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Watching Daily at My Gates

September 1

Read Psalm 41.

This psalm of David completes the first section consisting of Psalms 1-41. David wrote this plea for deliverance and God’s mercy at the time of Absalom’s rebellion. His anguish for God’s care is evident. “Mine own familiar friend . . . hath lifted up . . . against me” (v.9). Compare old and new testament and see who this “friend” is (II Samuel 15:12 and John 13:18). Yet David’s obedient desire to praise God even “in time of trouble” shines through in the doxology that brings to an end the first forty-one psalms. Memorize Psalm 41:13 and sing Psalter #113, verse 12.

 

September 2

Read Psalm 72.

This is one of Solomon’s two psalms, completing the second section consisting of Psalms 42-72. Composed when Solomon’s kingdom was at its height of glory, the psalm should make us stand in awe of that kingdom to come. Note the glory and grandeur of Christ’s kingdom! Then pause for verses 18, 19—the doxology of praise to God. Memorize Psalm 72:18-19 and sing Psalter #197.

 

September 3

Read Psalm 89.

“I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever”! See if you can pick out the references to Christ in this majestic song of praise. It is that kingdom of Christ that is referred to here so many times in God’s oath for the eternal establishment of David’s throne. Then notice how the third section of the book of Psalms (73-89) ends with its own doxology of praise. “Blessed be the LORD for evermore. Amen, and Amen.” Look over Psalter #241-243 and their titles especially, then sing Psalter #243, verse 15.

 

September 4 Read

Psalm 106.

We sang doxologies in church yesterday. What is a doxology? What is it for? Praise! Praise to God and God alone. Psalm 106 is a historical psalm contrasting the wondrous mercies of the Lord and the disobedience of Israel. It is in this context that the doxology at the end of Psalms 90-106 has glorious significance for the church. Our unfaithfulness and God’s enduring mercy. “O give thanks unto the LORD …” by committing to memory and heart Psalm 106:48 and singing Psalter #291, verse 12.

 

September 5

Read Revelation 19:1-6.

The book of Psalms will end with an outburst of Hallelujahs. Psalms 146-150 all begin and end with “Praise the Lord,” or “Hallelujah.” This praise to God echoes in the heavenly chorus of the redeemed as found in Revelation. * … As the voice of mighty thunderings . . . Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!! We sing Hallelujah because God reigns. Simple, but thought-provoking. Think about it. We sing Hallelujah because He reigns. Sing Psalter #400, verses 1 and 7.

 

September 6

Read Revelation 5:11-14.

Like the Hallelujah chorus from Revelation 12, we find another beautiful doxology of praise here in the fifth chapter. Why sing another doxology? Because the Lamb is worthy! Worthy of all power; all riches, all wisdom, all strength, all honor, all glory, all blessing. God grant that we never forget the meaning of “doxology” and never fail to sing them with all our heart. Here is one from the back of the Psalter reflecting on Revelation 5.

“Now to the great and sacred Three

Father, Son, and Spirit, be

Eternal power and glory given,

Through all the worlds, where God is known,

By all the angels near the throne,

And all the saints in earth and heaved.”

 

September 7

Read Psalm 148.

Let us praise the Lord. You “people near unto him”—let us praise the Lord. “… For His name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven.” Let the angels sing the doxology. Let the heavens shout it out! Consider especially verses 13-14 and sing your praise from the heart.  Know the personal confession of Psalter #404, verse 5.

 

September 8

Read Psalm 150.

The doxology to end the psalms. Let everything that has breath (see Revelation 5:13) praise God. Read the psalm through twice. Why praise the Lord? Where? How? Give it some extra study. Then sing from Psalter #413. “Hallelujah … all that breathe, His praise proclaim.”

 

September 9

Read Jude 24-25.

We end a week of praise, doxology, and hallelujah with the closing verses of Jude. One of the most beautiful doxologies in all of Scripture, verses 24-25 are well worth committing to memory. Know it “by heart”—as the little ones say (wisely). “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

 

September 10

Read Hebrews 11:1-4, & Genesis 4:1-15.

God rejected Cain’s worship because Cain did what he wanted and he did not do it in faith. Abel’s worship was “more excellent” because by faith, he obeyed God and thus showed that he relied on Christ, the Lamb. We must be careful in our worship, not to bring our own works or our own ideas, for God will reject such worship. Today as you go to God’s house, think of how God has commanded us to worship Him and then go in faith, as Abel did, and do what God has commanded.

