our good and will serve to draw us closer to our Savior. Sing Psalter 272.

March 6 Read Matthew 8:5-10

We call your attention today to miraculous faith. It can be either active or passive. Instances of miraculous faith abound in Scripture. Just review for example the heroes of faith recorded in Hebrews 11. They certainly were convinced that God would miraculously keep His covenant promises even when the situation was humanly hopeless and impossible. Think about Abraham and Sarah who had faith in God’s promise that He would give them a son when they were too old to conceive, and later, when commanded to sacrifice that same son, Abraham obeyed “accounting that God was able to raise him up even from the dead”. In essence, saving faith must be a miraculous faith. It is a miracle indeed that we, sinful and carnal creatures of the dust, will be raised from corruption, enter the glories of heaven, and live forever with our Savior Who loved us with an eternal love and redeemed us with His precious blood. Sing Psalter 71.

March 7 Read Ephesians 1:15-18

One of the aspects of saving faith according to the Heidelberg Catechism is a certain knowledge. Of what does that knowledge consist? It is a knowledge that “we hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in his word”. Because faith is rooted in Christ, and Christ is revealed to us in His word, we must have knowledge of that word. That does not mean mere intellectual knowledge of the Scriptures. A lot of people can quote from the Bible, and are familiar with much of its contents. But our knowledge must be different. By the grace of God we are given the Spirit in our hearts so that our knowledge of saving faith is a spiritual and experiential knowledge that makes us want to taste and see that God is good. We want to learn all we can about this Christ who saved us and intercedes for us. The more knowledge we gain, the more confident we are of our faith. Study the Scriptures, dear reader, with a prayer in your heart that you may grow in your faith in the crucified and risen Christ. Sing Psalter 336.

March 8 Read Ephesians 3:8-12

We have discussed in yesterday’s meditation that knowledge is an essential part of saving faith. Inseparably connected with that is a spiritual confidence. Confidence results from a true knowledge of saving faith. How could you or I have confidence or trust in something we know nothing about? That would be impossible. God by His Spirit works faith in our hearts so that we want to drink from the fountain of knowledge that in turn results in a confidence that no one can take from us. One of my favorite texts is Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (perfect) it until the day of Jesus Christ.” As you are privileged to hear the gospel of salvation preached from week to week, cling by faith to Christ who gave Himself a ransom for His people. Pray that your faith may be strengthened and that your confidence may grow strong and sure. Sing Psalter 191.

March 9 Read Romans 10:13-17

All of Scripture and our confessions declare that saving faith is a gift of God. If it is a gift, then it is certainly not earned or purchased. How then do we acquire it? We read in Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” This is God’s means by which His people receive the gift of faith and call upon His name. And how can they do that and believe in Him except they hear that word? That word is powerful, it is a two-edged sword that softens the heart of the elect and hardens the heart of the reprobate. God’s people must hear the voice of the Good Shepherd or they will not and cannot follow him. And that voice is the voice of a preacher who is called and sent forth officially as an ambassador of Christ. It is the chief means of grace that God uses to instill and strengthen that faith in our hearts. To despise that word is to despise Christ Himself. May we ever echo the words of the prophet Jeremiah, “thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart…” (Jer. 15:16). Sing Psalter 337.

March 10 Read 1 Peter 1:3-7

Saving faith is an extremely valuable possession. Most of us own objects of value and some perhaps even of great value. But these all fade into insignificance compared to faith. Scripture describes faith as precious, more precious than gold that perishes. This is a genuine faith that has been tried in the furnace of affliction. Just as gold emerges from the fire as pure and lustrous, so our faith shines forth in all its power as the work of God and it glorifies Him. The apostle Peter addresses his second epistle to “them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” It is precious because of the cost. To bestow the gift of faith to His people, a terrible price had to be paid. Faith means to be engrafted into Christ and to possess His righteousness. Nothing but the blood of Christ could accomplish this amazing redemption. We may be poor in earthly possessions, but when we have Christ, we have riches unimaginable. Praise God for His unspeakable gift! Sing Psalter 163.

