Watching Daily At My Gates

March 11 Read Psalm 63

Once again we have a Psalm of David written when he was forced to be away from Jerusalem and the ordinary public worship of Jehovah.  Notice the many references to God and to his goodness.  This psalm and the others like it should be our pattern in this life.  While most of us are not forced to be absent from God’s house, we all have times in which we cannot go up to worship with the congregation.  As we lie on beds of illness, let us remember God’s goodness.  He never will forget us no matter in what circumstances we might be.  Let us never forget him and he will sustain us in any time of need that we have.  Sing Psalter 164.


March 12 Read Psalm 64

Here we have a psalm that can be used by any oppressed people of God in whatever time of history they may find themselves. Daniel could have used it; Christ, of whom David is a type, could have used it, the Reformers could have used it, and in the last days the oppressed people of God who remain on this earth may well use it.  David first draws attention to the devices the wicked use against God’s people. Then he makes a confident statement that God will protect him and all those who are oppressed because of their trust in the name of God.  Reread the last verse and make it yours as an expression of the trust you can have in God. Sing Psalter 165.


March 13 Read Psalm 65

The first four verses of this psalm tell us to praise God.  We can do this because he hears our prayers, he forgives our sins, and he can and is to be worshipped.  All three of these ideas become routine for us. They ought not. We need to think about who God is as we pray.  We need to think about what it means to be forgiven of our sins, and we need to consider the purpose of worship.  When we do this, we understand God’s providence as he cares for all things, as is recounted in the last part of this beautiful psalm. Sing Psalter 170.


March 14 Read Psalm 66

This is a psalm of thanksgiving.  We can divide it into three parts.  In the first section we see God’s greatness in the power of nature.  God’s people need to take time to observe God’s great creation.  It does not matter if it is the tiniest object or something as large as the universe—we see God’s grandeur there.  In the second part we see God’s goodness towards the nation of Israel which pictures the church of all ages.  God has been and will be good to the body of Christ.  Finally the psalmist exults in the goodness of God to him personally.  As another psalm commands us, “O taste and see that God is good.”  What a blessed experience this is! Sing Psalter 175.


March 15 Read Psalm 67

It would seem that this psalm was written at a time of peace for Israel. The first verse reminds us of the priestly blessing found in Numbers.  In the next verse we see an allusion to the saving of the Gentiles.  The psalmist is looking ahead until the day that people from the four corners of the earth will be added to God’s church.  This is especially a comfort for us as we are assured of being numbered with the sons and daughters of Zion.  Finally, we are called to praise God for all the blessings that he has afforded to us, especially the blessing of salvation. Sing Psalter 176.


March 16 Read Psalm 68

Because of the length of this psalm we will let it speak for itself to us.  Each of us can find a verse or section that causes us to draw near to God.  I like verses 32–34.  Here we are called to sing unto our God, whose marvelous acts can be seen not only in creation, but also in his church.  After considering the psalm, we must all conclude with the last phrase, “Blessed be God.” Sing Psalter 183.


March 17 Read Psalm 69

This psalm is both imprecatory and messianic in character.  In it David laments his sad condition due to repeated attacks by an enemy or enemies around him.  He pleads with God to deliver him from them.  In it he also confesses his sin, which may have been part of the reason for his distress.  Throughout the psalm we find references that are prophetic of Christ and his sufferings.  Christ too was under attack from enemies within the church of that day.  He was under attack because that was the way of deliverance for God’s people.  We must also remember that we will suffer and must suffer for Christ’s name’s sake.  Let us go to God in prayer on the basis of the sacrifice Christ made for us. Sing Psalter 186.


March 18 Read Psalm 70.

This short psalm is very similar to the last words of Psalm 40.  In it the psalmist prays not only for deliverance from his enemies, but he also prays for joy for his friends.  We can use this psalm as we meditate upon God’s way for us in this world of turmoil.  We should use this psalm to direct us in prayer as we bring our needs before God’s throne of grace.  We must pray daily and often every day.  May we use the words of this psalm to teach us how and for what to pray. Sing Psalter 189.


March 19 Read Psalm 71.

Whoever the writer of this psalm may be, he has penned beautiful words of encouragement for those who have fought the battles of faith.  The first part of the psalm contains prayers to God who helps his saints in those battles of faith.  Both young and old can and should read these prayers for instruction as they pass through life here on earth.  The second part of the psalm contains praises for what God has done for his people.  Each of us needs to stop to thank God for his abundant mercies.  In those mercies he has lifted us out of the mire of sin and set us upon Christ, the rock of our salvation. Sing Psalter 190.


March 20 Read Psalm 72.

While David was a man of war, his son Solomon, God’s chosen successor to the throne, was to be a man of peace.  Here in this psalm we have a letter to a son who will be taking over an arduous work.  David recognizes in his son the talents and abilities that God has given to him.  While David’s kingdom is the kingdom of war and a picture of the church militant, Solomon’s kingdom will be that of peace, a picture of the church triumphant.  Christ leads us into war, but by his victory gives to us life in the peaceful kingdom of heaven.  May this be our goal and desire throughout our lives on this earth. Sing Psalter 194.


