January 10 Read Ezekiel 43
After showing to Ezekiel the expanse of the new temple that was symbolic of Christ’s church, the angel now shows Ezekiel the worship that must be performed there. The church of the old dispensation had to worship through the priests and with only the Shekinah cloud. The church of the new dispensation will worship in heaven with the true glory of God shining around them. Ezekiel has seen this glory before in some of his earlier visions. Notably missing from the new temple is the ark of the covenant. Destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar’s army, it was never replaced. The church of the new dispensation has a high priest who has removed the veil, and now we worship in spirit and truth through Christ our savior. Sing Psalter 137.
January 11 Read Ezekiel 44
In this chapter Ezekiel is shown more concerning the worship of Jehovah in the new temple. He is shown that a prince will come and sit in that temple. Israel is chastised for their allowing those into the priesthood whom God did not ordain. That profane worship would not be tolerated in the new temple. As we worship on the Lord’s day, is our worship fit for the prince who sits in God’s temple? Do we worship in a way that is pleasing to our most glorious God? This is what is required of us as the church of the new dispensation. Sing Psalter 256.
January 12 Read Ezekiel 45
By vision God describes to Ezekiel that land should be set aside for the temple and those who serve in the temple. This is to show to Ezekiel and to those that hear the prophecy that there will be a proper resumption of the worship of Jehovah. That worship is to be carried out according to Jehovah’s ordinances and not man’s whims or inventions. The church of the new dispensation also has that calling. Our formal worship of Jehovah must be in spirit and in truth according to the regulative principle as set forth in God’s word. Do we follow that principle with our hearts? Sing Psalter 261.
January 13 Read Ezekiel 46
As the vision continues, new ordinances are set forth for the worship of Jehovah. Since this is visionary in nature it is hard to know what was actually carried out. The understanding we must have was that there was to be a change in worship from the Mosaic law. Not a change in the spirit of that worship was indicated, but a change in form. The spirit that God was to be glorified was still upheld. This is the spirit that we must hold as well. Our worship cannot be for our convenience, comfort, or pleasure. Our worship in all aspects must serve to glorify God as the church is edified. Sing Psalter 251.
January 14 Read Ezekiel 47
After being shown the temple and the worship therein, Ezekiel sees a river of water that issues forth from the temple. It is not just a trickle, but a gushing stream. This water brings life, even as Christ is the living water. Israel is brought back to the land; the land is not only restored to the Old Testament nation of God, but strangers are brought in and given an inheritance. We see again the typical picture of the reality of the Gentiles being brought into the body of Christ. We see the living water nourishing that body now, and especially as the whole church is gathered into the Canaan of heaven. May this be our hope and our desire. Sing Psalter 195.
January 15 Read Ezekiel 48
After reviewing the organization of the renewed nation, the book of Ezekiel closes with a final description of the city. That city has the name, “The Lord is there.” Once again we see not only a prefiguring of what will happen on earth after Christ comes, but we also see the reality of the new heavens and the new earth where Christ will dwell with his church eternally. As we know from the book of Revelation, there will be no need of the sun, as Christ is the light. May we live lives looking for Christ’s return and our entrance into eternal glory. Sing Psalter 237
January 16 Read Daniel 1
God has different responsibilities for different people. While Ezekiel was ministering to the captives by the River Chebar, Daniel was serving in the king’s court in Babylon. Daniel too was part of that first group of captives. As a young man, he and his friends were chosen to be part of the king’s court. Like Joseph, he had to face temptation in that court. Like Joseph, he triumphed over that temptation by faith, as we read in Hebrews 11. Young people, do you exercise the faith that enables you to “dare to be a Daniel” and stand alone? Sing Psalter 158.
January 17 Read Daniel 2
We must always remember that Daniel, even though it gives us historical accounts, is a book of prophecy. In this chapter the prophecy is a widely encompassing one that reaches to the world’s end. While it is a very simple prophecy, it will later give way to more complex ones found in the end of the book. When faced with hard situations, as Daniel was, do we first fall to our knees in prayer? Or do we try to solve the situations in our own power? Daniel not only is able to stand alone in a wicked place, but by faith he is able to remember his God. May we never forget whose we are and whom we serve. Sing Psalter 207.