March 11 Read Jude 1-4

Do you believe the truth of the gospel as revealed in Scripture? Is it precious to you and worth fighting for? Jude exhorts the church to earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. To contend means to engage in a contest or struggle against a rival. The truth of the gospel has always been attacked from the beginning of time, and will continue until Christ returns. We must fight earnestly for that truth. This truth as formulated in our Confessions is passed on from father to son and from generation to generation. The powers of darkness always seek to undermine and corrupt the faith of the saints. The enemy surrounds us constantly. He comes into our homes through the newspapers, television, books, and countless other means. How then must we fight this battle? Take up the shield of faith and grasp the sword of the Spirit believing that “whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (I John 5:4). Sing Psalter 35.

March 12 Read Romans 5:1-5

The Bible plainly declares that we are justified by faith. What does that mean? Place yourself for a moment before a judge in a courtroom. Only this time the judge is God Himself Who judges our lives each day according to His holy law. The verdict will be either righteous or guilty. The question immediately arises, how can you or I who are sinners possibly be declared righteous or justified before God? Thanks be to God, the answer is that God beholds His own as righteous in Christ. Christ, our Mediator, kept the law perfectly in our place and fulfilled all obedience to the divine law. That righteousness becomes ours by faith. Since by faith we are engrafted into Christ, as a branch is one with the tree from which it grows, so we become one with Christ by faith. By faith we cling to Him and to His cross where He made perfect satisfaction for our sins. “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord” (Psalm 116:12, 13). Sing Psalter 311.

March 13 Read Romans 3:21-28

Yesterday we discussed the truth of justification by faith. Today we wish to emphasize that we are justified by faith alone. When Martin Luther saw that precious truth for the first time, the shackles of Rome with its doctrine of faith plus the meritorious works of man fell from him and sparked the great Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. In the Apostle Paul’s day there were Judaizing teachers who claimed that in addition to having Christ’s righteousness, one must observe the Mosaic laws. Recently there appeared a sign in front of a local church of Reformed persuasion which read: “Salvation is free; but not until you accept it.” Is not this a salvation based on the work of man? There is no comfort or assurance for us if our salvation is conditioned by something that we must do. Our comfort is that God is sovereign and by faith we are assured of our election which makes our salvation secure and safe. We turn to our Savior in whom we are eternally chosen and who purchased that salvation for us with His own blood. By faith let this be our prayer: “Nothing in my hand I bring; simply to Thy cross I cling.” Sing Psalter 241.

March 14 Read I Timothy 6:12-16

Article 22 of our Belgic Confession is entitled “Of Faith in Jesus Christ.” The preceding article dealt with the death of Christ as a full satisfaction and atonement for our sins. The present article deals with the way Christ’s death is appropriated by those for whom He died. That instrument is faith. Emphasis is made that those who possess Christ by faith have complete salvation in Him. This refutes the Arminian teaching that in actuality Christ is not sufficient, and that before a man can be saved, he must by his own free will choose to believe. It stresses that all our salvation is in Him. Faith is worked in our hearts by the Holy Ghost and by this means we embrace Christ our Righteousness. He imputes to us all His merits and by this upright faith we are richly blessed. We have living communion with Him and the assurance of forgiveness of sins as well as the certain hope of everlasting life. For this faith, many saints have fought, and given their very lives. May we truly appreciate this precious gift. Sing Psalter 204.

March 15 Read II Peter 3:14-18

In the Canons of Dordt in the Third and Fourth Heads of Doctrine, our fathers expose the Arminian view of faith and set forth the biblical truth of saving faith in Article 14. Although they have to admit that faith is a gift of God, yet Arminians believe that the will of man in itself has never been corrupted and so by his own act or deed he is able to believe or not to believe. Read this short article for yourself, which emphasizes that this gift of God is not something that man can accept or reject at his pleasure, but rather that it is infused and breathed into him. Then it concludes: “he (God) who works in man both to will and to do…produces both the will to believe, and the act of believing also.” Only in this way can we as believers take comfort, knowing that it is not up to us, who are fickle and changeable, but up to our God Who is all powerful and Who sovereignly works that faith in us. Sing Psalter 112.