 

September 11

Read Hebrews 11:5, 6, Genesis 5:21-24, & Jude 14, 15.

Genesis tells us that Enoch walked with God. In Jude we see that this walking with God included Enoch’s preaching that the Lord would return and judge the wicked and their ungodly deeds. The text in Hebrews says that this pleased God. Has God worked faith in your heart? Show then, by your speech and walk that you walk with God. Walk closely with Him this week, that you may please Him Who is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

 

September 12

Read Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 6, & II Peter 2:5.

It is recorded of Noah (and of Noah only, for he stood all alone) that in the wicked times before the flood he found grace in the eyes of the Lord, was just and perfect, and walked with God. He was also a preacher of righteousness and condemned the wicked world of his time. (Notice, this is very similar to the description of Enoch.) Noah was all this because of the faith God had given him. This same faith caused him to believe God’s warning that He would destroy the world and to obey God’s command to build an ark. It was through the means of this faith that God saved Noah’s family and made Noah heir of the righteousness which is by faith. Faith is a great power which God gives to us!  Pray for such a faith, that we may stand against the wicked world and keep God’s commandments.

 

September 13

Read Hebrews 11: 8-19, Genesis 12:1-9, & Genesis 22:1- 9.

In Abraham we have an example of obedience—obedience no matter what the requirement and obedience without question. How often don’t we, when something difficult is required of us, start to complain and question? Even though Abraham was required to leave his home and family to become a wanderer in a strange land, even though he was commanded to kill his own beloved son in whom the promise centered, he did so without question. He trusted that God would fulfill His promise to give him the land of Canaan and to send Christ from Isaac. Pray for such a faith and exercise that faith that you may believe and obey, as Abraham did.

 

September 14

Read Hebrews 11:22, Genesis 50:22-26, Exodus 13:19 and Joshua 24:32.

Joseph, before he died, showed that his hope was not in Egypt and its riches. But, rather, his hope lay in the promised land of Canaan. He believed that God would deliver Israel from Egypt (a picture of sin and this earthly life) and would bring them to Canaan (a picture of heaven). Young people, do not set your hearts on the riches of this world which soon pass away. Do not live as if this world is your home, but look to your heavenly and eternal home as Joseph did. God fulfilled His promise to Joseph and Israel and He will fulfill his promise to us as well, and bring us to heaven.

 

September 15

Read Hebrews 11:24-28, Exodus 2:5-15, & Exodus 12:21-30.

Just as Enoch and Noah were similar, so Moses and Joseph give us similar examples. Moses could have had riches and power in Egypt, just as Joseph. But he chose something better, even though it involved suffering with the people of Israel. Young people, do you choose to live as a child of God and to suffer affliction with the people of God? Or do you take the easy route and live with the world in the pleasures of sin which last only for a season? May God grant us the grace to esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the riches of this world.

 

September 16

Read Hebrews 11:29-30, Joshua 2:1-21, & Joshua 6:22- 25.

Rahab had heard the stories of how God had cared for and fought for Israel during their journey through the wilderness. Hearing of God’s mighty acts of salvation led her to turn from her sin of adultery and to make the confession we read of in Joshua 2:11. God worked faith in her heart, and thus saved her from the destruction of Jericho and gave her a place among His chosen people. Every week we hear from the pulpit the mighty acts of salvation which God has performed for us. May we too day by day, repent and turn from our sins.

 

September 17

Read Genesis 1-2 and Psalm 51.

This week we will consider some of the psalms which refer to the creation. Before going to the psalms, we should have at least Genesis 1-2 fresh in our mind. Read the whole book if you are able. God reveals Himself in the first sentence of the Bible as the Creator of all things. One need not read far into the Bible, however, before God reveals Himself as the Saviour of all the seed of the woman. God is Creator and Saviour. God also creates when He saves. When God saves His people, then He creates a new heart within them (Psalm 51:10). He gives them a whole new life in Christ so that they are perfect in the sight of God and they begin to walk in righteousness in this life. When we ponder the awesomeness of the creation, then we are reminded of the greatness of that work of salvation worked in our very heart. Read Psalm 51 and also sing one of the Psalter numbers for this psalm.

 

September 18

Read Psalm 8 and Hebrews 2.

