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Watching Daily At My Gates

April 10 Read Psalm 93.

Jehovah, the word used in this psalm to name God, is a king. He is the king who rules over all. Like other kings, his kingship is sovereign.  However, unlike other kings, God is sovereign over all men and all parts of nature. All nature joins in giving to him the honor due his name. God has a law by which he rules. That law must be kept by his subjects. We do this not just out of honor, but we do this as a way to express our gratitude for all that he has done for us. Finally, his kingdom is holy in nature. Do we work at being holy even as he is holy? Sing Psalter 252.

 

April 11 Read Psalm 94.

This psalm starts out imprecatory in nature but then turns to being a source of great comfort to the child of God. In the early part of the psalm, some national calamity is described. After addressing Israel’s attackers, the psalmist points out that this calamity was for the good chastening of God’s people. Reread verse 12 if you do not think that this is true. Then read verse 17. The word “unless” should fill us with great comfort. If God is not our help, on what can we place our trust? Sing Psalter 253.

 

April 12 Read Psalm 95.

We now come to a section filled with psalms of praise. Many of these psalms we know from memory parts of  many of these psalms, if not the whole psalm. From the very old to the young, these psalms show to us how we must praise our great God. In this psalm the first part gives to us four reasons to praise our God. We find these in verses 3–7. Then there is a solemn warning of what may happen if we do not praise God as we should. Israel had to learn this solemn fact in the wilderness. We must learn from their example to praise our God for all that he has done for us. Sing Psalter 256.

 

April 13 Read Psalm 96.

God has given to his people the wonderful gift of song with which to praise him. How do we use it? Are we half-hearted singers, or do we with might and main seek to praise the Lord of heaven and earth? We do not have to be well-trained musicians in order to praise the Lord. If God has given to us the talent of music, we must use that gift in his service. But he has given to everyone the gift of singing. Later in the psalm we are told to worship God in the beauty of holiness. Our song is one of the ways we can participate in the worship services. Let us do that joyfully and willingly. Sing Psalter 259.

 

April 14 Read Psalm 97.

In this psalm we are reminded that God is king not only over the world of man, but also over nature. Nature exhibits this fact and by its creation shows that it, too, gives glory to the name of God. How often have we not marveled over a beautiful sunrise, a lovely mountain vista, and many other beauties that w can see? That nature exhibits the glory of God is more reason that we need to praise him. God has given to us the ability to praise him. We must use that ability in gratitude for the salvation that Christ wrought for us on the cross. Sing Psalter 260.

 

April 15 Read Psalm 98.

This psalm is very similar to the others in this section. Do we see the marvelous works of God in all aspects of creation, as well is in all aspects of our lives? It is easy to think about the majestic redwood, but do we consider the stars many miles away?  How about the most minute cell that exhibits God’s glory under the microscope? What about all the marvelous things that God has done in our lives? Do we consider those things? Even the most ordinary of incidents has God’s fingerprints all over it. Let us recognize this thought and praise our maker. Sing Psalter 264.

 

 

April 16 Read Psalm 99.

God is king! Do we acknowledge that fact in our lives?  Do we live in ways that shows that he is king and we are his people and servants? This we must do every day of our lives.  We must bow to his sovereignty. In this way we will show that we seek from him all things necessary for body and soul. Each plan that we make will have the phrase “if the Lord will” appended to it. We will seek from him the salvation in the way he has decreed. He is a great king; let us praise him in the way that he has commanded us. Sing Psalter 266.

 

April 17 Read Psalm 100.

This psalm is one that young and old know well. It probably trails only Psalm 23 in familiarity. Notice that it contains several commands and several reasons to obey those commands. The gist of those commands is to serve God with all our heart, mind, and strength. The gist of the reason is that he is the sovereign God of heaven and earth. We are his creatures and must serve him, who has no equal. He will care for us by his everlasting truth for all ages. Hallelujah, praise ye the Lord. Sing Psalter270.

 

April 18 Read Psalm 101.