January 18 Read Daniel 3
Antichrist seeks to rule instead of Christ. This may well be a title for this chapter. After learning from the image in his dream that he was the head of gold, Nebuchadnezzar erects a large statute in his honor and orders all to bow before it. God’s three servants refuse. As we read in Hebrews 11, they do so by faith. They are not cowed by the king, neither do the positions to which they had been elevated cause them to compromise their faith. Are we ready to be tested by fire? Are we ready to stand alone in the face of all the onslaughts of Satan and his hosts? By faith we can, and by faith we can seek God’s assistance in the war we must wage against Satan and his hosts. Sing Psalter 129.
January 19 Read Daniel 4
In his own words Nebuchadnezzar gives an account of his challenge of God’s sovereignty. By the Holy Spirit’s direction Daniel inserts these words into his writings that make up this part of holy writ. Nebuchadnezzar’s pride was Satan’s root sin, is the root sin of the world today, and will be the root sin of antichrist. Our sovereign God will give to us the strength to withstand such pride and be ready for antichrist’s defeat, which will usher in the kingdom of Christ in the new heavens and new earth. Are we watching? Are we waiting? Are we praying? Sing Psalter 273.
January 20 Read Daniel 5
In this chapter we see that the sands of time were sinking for Babylon and its kingdom. Persia had been outside the city walls for a period of time. However, even with the enemy outside the gate, Belshazzar felt secure in his man-made fortress. But God’s ways are unstoppable. It was not time for an antichristian kingdom to rule on this earth. God was also shown to be the sovereign God. His prophet Daniel once more proclaims the greatness of Jehovah in the midst of the drunken revelry that was Belshazzar’s undoing. As the night wore on, the head of gold was toppled and the Medes and Persians took their place. The whole antichristian kingdom will end when Christ returns and reigns over all. Sing Psalter 252
January 21 Read Daniel 6
Once again Daniel dares to stand alone. Like Joseph, it seems that no one would notice if he did not worship Jehovah, but Daniel knows what he has to do when he throws open the window and prays as Solomon bade Israel to do when they were in a captive land. Like his three friends before him, he “was not careful” in his actions. By faith he knew that all was in Jehovah’s hand. Will we serve our Lord in the strange land in which we live? Sing Psalter 379.
January 22 Read Daniel 7
Everyone is familiar with the first six chapters of Daniel. How many know much about the last half of the prophecy? Christ points to this prophecy as he instructs his disciples about his second coming. May we too be instructed. Daniel is given a vision in which he sees a prophecy about the coming history. Commentators are perplexed if this vision concerns only the Jews’ immediate history, or if it is more far-reaching. As we know, prophecies can concern more than one period of time. It seems that the prophecy portrays what will happen not only up until the time of Jesus’ birth, but it also gives to us insight about the final antichristian kingdom and its judgement by almighty God. Sing Psalter 106.
January 23 Read Daniel 8
In the original languages the book of Daniel is written in both Aramaic and Hebrew. From this chapter to the end of the book, only Hebrew is used. Daniel is given a vision about the immediate future of God’s people. World powers would arise and would culminate in the Grecian empire of Alexander the Great. Out of that empire would rise the very heathen Antiochus Epiphanes. While this fantastic vision perplexed and astounded God’s faithful prophet, we must be instructed by it and know that more fantastic events are coming, which will herald the coming of Christ. May we be instructed, in order that we might watch and pray as Christ returns upon the clouds of heaven. Sing Psalter 188.
January 24 Read Daniel 9
Daniel had access to the writings of Jeremiah. As he studied the prophecy, he saw that the seventy years of captivity would shortly come to an end. He then breaks into a beautiful prayer of confession of sin and an asking for Jehovah’s mercy. He receives an immediate answer to his prayer. The angel Gabriel comes to him and shows him that the restoration is only a type of a further restoration in Christ. That restoration would end not in a renewed earthly kingdom, but in a new, heavenly, spiritual kingdom. May we learn from this chapter to search the scriptures, to confess our sins and guilt before almighty God, and to watch and wait for the final coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Sing Psalter 141
January 25 Read Daniel 10
The last three chapters of Daniel concern one vision. Chapter 10 is introductory to it. While on the king’s business, Daniel is fasting and praying by the river, which is understood to be the Tigris. Once again we see this characteristic of God’s prophet in that he is often found praying. Is this how we are found? His prayer is answered by an appearance of the Old Testament Christ who will guide him through these visions. He is brought comfort, as his work as God’s prophet will soon come to an end. May we also be strengthened and comforted as we “pray without ceasing” living a life that is pleasing to God while we await the coming of Jesus Christ. Sing Psalter 58.