Some of the psalms are called “nature psalms” because they speak specifically of the creation. God, in Psalm 8 directs our attention to the wonders of His creation of the heavens. When we consider the vastness of the heavens, then we are made to feel very small and insignificant. Go outside on a clear evening and look at the moon and the stars. Think about what the psalmist is saying. Do you feel small and insignificant? Now consider this: the God who created the whole universe is “mindful” of His people. As you lay there in the grass or in the snow on a clear, crisp, winter night looking at the stars, God is mindful of you and is directing all the events in the world so that all things work for the salvation of His people. Hebrews 2 includes a quotation of Psalm 8 to reveal that that salvation is in Christ.

 

September 19

Read Psalm 19 and Philippians 2.

Psalm 19 is divided poetically into two parts. The first part is verses 1 -6 and renders praise and adoration to God as the almighty Creator God. The second part which begins at verse 7 and goes to the end of the chapter, renders praise and adoration to the covenant God as Lawgiver and Redeemer of His people. The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork because the creation obeys the laws by which God governs and rules the creation. God also has ordained His law for man. That law is the beautiful law of love. When man lives in accordance with the law of God, then he is filled with joy and happiness. It is so foolish to transgress that law and as regenerated children of God we struggle against the old man of sin which we have by nature in Adam. Our constant fall into sin can be very frustrating and even cause us to despair. Pray with the psalmist in verses 12-14. Look to Christ in whom God reveals His love and salvation.

 

September 20

Read Psalm 29, Job 37:1-5, Revelation 10.

Psalm 29 is sometimes called “the psalm of the seven thunders.” Note that the words “the voice of the LORD” is repeated seven times. Note also the seven thunders in Revelation 10. The occasion for this psalm is a thunderstorm. In Palestine thunderstorms build up in the North and sweep southward into the Arabian desert. First the thunder is heard in the distance. Each time it comes closer until the cedars of Lebanon break in the wind, the mountains shake with the thunder, and lightning cracks through the air along with torrents of rain. Each time the psalmist hears not merely thunder, but the mighty voice of Jehovah telling His covenant people that He reigns as King forever and that His people will be victorious in the end in Christ. Listen to God when it thunders. Let the storms be an occasion for reading and meditating on God’s Word for awhile.

 

September 21

Read Psalm 93, Jonah.

This psalm also speaks of victory. The picture here is Jehovah sitting high on a throne unmoved as a tumultuous and storm tossed sea rages round about Him. The throne is a picture of God’s power and authority. He rules and governs all things. The storm tossed sea is the world in which we live. Many of us have never experienced what it is like to be on an actual storm tossed sea. Perhaps you have read a good book describing the terrors of such an experience; the book of Jonah also gives a good description. Sometimes our soul feels like a ship tossed about at sea. This psalm comforts us by assuring us that Jehovah is King. He stands firm and rules all things. Jesus is enthroned at the right hand of the Father. He knows all our experiences because He walked on this earth and is now risen in glorified flesh. When all things are fulfilled, we will join him in the new heavens and new earth.

 

September 22

Read Psalm 98; Romans 8; Isaiah 11.

In this psalm we read of the creation praising God. Verse 8 reads “Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together.” The Bible often uses figurative language. This style is lively and we can use our imagination to see joyful hills etc. In Romans 8 we read that the creation is groaning now because of the sin of man, and that the creation is waiting for the salvation of all the people of God. The creation is both glad and sad, just like regenerated believer who groans because of his sin, and yet is glad because of the hope of final glory with Christ. Let the death, decay, and pollution in the world remind you of sin, and let the singing birds, chirping crickets, colorful flowers, and rolling hills remind you of your cleansing and joy in Christ. When you go for a walk or sit by an open window, listen for the sounds of creation and remember this psalm.

 

September 23

Read Psalm 104, Heidelberg Catechism LD 9-10.

This psalm praises God for the goodness of His creation. Sometimes we forget that the creation is good when we see all the death, corruption, disease, fighting, and killing that goes on in the wild. But the psalmist looks at the present creation around him and he is reminded of what God says in Genesis 1 about creation—that all things were created good. This psalm is divided into seven sections to reflect the days of creation. Verses 1, 5, 10, 19, 24, 27, and 31 begin each section. There is not an exact correspondence to what was created on each day but the psalm does begin with light (v. 2) and it ends with an allusion to the rest and worship of God on Sunday. Notice also the care and providence of God in this psalm. The creation would cry out in despair and die if God hid His face for but a moment (v. 29). The people of God also need to know that God’s face shines upon them. Listen for those words in the benediction at church tomorrow.

