Watching Daily At My Gates

January 8 Read Psalm 1.

Do you count yourself as one of the blessed ones?  If you answered yes to that question, then you have to answer yes to the next one as well.  Do you delight in keeping Jehovah’s law?  Only the blessed are able to say yes to that question.  They are the only ones who find keeping God’s law every day and night a delight.  They are the ones who are planted where their roots drink up water from the river of life.  They have a way that has been ordained by him who knows all things with a knowledge that is active.  Let us seek to walk in Jehovah’s way and not stray in the way of sinners.  Sing Psalter 2.


January 9 Read Psalm 2.

From the doxology of yesterday’s psalm, we now come to the heart of the gospel.  Psalm 2 is one of the messianic psalms.  These are psalms that show to us some aspect of Christ’s work on this earth.  Here we find that Christ has been made king.  The Father has bestowed upon him a kingship that is greater than any other.  How do we treat that king?  Do we treat him with derision, as many do on this earth?  Or do we obey the commands of verses 10-12?  In obedience to those commands we find an assurance of the blessedness that belongs to the elect. Sing Psalter 4.


January 10 Read Psalm 3.

The heading of the psalm informs us that it may have been written as David was fleeing from Absalom, his son.  This is the lot in life for God’s people.  Even Christ had to flee from those who tried to end his life before it was ordained to be ended.  After absorbing this part of the psalm, look at verse 3.  It begins with the little word “but.”  In our Bibles that word often signals a change in thought.  After David cries to God for help, he is able to lie down and sleep because he feels the assurance that belongs to God’s people.  Salvation was not of David; it is not of us; it only is through the work of Christ on the cross on our behalf. Sing Psalter 5.


January 11 Read Psalm 4

This psalm is a companion to Psalm 3.  From the title we see that David wrote it to be performed as part of the worship of Jehovah.  He wrote it as a prayer of thanksgiving for the deliverance God had afforded him.  We too can use this psalm as part of our worship, both private and public.  We too can say the last verse with confidence because Christ has gone the way of the cross for us.  Let us remember to worship Jehovah, giving thanks for all that he has done for us.  Let this be a daily worship throughout our lives.  Sing Psalter 8.


January 12 Read Psalm 5.

This psalm gives to us instruction in the area of devotions.  It teaches us that a part of those devotions must be prayer.  These prayers cannot be the hurried prayers we are wont to make out of custom and habit.  These prayers must have their basis in God’s word.  We must first read and study the word of God, and then we will be able to lift our voices heavenward in any situation.  We need to use the words of verse 8 in our daily prayers.  Each day we must ask for guidance as we walk upon the path of life given to us by God.  We can pray this way because God has said that he will bless the righteous.  Let us spend a part of each day lifting our hearts and voices to our heavenly Father. Sing Psalter 11.


January 13 Read Psalm 6.

Sometimes our heavenly Father must chastise us for walking on the wrong path.  Just as an earthly father corrects his children for their good, so our spiritual Father brings us back to the proper path by a rebuke.  This rebuke is sometimes gentle because that is all that is needed.  Other times it may be sharp, as that is what we need.  When we go to him in prayer because of such rebukes we can have the assurance that he will answer our prayers and turn us onto the right way.  He will hear our prayers and give to us the grace that is needed in any situation of life. Sing Psalter 12.


January 14 Read Psalm 7.

In this song of David, he is quick to give to God all credit for his deliverance from cruel and wicked men.  Cush refers to some wicked man, either Saul or one of his henchmen.  But David does not stop there.  He also asks God to forgive him for sins that he might have committed against his neighbors or even his enemies.  David mentions God as judge several times in this Psalm.  What does the holy Judge say about us?  What will be our sentence in the final judgement?   By grace he will look at us through the blood of Christ and say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of thy Lord.”  With David let us revel in God’s righteousness and sing praise to the holy one of Israel. Sing Psalter 13.


January 15 Read Psalm 8.