David makes several statements about the way that he will live his life.  Can we and do we make these statements ours? Do we vow and promise to behave wisely in all of our lives, no matter way our age is?  Do we behave wisely in school by using the talents and abilities that God has given to us to his glory alone? Do we behave wisely in the work world by giving to our employer what is due him and giving to our employees what is due them?  Do we behave wisely in our marriages or in the single lives in which God has set us? Do we behave wisely in the entertainment in which we partake? In doing these things we honor God in the way that he deserves as our sovereign lord and king. Sing Psalter 271.

 

April 19 Read Psalm 102.

God’s people can be and are afflicted in this life by those who hate God and his commands. As we are the closest to him, we become their targets. We must go to him in prayer and ask for help in those afflictions. We may not always be delivered from those afflictions; it is the testimony of Scripture that some of God’s beloved will be afflicted even unto death. We can pray these prayers in the confidence that he will hear us because he is God forever and ever. In the midst of afflictions God’s people can pour out their hearts to him. They do this knowing that God will bring their afflictions to a good end. Sing Psalter 276

 

April 20 Read Psalm 103.

Do you have a favorite verse in this psalm of praise? The opening words of several verses are “Bless the Lord…” We can speak well of him because he is our God and has done good things for us. We deserve eternal punishment for our sin; like a pitying father he sent his Son to take our place on the cross. For that reason alone we can say “Bless the Lord, O my soul!” God knows that we are weak and frail; he has made us strong by his grace. Let us praise him from whom all blessings flow! Sing Psalter 278.

 

April 21 Read Psalm 104.

This psalm seems to be a continuation of the previous one. It is one that many people ignore because it ascribes to God the creation of the heavens and the earth. Those who have rent Genesis 1–6 out of their Bibles should do the same with this psalm. For us this psalm is a beautiful reminder of the greatness of our creator. We should take the time to examine the creation closely. When we do that, we see that it could not have come about by chance; rather, we see that it is the work of a great God, and then we should break forth in songs of praise for this Creator who sent his Son to be our redeemer. Thanks be to God! Sing Psalter 285.

 

April 22 Read Psalm 105.

While the previous psalm calls us to praise God on account of the beauty and wonders of creation, this psalm calls us to praise God for his sovereign power in history. For the first readers of the psalm it was the history of their ancestors from the slavery in Egypt. For us that history was typical. It pointed ahead to our deliverance from the Egypt of sin. We can look at this history and all of history and know that God cared for his people then, he cares for his people now, and he will care for his people in the days and years to come. We must not ignore this history, but learn from it so that we know the magnitude of the work God had done for us. Sing Psalter 289.

 

April 23 Read Psalm 106.

Notice how this psalm begins and ends. Then see what lies between those two verses. The psalmist recounts the acts of rebellion that Israel committed in their history. This national psalm causes us to think about our own lives. Are we any better than Israel of old? We are not, and like Israel we deserve none of God’s grace. Yet he looked down upon us in love and redeemed us by the blood of his Son. Is there anything else we can say but Hallelujah? Sing Psalter 290.

 

April 24 Read Psalm 107.

“Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” What else can we say when we look at the various works enumerated by the psalmist in this anthem of praise? When we look at creation. how can we not be moved by God’s wonderful works? When we examine the history of the world, even as it happens daily, do we not see his sovereignty on every page? When we consider his providence, as it is evident in each of our individual lives, what is our conclusion? Let us pause a moment often through out our day and praise Jehovah for his goodness and wonderful works which are abundant around us. Sing Psalter 295.

 

April 25 Read Psalm 108.

In writing this psalm, David is inspired by the Holy Spirit to use phrases and ideas found elsewhere in the collection of psalms. He groups them together under the main theme of our calling to praise God. What is the most convenient way to praise God? Of course, it is through singing. We need to begin the day with singing, we must sing throughout the day, and we should end the day in songs of praise to our God. These might not be the audible songs that we use in public worship, but these could be silent reviews of the songs of Zion. I hope you catch yourselves singing God’s praises, and I hope someone else catches you as well. Sing Psalter 299.