 

September 24

Read Proverbs 16:18, & I John 2:16-17.

PRIDE! Pride certainly is not a virtue. It is a terrible sin. In fact, pride is the root cause of all sin. Scripture informs us that it was not only pride which led to the fall of Satan from heaven, but also pride which caused our first parents, Adam and Eve, to fall into sin. The two texts you have just read also point out the sinfulness of pride. We are all inclined to be filled with pride and to be governed by pride. Seek forgiveness for this sin in your life, and strength to fight against it, from your loving heavenly Father. For Jesus Christ, our Savior, shed His precious blood to cover also the sin of pride in us, His people.

 

September 25

Read Matthew 23:1-12.

Jesus points out in this passage the evidences of pride in the scribes and Pharisees. They were concerned only for themselves. They wanted to be seen of men. They wanted to be recognized and acknowledged by all as being great. But what does God think of such pride? What did Jesus say concerning this proud behavior? Read verse 12 again. II Samuel 22:28 says the same thing. God’s eyes are upon the proud person, and God looks upon them in order to bring them down. The proud will certainly fall. God hates the sin of pride and He sees to it that those who are filled with pride are humbled and abased. Remember, pride comes before a fall. Let this be a warning to us. Being aware of God’s attitude toward pride, let us also hate it and flee from it.

 

September 26

Read Luke 18:9-14.

Pride is present in our lives in many ways. One way in which we show our pride is in our attitude toward God and what He requires of us. The Pharisee in this parable did this. He thought that he was pretty good at keeping God’s law. In fact, he thought he had kept it perfectly. But what was God’s judgment on this pride-filled man? He did not go to his house justified! The publican, however, who was deeply aware of his sin and his inability to do any good, went home justified. Ask yourself this question: Am I the Pharisee in this parable, or am I the publican? May our attitude to God and our prayers to God always be like those of the publican.

 

September 27

Read Proverbs 3:7, 25:27, & 27:2.

God’s Word tells us in these verses that we must never praise ourselves. We must never boast. We must never let our own lips and mouth praise us. However, we all do this. We want others to know of our achievements and accomplishments. We want others to be aware of things we have done. Sometimes we even do this through what we call false humility. But in all of this we are thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought (Romans 12:3). This praise of self is another evidence of pride in our lives. It reminds me of a Dutch saying my parents often quoted, which in English is: “Self-praise stinks!” Let us strive, by God’s grace, not to speak highly of ourselves.

 

September 28

Read Romans 12.

In this chapter is mentioned the sinful pride that we often show in our relationships to others. We are inclined, by nature, to think we are better than others. We even think to ourselves that we are more godly than our fellow believers. This is often seen when another child of God sins. When we hear of that sin, instead of speaking to that brother or sister in love (Galatians 6:1-2), we spread the news of the sin as quickly as we can. And what usually motivates us to do so is the thought that we ourselves would never commit such a sin. Verse 10 tells us, however that we should “be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another.” Instead of thinking of ourselves we must think highly of others. May we be willing, in the strength of our God, to “condescend to men of low estate.”

 

September 29

Read I Peter 5:1-7, & Proverbs 18:12.

The opposite of pride is humility. Pride is sin, but humility is a virtue. We must strive, therefore, to be humble. For God hates the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. He who is humble will be exalted by God. The humble will have a place in God’s kingdom. For Jesus Himself told us that the truly great in the kingdom of Heaven is the humble servant (Matthew 18:3-4, John 13). Seek to be humble, therefore. Do so by getting rid of all pride in your life. Pray that God will make you humble, for then you will be exalted by Him in His kingdom.

 

September 30

Read Psalm 131.

In this Psalm we discover what should be our proper attitude in relation to the sin of pride. The psalmist David confesses that his heart is not haughty. He does not exalt himself. He does not value himself too highly. His eyes are not lofty. He does not view himself as superior. He is humble and quiet. Is this your confession? Are you able to say this of yourself? It is not easy for us to be humble. It is impossible, in fact, for us to be humble in our own strength. Let us seek our help from above. Pray that God will spare us from being proud. May we, by God’s grace, be humble. Only with His help will we be able to confess, with David, that our hearts are not haughty and our eyes are not lofty.