You can imagine David composing this Psalm to be played upon his harp (Gittith) as though he were back in the days he spent on the hills of Judah tending his sheep.  When he looked at the stars, he was struck by the vast number of them and of their celestial beauty.  And then he considered man, specifically himself.  Do we say, “What is man that God takes notice of him?”  Do we consider ourselves and our place in God’s counsel?  When we are done considering all this, are we puffed up with pride in ourselves, or do we say with David, “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all their earth.”  May this be our prayer today and every day.  Sing Psalter 15.


January 16 Read Psalm 9.

David had many enemies both within Israel and outside of its borders.  There were times that he tried to defeat those enemies in his own strength.  When this was the case, God had to show him the right way.  When David walked on that right way, he found peace, even when there was turmoil around him.  In verse 16 he states that God will judge the heathen, and then with the last two words of the verse he tells us to pause and meditate upon that fact.  We cannot and must not take matters into our own hands.  To do this will lead to hopelessness.  We must trust in Jehovah God who carries out all things for his glory and the good of those who love him.  David learned this fact and so must we. Sing Psalter 17.


January 17 Read Psalm 10.

There are those who would place this Psalm with the previous one.  From its subject matter there is certainly merit in that decision.  It also has no title.  But we must not dwell on such things.  We must dwell on the words of the psalm as it stands.  Once again the psalmist calls upon God for help in times of trouble.  He asks God to deliver him from those who are so unscrupulous that they will stop at nothing to torment God’s people.  After running through a whole list of pleas to God, the writer states, “Jehovah is king forever.”  Do we make such a statement?  Do we live lives that bear out the fact that we believe that statement?  The sovereignty of God is much maligned in our day.  We must desire God to be our king and we must bring to him the reverence that is due to such a king. Sing Psalter 18.


January 18 Read Psalm 11.

Do we trust in God throughout all of our life?  Do we trust him to deliver us from all that seems to be against us and to supply us with all of our daily needs?  This is the point of this short Psalm.  We can trust that God will care for us because his eyes are upon us; he is ready to help us even as he has purposed in his counsel.  He loves us with a love that cannot be matched on this earth.  Let us trust in the one who will help us at all times.  Sing Psalter 20.


January 19 Read Psalm 12.

Throughout Scripture the tongue is pictured as an organ that can bring forth much evil.  We must think of our own lives; is this not the truth as well?  We must guard our tongues, as we know the evil that can come from even our own mouths.  David was familiar with those who did him despite with their lips.  In opposition to such evil we have the pure word of God.  That word will lead us in a good way.  That word will preserve us from all evil and bring us to an everlasting place of safety. Sing Psalter 21.


January 20 Read Psalm 13.

Sometimes the child of God utters words that obviously come from the depth of his soul.  “To be forgotten of God” are such words.  If someone forgets us, we feel extreme hurt.  To be forgotten by someone whom we thought loved us is unthinkable.  This is David’s feeling.  But very quickly he realizes that God has not forgotten him.  He receives an answer to his groans, and those groans are turned into songs of thanksgiving.  By turning to God’s word we receive the answers that we need.  Let us read that word and then break forth into singing beautiful songs of thanksgiving. Sing Psalter 22.


January 21 Read Psalm 14.

Those who think there is no God are fools.  That is not the summation of any man on this earth.  That is the sentence of God himself.  God sees all men’s works and concludes that those who say that he does not exist are fools.  Those who say such things ignore the plain evidence that there is a God who has created all things and who sees all that he has created.  They ignore his word, and they ignore his creations.  For God’s people there is hope.  There is a hope that comes from above.  That hope is Christ’s answer to the cry of verse 7.  Are we looking for him?  Hope in him will drive away the foolishness that is in our hearts. Sing Psalter 23.


January 22 Read Psalm 15.

Is the description found in verses 2–5 true of us?  When we examine each characteristic of the one found acceptable in God’s eyes, do we qualify?  By nature, the answer is sadly, no.  By nature we commit all of those sins daily.  But by the natures imputed to us through the blood of Christ, we can approach God’s holy hill.  We will be taken into heaven and it will be said of us, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  We need to strive to have clean hands and a pure heart.  This is the sanctified walk of the child of God.  By grace it is possible, and only by grace. Sing Psalter 24.


January 23 Read Psalm 16.