 

April 26 Read Psalm 109.

This psalm is both messianic and imprecatory in nature. We see a prophecy of Judas’s treachery against Christ. We also read of David’s prayer for deliverance from and for the destruction of his enemies. These enemies are also the enemies of Christ and his church. In the last part of the psalm David prays for help for himself. David finds himself in a low condition and realizes that his only help can come from God. We need to remember this fact. When feelings of despondency overcome us, we need to turn to him who will lift us up. He will help, as he is the God of all comfort. Sing Psalter 301.

 

April 27 Read Psalm 110.

In this messianic psalm we see several of Christ’s characteristics. He is a not only a priest, but he is a priest after Melchizedec’s priesthood. In that office he can and will pay for our sins by a sacrifice that no one else can make. He is also a king, as he puts all the enemies of God’s church under him and reigns supremely over all. In verse three we see characteristics that can be perfectly exhibited only by Christ. Christ himself uses this psalm as proof of his divinely given work when confronted by the Pharisees in the week before his death. May we give thanks for this work, as it gives to us salvation that cannot be taken from us. Sing Psalter 302.

 

April 28 Read Psalm 111.

This psalm is a Hebrew acrostic. Each phrase begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This is thought to have aided in memorizing the psalms as they were used in public worship. This tells us two things: first, we should memorize the psalms for the benefit of our worship; second, we should use the psalms as our songs as we worship God. Notice the last verse. This thought is often found in the book of Proverbs, although as we see here, it is found in other places. Do we want true wisdom? Then we must fear the Lord. In doing this we will praise Jehovah. Sing Psalter 304.

 

April 29 Read Psalm 112.

This psalm seems to be a continuation of the previous psalm. The acrostic structure is the same, and the thought begun in the last verse of Psalm 111 is found in the first verse here. Notice that the man who fears Jehovah is blessed, or as the word can be translated, happy. How many men in the world would be happy to fear God and not themselves? How many men would consider themselves blessed to gain riches and then to give them to those in need as a way that then shows they fear Jehovah? Do we work so that we may have money to contribute to the relief of the poor that Christ told us would always be among us? Let us trust in God to supply us with what we need, and then let us thank him for such supply by caring for those in need. Sing Psalter 305.

 

April 30 Read Psalm 113.

This psalm is the first of the great “Hallel” psalms. These psalms were used in the Jewish feasts and ceremonies, especially the passover and the feast of tabernacles. It may have been the “hymn” sung by Jesus and his disciples as they went out into the night in which Jesus was betrayed. It calls us to praise God for all that he can do and has done. It does not matter what kind of a persons God’s people are; he can and will care for them. As one of those blessed people, praise him at all times. Sing Psalter 306.

 

May 1 Read Psalm 114.

Not only people see and tremble at the power of God, but the whole creation also acknowledges the power of the Creator. The creation waits for the day of its deliverance just as the church waits for that day. As God’s church was constituted as they left Egypt, the members had great reasons for praise. We wait for our deliverance from the spiritual Egypt in which we live. We are called to praise him as we wait for that deliverance. Sing Psalter 307.

 

May 2 Read Psalm 115.

To whom are we called to give glory? We must not glorify ourselves, as is the wont of some in this world today. We must not be guilty of overusing the pronouns “I” and “me”. Second, we must not glorify some idol. This could be a thing such as money, power, or some institution, alhough today we might be inclined to glorify some famous star of entertainment, sports, or some other endeavor. These stars are either self-proclaimed or are stars because of evil pursuits. We must glorify God in whom we can place our complete trust, knowing that he will deliver us from all manner of troubles into which we may fall. In glorifying God we praise him for his wonderful works of mercy towards us. Sing Psalter 309.

 

May 3 Read Psalm 116.