March 21 Read Psalm 73.

This psalm recounts an experience that many children of God have had.  They look at the world around them and are convinced that wicked people who have no care for the things of God have it much better than they do.  The child of God wonders, “Is it worth it to serve God in all aspects of life?”  In the latter part of the psalm we see the cure for such wrong thinking.  We must go to God’s house and listen to him as he speaks to us in the preaching.  Only in this way will we be brought to the truth that God is truly good to his people. Sing Psalter 203.


March 22 Read Psalm 74.

The psalmist looks at troubles in Jerusalem and cries out for help from God.  Some enemy has ravaged the city even to destroying the place of worship.  This enemy has made it hard to worship.  In the midst of all that destruction, the psalmist cries out “God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.”  Is this our cry?  Do we seek the sovereign God whose ways are good?  Do we recognize him as the God of our salvation?  In the way of turmoil and troubles we find help only in one source.  Let us go to our God, who is our refuge in times of trouble. Sing Psalter 205.


March 23 Read Psalm 75

The battle of faith must be fought by Christians of all ages and in all walks of life.  Our young people must fight that battle.  Satan wars against them as well as the most aged saint in church.  It does not matter if we are male or female, parent or child, single or married, the battle is there.  Our first responsibility is to pray to God for deliverance.  He is the judge who will render to the wicked according to his work.  When we see the victory given to us by faith, then we need to sing the songs of Zion in thanksgiving to our covenant God who gave us that victory. Sing Psalter 206.


March 24 Read Psalm 76.

This psalm is a psalm of thanksgiving for victory over some enemy.  We cannot tell for sure which victory this is, but it is obviously a psalm of praise to the deliverer, God Almighty.  We can use this psalm as a psalm of thanksgiving for what God has done in our lives.  He is known among us, his people, for the works that he has accomplished in our lives.  He has proven himself mightier than any enemy that Satan sends against us.  Each day as we consider the wonders that God has done in our lives, let us give thanks to him for such victories over his enemies who would afflict us. Sing Psalter 207.


March 25 Read Psalm 77.

This psalm is similar to the ones that precede it.  Therefore let us consider especially verses 11 and 12.  We are called to remember the works of God in past history.  For us who live on an earth that is 6000 years old, there are many of those works to consider.  We must consider those found in Scripture, we must consider those in the history of the church since Christ’s ascension into heaven, and we must consider those works in our own lives and in our family’s history.  There is no doubt that there are wonderful works of God found there.  Then we must meditate on those works and see how they have affected our lives.  We must see how God has sovereignly guided the works of history for our good and for our salvation.  Finally, we must freely speak of those works of God to those who are around us.  This is our calling, and this must we do. Sing Psalter 211.


March 26 Read Psalm 78.

This longer psalm follows in the thoughts of the one before it.  Here the psalmist enumerates many works in Israel’s history that served for their deliverance and their inheriting of the land of Canaan.  Typically these works show to us the way that we are delivered into the new Canaan.  May we remember them and may we teach them to our children so that they know how to walk in the ways of God. Sing Psalter 213.


March 27 Read Psalm 79.

There were times in Israel’s history that God sent enemies to Israel in chastisement for sins committed against almighty God.  These enemies did despicable things to God’s holy places.  In the New Testament there have also been such breaches upon God’s people.  Sometimes this chastisement is not physical, but it is chastisement nonetheless.  As we read this psalm may we give thanks to God for delivering us from the evil of our own sins, and for turning us to seek him in all of our lives. Sing Psalter 217.


March 28 Read Psalm 80.

Three times in this psalm we find the phrase ‘turn us.”  This is an urgent request to the only one who can turn a person from the way that he is going to the correct way.  Of ourselves we are wandering sheep who not only get off the correct path, but we do not like the correct path.  Israel had gone off the path and had been taken to captivity.  God’s holy places had been destroyed.  Now his people look for deliverance from the only one who can give them deliverance.  This must be our prayer as well.  We are like those sheep; we are like Israel.  We need turning.  When we are turned, then we will experience the glory of the shining of God’s face, blessing  us in our way.  Turn us, O God, and we shall be turned. Sing Psalter 221.


March 29 Read Psalm 81.

This psalm was written for use at some service of praise to God.  Israel was reminded that the way of pleasing God was in the way of obedience to his law.  When those laws were not obeyed, Israel found itself in trouble.  We too need this reminder.  We have several special services throughout the year.  Do we come to them in the right frame of mind?  Are we there out of obligation only, or do we truly want to draw near to God’s face and praise him for the wonderful works he has done for us? When our hearts are attuned to him, our praise will be sweet in his ears, and we will experience his blessing upon us. Sing Psalter 222.


March 30 Read Psalm 82.

While this psalm was written to show judges in Israel their duty, officebearers in the church of Christ should take heed to its words.  God is the supreme judge, and he will judge all men, including those whom he has placed in authority on this earth.  Each officebearer has a divinely appointed task in the church of God.  Ministers of the word must use that word for the edification of the flocks.  Elders must rule well and care for the members of the flock in all of their needs.  Deacons must collect the alms and distribute those mercies of Christ to the needy of that flock.  All of us await the judge. How will he see us? Sing Psalter 223.