Both Peter and Paul appealed to this psalm to show that Jesus was indeed the messiah foretold in the Old Testament.  Some writers have called it a “golden” Psalm.  That it is precious goes without saying.  Look at verses 5 and 6 again.  I know of aged saints who have quoted those words even as they saw death very near.  They realized that death was not an enemy to be feared because they knew that the grave was not the end.  Christ’s resurrection is a pledge of our resurrection.  This is a truth that the church has held on to for ages.  Is it your confession? Sing Psalter 27.


January 24 Read Psalm 17.

The Psalm we have for today is a prayer.  Not only the title informs us of that fact, but also the very words attest to it.  The words of this prayer are words that we can use in our own daily prayers.  Verse 8 is one that we can use.  We wish to be kept as the apple of God’s eyes; we need the refuge that can be found under his wings.  While we may not have the physical enemies that David did, Satan is our very real enemy.  He seeks to go out and destroy us, and, therefore we need to take the thoughts of this prayer upon our lips.  We can pray this prayer in the confidence found in the last verse.  Read that verse one more time before you pray. Sing Psalter  32.


January 25 Read Psalm 18.

This Psalm has been called a song of victory.  It appears that it was written near the end of David’s life as he looks back over what has come upon him.  If this is true, it fits in quite well with the preceding two psalms.  Through Christ every child of God can look back over his life and see the victory of faith wrought in him by God.  As we read the many positive statements of God’s care for his people, we can take them into our own hearts and they can sustain us through our way on this earth. Sing Psalter 35.


January 26 Read Psalm 19.

This beloved psalm has two parts that speak of the way in which we can know our God.  First there is the creation.  Do we let creation speak to us of the glory of God?  Do we seek to find in it what God utters?  Second, there is the testimony of Scripture to the child of God.  We have been given a great gift in the written word of God.  Let us treat it as the finest gold or the purest honey.  Finally, in the last two verses we have words that we need to take on our lips daily.  We must pray that we be kept from evil, and we must pray for pure speech and a pure heart throughout all of our lives. Sing Psalter 37.


January 27 Read Psalm 20.

Each of us has a day of trouble in our lives.  Each of these days of trouble is marked by a need of help from God.  Man in this world has many things in which he places his trust.  We are no different.  We would much rather trust in our own abilities than in someone else’s.  We think that the latest and neatest invention will help us live a more trouble-free life.  When we think this, we need to turn to verse 7 and then to verse 9.  We must trust in the name of our God, and we must call upon the king of kings for help in times of trouble.  There is no other way of help for us. Sing Psalter 43.


January 28 Read Psalm 21.

While the previous psalm was a prayer for deliverance, this psalm is a prayer of thanksgiving for that deliverance.  Do we pray prayers of thankfulness for what God has done for us spiritually?  Many times we thank God for things, but we forget the most important part of our lives.  We forget deliverance over sin and all the trouble that it causes in our lives.  Sin and Satan are the enemies with which we must concern ourselves in this life.  Victory over those troubles can only come from the King’s help.  Let us pray that God will be exalted, not by us, but in his strength, and let us give thanks for the power that saved us from our most severe enemies. Sing Psalter 45.


January 29 Read Psalm 22

As we begin to read this psalm, we realize that it is messianic in nature.  The first words are words that Christ spoke on the cross.  David was a type of Christ; of that there is no doubt.  These inspired words show to Israel of old and to the church of today the depths of suffering that Christ endured for his people.  From the dark words of the first part of the psalm we go to the hope found in the latter part.  Then we have the beautiful words of the covenant found in the very end of the psalm.  There will be a seed who will serve God throughout the ages.  Being part of that seed should give us the confidence to confess the name of Christ throughout our days.  Sing Psalter 47


January 30 Read Psalm 23

From one type of Christ, the Holy Sprit leads us to another.  David was a suffering type of Christ, but he was also a shepherd type.  Throughout Scripture in both testaments, God’s people are portrayed as sheep.  Sheep need a shepherd.  We have one, and therefore we have want of nothing in this life, but, as the end of this well-known psalm states, neither will we want in the life to come.  God’s people throughout history have taken the words of this psalm on their lips in difficult circumstances.  What a blessing it is that we have such words! Sing Psalter 53.