March 16 Read James 2:14-22

We have maintained that we are saved by grace through faith and not because of any works that we perform. In our passage today, we read that faith without works is dead. Is this a contradiction? On the contrary James is speaking of a dead faith. A person may claim to have faith, have knowledge of the Scriptures and attend church regularly. However, the sermons make no impact, he has no desire for spiritual things and throughout the week he fellowships with the world and seeks their pleasures. No one sees the fruit of a living faith in his life. He is no different from the world. Contrasted to that is true faith which manifests itself in good works. That living faith walks in obedience to God’s law. That faith works a godly repentance day after day. It keeps itself unspotted from the world. It is not merely lip service toward God and the neighbor, but shows that it is genuine by heartfelt worship and by deeds of love and mercy. Dear reader, do you see the evidence of that working faith in your own life? Then rejoice and praise God for His gracious gift. Sing Psalter 69.

March 17 Read Matthew 18:1-4

What a lesson Jesus gave to His disciples when they disputed among themselves who of them would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. He placed a little child in their midst and explained that they must be converted or turned with a childlike faith to enter that kingdom. It is true that Scripture speaks of the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God, but is not the gospel also very simple? This may not excuse us from studying God’s Word, but the fact remains that without a childlike faith we shall not enter into the kingdom. A young child will believe his parents or teachers without reservation. In similar fashion we must take God at His Word. We may question what man teaches, but when we hear Christ say “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” we come, just as a little child comes to his own father in simple faith and trust. Although the disciples were certainly regenerated, they needed a lesson in humility. May we by grace cast away all pride and say with the publican in Jesus’ parable “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Sing Psalter 142.

March 18 Read Luke 22:31-34

Without faith we cannot be saved, and without faith we cannot please God. Because faith is a gift of God we are passive in receiving it. We did not receive it because we asked Him for it or because we are willing to receive it. God by sovereign irresistible grace bestowed it upon us. Our response is that we actively embrace it with a believing heart. Sometimes, however, due to our sinful nature, our faith becomes weak. Take Peter as an example who could demonstrate a strong faith, yet when he took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink into the sea. Jesus’ response was “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” We too fall into the same sin. Sometimes we sink into the depths of despair when we face trials in our lives. None of us is exempt from sorrows and hardships. Must we then murmur or complain? On the contrary, we cry out as David did, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation”. Pray for a season of richer grace and diligently use the means God has given us, namely His comforting Word, the fellowship of saints, and the avenue of prayer. Sing Psalter 73.

March 19 Read Matthew 15:21-28

Not only does Scripture give us examples of weak faith, but it also relates many instances of strong faith, and encourages us to grow and abound in that faith which is pleasing to God. In our passage today we read that a Gentile woman pleaded with Jesus to help her and was not deterred when Jesus told her it was not proper to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs. In an amazing demonstration of her faith, she said “Truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.” Are we so hungry for the gospel that we will do everything to hear it? Strong faith manifests itself in many ways. We will mention just a few: We must know and love the truth; we perform deeds of kindness with humility; we serve God willingly in His church and kingdom; we live lives of thankfulness and obedience; we pray sincerely and earnestly, especially when trials come; and we encourage and build up our fellow saints. Does that come naturally to us? No it doesn’t, but the more we lean on God and His promises, He will give grace for grace. May the Lord make us strong in that faith to His glory. Sing Psalter 354.

March 20 Read Matthew 17:14-20

Faith cannot exist without prayer. In our preceding meditations we have mentioned the element of prayer in our experience of faith, but we call special attention to the importance of the prayer of faith. In the epistle of James we read “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” and also in the same chapter we read “and the prayer of faith shall save the sick”. We know from the context that this is a spiritual sickness, which calls for the elders of the church to come and pray. In our Scripture passage today we are told, by Christ Himself that if we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, we can move mountains. We must understand that this does not refer to literal mountains, but as it were “mountains” of trials and difficulties. Our Heidelberg Catechism defines prayer as “the chief part of thankfulness which God requires of us: and also because God will give his grace and Holy Spirit to those only who with sincere desires continually ask them of him, and are thankful for them.” Be earnest in prayer, dear reader, to grow and develop in your faith. Sing Psalter 210.

March 21 Read Hebrews 11:1-3

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.” But that’s not what the world teaches and believes. Their celebrated scientists and geologists spend a lifetime developing and defending their godless theory of evolution. Without faith, man is a fool. He will not and cannot believe in a God to whom all men are accountable. If the Genesis account is not true, we have no Christ, no salvation and no comfort. Psalm 33:6declares “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” All creation continues to exist by that powerful word. What a comfort for you and me to believe that word. By faith we look forward to that new creation that “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (I Cor. 2:9). Sing Psalter 37.