This psalm seems to be a song of thanksgiving for deliverance from some great trouble in which the psalmist found himself. This trouble may have been health related and may have brought him to the brink of death. In penning these words the psalmist confesses that he loves God and knows that even in death he is precious in the sight of God. We need not fear death in any form, for death is the entrance into eternal glory and everlasting communion in the presence of him who regards our death as precious. Being delivered from his troubles, the psalmist goes to the courts of Jehovah to praise him. Are we found there often? 313.

 

May 4 Read Psalm 117.

In this shortest psalm we find great worth. First, it is addressed to us, the church of the New Testament.  We are the church gathered from all nations. What a gift we have been given! We are called to praise him for that great gift. Second, we are called to praise him because he has showed unsurpassed kindness to us in delivering us out of our sins and miseries. We have been given the truth of salvation by faith alone. This truth will never fail; let us praise our sovereign God for such a great gift. Sing Psalters 314–316.

 

May 5 Read Psalm 118.

There is much discussion about the author and purpose of this psalm, but there are a few truths about which there can be no dispute. Christ is mentioned in the psalm. He himself referred to the psalm during his last week on this earth. The New Testament church in Acts 4 recognized this fact as well. Verse 24 is one that all children of God should think of often—in fact, every day. Every day is a day that God has made for his church to glorify him. Do we think we have bad days? They are all God’s for us to rejoice in. Finally, the psalm opens and closes with the same command and reason for the command. We must thank him whose mercies endure forever. Sing Psalter 318.

 

May 6 Read Psalm 119.

Even if you do not read this psalm in one day, the thought remains the same. God’s law must be paramount in the lives of all believers. Of the 176 verses, only a handful of them do not specifically mention that law of God. How do we treat the law? Do we consider it unbreakable? Do we value it more than any thing else on this earth? Reading this psalm and singing the Psalter numbers associated with it give to us valuable instruction in the way we should go. We should read these valuable words of God more than once during the year. Sing Psalter 333.

 

May 7 Read Psalm 120

This is the first of 15 “songs of degrees.” Some say that they were used as the Israelites made their way up to Jerusalem and then up Mt. Zion to the temple. Others have said that they were used by the captives either in Babylon or as they made their way from Babylon. No matter what their original intent, there is much in them from which we may learn. In this psalm we learn to go to God in prayer because of an enemy who damages us with his tongue. We must learn that we cannot fight against such abuse physically; we should use the weapon of faith in prayer to ask God for deliverance. In this way we will find comfort. Sing Psalter 343.

 

May 8 Read Psalm 121

While hills were places of defense for Israel of old, and while they may provide comfort and solace for some of us today, our help does not come from them. As we confess every Sunday, our help comes from the Lord who made all things. What a grand consequence of believing that God is the sovereign creator of all things! When we confess and believe in creation as delivered to us in Scripture, we then can have faith that our help in any situation will come from that same sovereign being. Nothing will stand in our way when we look to him for help. This should be our confession every day. May he grant us the grace to make it so. Sing Psalter 347.

 

May 9 Read Psalm 122

Are you tempted to skip church this week? Are you making some other aspect of your life more important than attending the divine worship services? If you are—and this is true of most Christians in their lives, then read this psalm and then read it again. What else should make us happier than to hear a call from a friend to go to church? Jerusalem was a city built with the defense of its citizens in mind. The church and the order of worship found there also provides defense against Satan and all his wiles to the members as they gather there from week to week. Rather than running from church to seek the wicked’s pleasures, we should run to church to receive a refuge from the wicked world. In that place we will find a peace that surpasses all else.

Sing Psalter 348.

 

May 10 Read Psalm 123

God’s people throughout history continually find the scorn of the enemy against them. Sometimes this is truer than at other times. It is usually at these times that the church becomes strengthened in her conviction that God is God. Our first reaction to such scorn is to seek God in his word and by prayer to him. Through these means we will find a rest that will be found in no other way. We need God’s mercy on such occasions, and we will surely find mercy in him. Let us not fear scorn, but let us turn to our God for help in time of need. Sing Psalter 351.