March 31 Read Psalm 83.

The last of the psalms ascribed to Asaph can be called a national psalm.   It is written because of some situation of Israel as a nation.  The psalmist calls upon God to remember his works in days of old as he cared for his people in many times of dire straits.  It is also an imprecatory psalm, pleading for God to bring vengeance upon the enemies of the church.  The basis for that vengeance is the honor of God’s most glorious name.  We may pray such prayers today; we will need to pray such prayers in the future.  Are we as jealous for the name of God as this psalmist was? Sing Psalter 224.


April 1 Read Psalm 84.

In this psalm the psalmist expresses a deep longing to enter the house of God.  There are very beautiful expressions that we may well use as we go through our daily lives.  The psalmist seems to have been deprived of the experience of going to the house of God and desires to enter into its gates once more.  We too should have the same love of the house of God.  While our earthly churches do not have the same symbolism as the temple did, the result of our going there is the same.  God’s name is hallowed in that place.  Do we desire to go to church each and every Lord’s Day?  Do we let nothing get in the way of our attending church unless God prevents us?  Worship is both a time of rest and a time of feeding.  Just as our spiritual bodies need to be feed and need rest, so do our spiritual souls.  Sing Psalter 226.


April 2 Read Psalm 85.

Again a psalmist cries to God for deliverance from a wicked people.  Again the psalmist acknowledges that the trouble in which God’s people find themselves is caused by their sin.  This has been true of God’s people in history, and it is true of God’s people today.  God uses troubles from the outside to chastise his people and bring them back to the way they should fear God.  In the latter part of the psalm, we see that God is just and merciful.  He satisfied his justice by sending his Son to die on the cross.  He also showed his mercy to his sinning people in that sacrifice.  Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift. Sing Psalter 230.


April 3 Read Psalm 86.

This psalm, entitled A Prayer of David, is one that we can and should use as a pattern for our prayers.  Chapters like this need to be read over and over so that we can gain the full meaning of them.  Our prayers can and should be guided by the inspired prayers of those whom God has given to us for examples.  Even as the disciples implored Jesus to teach them to pray, so we can implore God by the use of this psalm and others like it to teach us to pray.  Let us pray often, and let us pray using the words almighty God has given to us. Sing Psalter 233.


April 4 Read Psalm 87.

It is a wonderful thing to be part of the church of Jesus Christ.  In that place only is found the salvation needed for a blessed eternal life.  Men of the world wish to identify with some place or some organization as being a good thing.  Their “good thing” is a thing that they have invented.  To be part of the body of Christ is truly a good thing.  Let us use the music God has given to us to thank him for making us part of the church through Christ Jesus. Sing Psalter 237.


April 5 Read Psalm 88.

The psalms are written to be used in any experience of life in which we find ourselves.  The psalmist here is at a very sad time of his life.  Whether this sadness was caused by something spiritual or something physical, we cannot tell.  We see in the first part of the psalm a solemn description of the psalmist’s trials.  He knows that if death is the result of the trial, God will not leave him in that state, as there is no praise of God from a lifeless corpse.  In the last part of the psalm is a cry for deliverance from the affliction.  We too fall into affliction and troubles.  We can use this psalm to guide us as we seek help in our time of trouble.  We should seek such help only from almighty God, who is our refuge in any time of trouble. Sing Psalter 240.


April 6 Read Psalm 89.

A psalm of this length needs little explanation.  It is one that needs to be read multiple times to understand the depth of the instruction found within it.  After reading it more than once, reread the first and last verses to receive the blessing found in its depths. Sing Psalter 241.


April 7 Read Psalm 90.

This psalm, penned by Moses, is the oldest in the whole collection.  It is one full of truth and beauty.  It is said that Moses wrote these words as he was on the doorstep of the land into which he would never enter.  He understands that death will take him before he can enter the promised land.  Yet for him, like us, death is the entry into the promised land of heaven.  As we read through the final verses of the psalm we see the immensity and depth of the work that God has given to us as we dwell in this land which is not our abiding place.  Let us seek God’s blessing on the work of our hands. Sing Psalter 246.


April 8 Read Psalm 91.

While we do not know the author of this psalm, we know that he expresses thoughts that all of God’s people experience in their pilgrimage on this earth.  The first part of the psalm indicates the faith that the child of God can and must have during his earthly life.  This faith is only possible through the grace that God gives to his people.  In the second part of the psalm we see a prophecy concerning Christ and his relationship to his father.  In this relationship he has given to us the joys of salvation and blessed us with eternal life. Sing Psalter 249.


April 9 Read Psalm 92.

The title added to this psalm gives us explicit instruction as to its use.  We are to use it not only to prepare us for proper use of the Sabbath, but we are also to use it as we go and experience a Sabbath day’s blessings.  The blessings of that day are far more than any good that we can receive from any activity on this earth.  May we look forward to each Sabbath.  May we use them in the knowledge that we are readying ourselves for the blessed, eternal Sabbath in heaven.  Sing Psalter 250.