March 22 Read II Timothy 1:8-12

Let us examine today the object of our faith. It is totally different from the so-called faith of multitudes in the world today. There are those who trust in their riches, others in science or man’s ingenuity, while still others hold to a worship of idols and false gods. In Psalm 20:7 we read: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” The object of our faith, dear reader, is the Triune God as He is revealed in Christ. No man can come to the Father except through Jesus Christ the Mediator. Our faith is a personal faith that has for its object Jesus Christ Himself, Who is the way, the truth and the life. Many in the church world today claim that there are many ways and different roads that lead to the same heaven. Don’t believe it! “No man cometh unto the Father but by me” declares Jesus. He is the object of our faith. He made the way possible by taking our sins and nailing them to His cross. Believe in Him by faith and walk in humble gratitude and obedience to Him. Sing Psalter 198.

March 23 Read Hebrews 10:19-23

In verse 23 of this passage we are exhorted to hold fast the profession of our faith. Many other verses in Scripture express the same admonition to the recipients of saving faith. Is this warning really necessary, you might say, since only God’s people possess this faith? Yes, we may well heed these words since we have sinful natures and only a small beginning of that new obedience. Satan, the world, and our own flesh are enemies who constantly tempt us to sin. We fail to hold fast our profession when we forsake the truth, fail to defend it, live as the ungodly world, or when we waver between truth and error. To hold fast is to cling to Christ, know and love His Word, put on the whole armor of God, and pray unceasingly. We cannot do that in our own strength to be sure, but read again the last part of this verse, “He is faithful that promised.” All glory and thanks to God for preserving us in our faith. Sing Psalter 27.

March 24 Read I Peter 1:8-10

The end of our faith is the salvation of our souls. Can any words be richer than that? This does not mean that our faith ceases at death, but rather that faith is our avenue to salvation. Some have a carnal and superficial concept of salvation that pictures a beautiful heaven that their fleshly lusts crave and which is decidedly better than a hell. Salvation for the child of God has already begun in this life. We are told to work out our own salvation for God works in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure. When God completes His work in us, we are made holy, perfectly consecrated to Him, hating our sins and being delivered from them. We will be so filled with the love of God that with all our faculties we shall serve Him perfectly and unceasingly. That glorious salvation is the end of our faith. All thanks and praise to Him alone! Sing Psalter 399.

March 25 Read Genesis 4:1-7 and Hebrews 11:4

The very first of the great cloud of witnesses listed in Hebrews as a hero of faith is Abel, the second son of Adam and Eve. God established the antithesis in Paradise putting enmity between the seed of the woman and that of the serpent. It comes to manifestation very soon in the lives of Abel and his older brother Cain. Abel was given faith from God that caused him to bring the choicest of his flock as a sacrifice. He knew by the power of that faith that blood must be shed upon the altar. Cain also brought an offering, but it was the fruit of his own labors. He cared nothing for the need of forgiveness of his sins. The wrath of God always abides on the unbeliever, and because God had no respect for Cain’s offering, he became furious and murdered his righteous brother. Dear reader, we are told in II Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith.” Do you see the works of faith in your own life? Do you love God, repent of your sins and strive to walk in holiness? Pray that God will continue to strengthen you and give you that confidence of faith. Sing Psalter 228.

March 26 Read Hebrews 11:5, 6

Enoch is one of many throughout Scripture, and specifically in Hebrews chapter 11, in whom faith is exemplified. Enoch lived in an age when the Church and the world began to amalgamate. Wickedness prevailed. By faith he walked with God. He lived a life of godliness, was fervent in prayer, and a fearless witness against the ungodly world and their deeds as recorded in the epistle of Jude. He was undoubtedly fiercely persecuted by those against whom he testified. His faith was rewarded in that he did not “see death” as other men and was instantly translated to glory. Can it be said of us as well that we believe that God is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him? We do not expect to be translated to heaven as was Enoch. But he is an example that we are to emulate. We are called to be living testimonies of our faith to all with whom we come into contact. If we are persecuted, don’t fear but commit your way in faith to God who is pleased with us for the sake of Jesus Christ. Sing Psalter 260.