January 31 Read Psalm 24

From the suffering Savior to the great Shepherd, we come to the psalm that speaks of our ascended Messiah.  Christ went through all the pains of this earth in order that he could sit at God’s right hand and intercede for those whom he saved by his death on the cross.  The typical pictures found in this psalm will become reality for God’s people when Christ comes again as the king of his church and truly will reign as the king of glory.  Sing Psalter 58.


February 1 Read Psalm 25

In form this psalm is an acrostic; that is each verse begins with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet in alphabetic order.  For us who memorize Scripture in English, this is neither helpful nor apparent.  But the principal of memorization of God’s word should be taken to heart.  If the people of the Old Testament needed this help, don’t we? Besides if we memorize this psalm we will commit to heart beautiful words about the blessed covenant of grace that God has established with his people.  Do you know and love the secret found in verse 14? It is a secret established by God between himself and those whom he has elected from eternity.  Sing Psalter 64.


February 2 Read Psalm 26.

A part of our daily prayers should be a plea for God to judge us.  On what basis do we wish such judgement?  Do we plead on the basis of our works?  We know this will do us no good, as even our best works are as filthy rags.  Do we plead on the basis of another human, maybe our best friend?  This too will not work, as they are sinners just as we are and cannot approach God’s throne of justice on their merits.  The only hope we have is the blood of Jesus Christ.  David did not know of Christ as we do, but yet he knew that he must bless Jehovah in the company of all those with whom he came into contact.  May this be our joy in this life.  Sing Psalter 69.


February 3 Read Psalm 27.

There are many reasons that we should read this psalm.  One of the most important is found in verse 4.  If we could only desire one thing, would it be to dwell in the house of the Lord?  We might be inclined to think of that only as heaven, but when we examine not only this psalm but many other places in Scripture, we see that this desire guides our life.  We spend our whole week looking to go back to God’s house where we can experience the goodness that will be ours forever in heaven.  Is that our desire?  Do we wish to go to church that much?  With that being our desire, little can cause us to fear. Sing Psalter 71.


February 4 Read Psalm 28.

Can you find the two parts of this psalm?  There is the part of petition, and there is the part of thanksgiving.  David petitions almighty God to deliver him from his enemies.  We know that David had many enemies.  Satan gives us enemies as well.  We need to pray for deliverance from all that opposes us in our seeking of God.  Second, David knew and we must know that to give thanks to God for such deliverance is necessary.  The writers of our beloved Heidelberg Catechism help us with this, as the third part is all about thankfulness and the way to give thanks.  Let us constantly go to God in prayer asking for help and giving thanks for the help that we receive. Sing Psalter 75.


February 5 Read Psalm 29

Do you hear the voice of the Lord in the world around you?  This voice can be heard in all aspects of creation.  It is not hard to think of God’s voice during a massive thunderstorm.  But what about when you view a snowflake or some microscopic organism?  Do you hear his voice then?  What does that voice say to us?  It should bring strength and peace to us, as we find in the last verse of the psalm.  In that way of strength and peace we also find comfort.  No matter what situation faces us, we can find comfort in the peace of the voice of Jehovah our covenant God. Sing Psalter 76.


February 6 Read Psalm 30.

It appears that David wrote this when he finished building his own house.  Would we break out in praise when we finish some earthly project?  Should we break out in praise at such a time? God has given to us many songs with which to use to praise him.  Are we found using them?  In verse 9 the question is asked, “Shall the dust praise thee?”  I take this to have two meanings.  First, we who are living must praise God.  It is not a choice to sing; we must sing!  Second, when we die, we can have the assurance that our body and soul will be raised to sing praises with the entire heavenly choir.  What a grand incentive for us to praise God today and every day. Sing Psalter 79.


February 7 Read Psalm 31.

Many of the psalms of this section are written as David faces some trouble in his life.  In all of them he realizes that his only hope is in God.  We must work to realize that as well.  The world would give to us many solutions for our troubles and problems.  Some of them may seem quite helpful, but none is as helpful as the injunction to trust in Jehovah for help.  His goodness is great, and it gives to us the courage to seek him in times of trouble.  Read the psalm often for real help in time of trouble. Sing Psalter 80.