March 27 Read Hebrews 11:7

We read in Genesis that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and that he, like Enoch, walked with God. We must not think that Noah found grace because he walked with God. But rather he walked with God by the power of faith because God bestowed His favor upon him. Noah lived in a time of great wickedness on the earth, so great in fact that God determined to destroy all flesh by a flood with the exception of Noah and his family. For 120 years he was busy building the ark according to God’s specifications. He was mocked and scoffed at by the ungodly world, and not only did he persist in building the ark, but we read that he was a “preacher of righteousness” who testified of his faith and condemned the wicked. It is never easy to stand alone when seemingly everyone is against us. Only by the power of saving faith could Noah walk in obedience to God, and only by that same power can we remain faithful to our calling to love God and keep His commandments. Sing Psalter 378.

March 28 Read Hebrews 11:22

This verse testifies of the faith of Joseph when he prophesied that God would surely keep His promise to bring the nation of Israel back to the promised land. Joseph was near the end of his life when he uttered this, and he gave specific instructions, confirmed by an oath, that he must be buried in Canaan. His life was a very eventful one, and as a young person he had to be hated by his brothers, be sold as a slave and be imprisoned under false charges, yet by faith he endured it. God preserved him and made him a ruler in Egypt. He testified to his brethren that although they meant it for evil, God meant it for good. Sometimes we wonder why God sends us trials in our lives. Perhaps a loved one is taken by death, perhaps we lose our job through no fault of our own, or a devastating illness overtakes us. By faith we look to God for grace to submit to His will and say “Thy will be done.” Then we have peace during our afflictions and find comfort through our tears. Sing Psalter 30.

March 29 Read Hebrews 11:23-29

This passage speaks not only of the faith of Moses but also of his parents, Amram and Jochebed. Moses was born at a time when the king of Egypt issued a decree that all male babies born to the Israelites must be killed. Defying the king’s command, Moses’ parents hid him for three months before consigning him to the river in a little basket of reeds. You all know the history how Moses was found by the king’s daughter, became her son and eventually grew up in Pharaoh’s palace. Yet, instead of enjoying the luxurious life of a prince, Moses by faith cast his lot with the people of Israel, “esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt”. He had heard as a little child on his mother’s knees the wonders of God. By the power of regeneration and the gift of faith, he embraced those promises. Young people, are you tempted to use that college degree to obtain a lucrative position somewhere, but it takes you away from the pure preaching of the Word? Many of us perhaps could procure better paying jobs, but to do so would mean compromising our faith. Let us by grace be obedient to God’s commands and experience His blessing. Sing Psalter 97.

March 30 Read Judges 13:2-5, 24 & 25

Who hasn’t heard about Samson, one of the most unusual and outstanding judges in the history of the nation of Israel? God, in sovereign wisdom, raised up this man at this time, consecrating him as a Nazarite and gave him prodigious strength. By this miraculous power he single-handedly delivered Israel from the Philistines. Although it is true that his life was tainted with sin and he often used improper means in his zeal for God and his hatred of the enemy, yet Scripture includes him in the cloud of witnesses and describes him as a man of faith. We read that God blessed him as a lad and certainly prepared him not only physically for his calling, but also spiritually. God also gives us certain talents and abilities. Are we burying them in the ground or striving to develop them for His service? That is not only our duty, but a privilege as well. May we by faith seek His kingdom, clinging to the promise that all else shall be added to us. Sing Psalter 400.

March 31 Read Hebrews 11:32-40

We conclude our series on faith and those who exemplified it by taking a glimpse of Samuel, the prophet-judge in Israel. He was born in answer to a devout and barren mother’s prayer. Even before his birth he was dedicated to the Lord who sovereignly raised him up at a crucial time in Israel’s history. He was given faith as a child when he ministered in the temple. He was not only a teacher and judge, but also one of the first and great prophets. During his tenure the transition from judges to kings took place. He is mentioned twice in the book of Acts as well as in Hebrews chapter 11, and also as an example of greatness in Jeremiah 15:1. Only by faith could he walk in humble obedience to his God given calling. Only by faith can we too ever be pleasing to our God. We have nothing in ourselves in which we can boast. Our only boasting is in our faithful covenant God who works faith in our hearts by His grace and mercy. Let us praise and thank Him who alone is worthy. Sing Psalter 271.

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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