January 26 Read Daniel 11
Any study of ancient world history should include a study of Daniel 11. In this chapter we have a prophecy of what will happen in the world from the time of Persia’s rule until just before Christ returns. In great detail Daniel is shown what will come to pass in the future. There are at least two things to which we must give heed in this chapter. First, we must see that because these things did come to pass, we can be assured that all that prophecy is true. Second, we see in these historical events types of what will happen at the end of time. Nations will rise up against nation, and there will be an antichristian power that will arise against the church of Christ. We need not fear antichrist because when the time is ripe Christ will return and redeem us unto himself. Sing Psalter 49.
January 27 Read Daniel 12
Daniel was not permitted to know the answer to his question about the “when” of the end of all things. So too must we learn the signs of Matthew 24, watch for those signs, and give heed to those signs. The day of Christ’s final coming is known by no man. But when the time is right, he will descend upon the clouds and receive us unto himself. Like Daniel, in this must we rest. Sing Psalter 33.
January 28 Read Hosea 1
Hosea is a one of the prophets sent to Israel as the northern kingdom is falling farther and farther into idolatry and farther away from God. Judah too is mentioned in this powerful, figure-filled prophecy. Israel’s connection with God is likened unto a marriage in which Israel is an adulterous wife. She is warned that if she continues to seek after the idol gods of the heathen, she will be punished severely. But there is hope found for the true people of God—a people, as we find in this chapter, who will be made up of people of Israel, Judah, and from outside Judah. God is gracious; for this we must be daily thankful. Sing Psalter 12.
January 29 Read Hosea 2
The thoughts of chapter 1 continue in chapter 2. Israel is brought to face the results of their idolatrous life. During the time of this prophecy, Israel has been living a prosperous life, but they have been using the results of that prosperity to worship idols. God says that he will draw the chosen out of Israel back to him and restore to them his mercy. This is all of grace. There is nothing in Israel that deserves such treatment. How do we use the gifts that God has given to us in our lives? Do we serve him, or some god of our own making? Let us see our sin and let us run from that sin and return unto the gracious, living God of heaven and earth. Sing Psalter 222.
January 30 Read Hosea 3
We do not deserve the love of God. In this chapter Hosea is commanded to reclaim his wife, who has been living a life of adultery once more. God reclaims us who have been saved by him, but who leave him for the adulterous life of following the world, and then brings us back into that blessed marriage of Christ and his church. We can be reclaimed, redeemed, and re-formed only by his love. Nothing that we do will save us. To him be all glory! Sing Psalter 246.
January 31 Read Hosea 4
Without figure or symbol Hosea brings the message of God to backsliding Israel. What is at the root of their problems? They are being destroyed because of a lack of knowledge. God’s people who have had every advantage in knowing the true knowledge were slowly being taken away because they have left that true knowledge. Where does that leave us? In the history of the world, no society has as much access to knowledge as we do. There is no one who can say, “I did not know.” Do we take advantage of the good Christian schools? Do we take advantage of the inculcation of catechism from youth on? Do we take advantage of the means we have to study God’s word personally and societally? Above all, do we take advantage of pure preaching of the word week in and week out? If not, the condemnation of verse 6 will be upon us. Sing Psalter 333.
February 1 Read Hosea 5
In this chapter the prophet enumerates the sins committed by Judah and Israel. In plain language they are accused of many evils. In verse three God proclaims that he knows their sins. Nothing is hidden from him. We too are guilty of many sins. Nothing is hidden from our God. In the end of the chapter there is a clue that the faithful will return to God. Let us be faithful, let us quit our wicked ways, and let us return to our God, our creator and redeemer. Sing Psalter 221.
February 2 Read Hosea 6
The beginning of this chapter is the faithfull’s response to the end of the previous chapter. They encourage their neighbors to return to God and to walk in his ways. We must do this as well. We must not be busybodies, yet we must carry one another’s burdens. In verse 6 God reminds Israel and us of the right way of worship. Yes, we must carry out worship in a right way, but we are also commanded to live a life of mercy and truth. We must see that it is our sin that causes our distress. We must flee those sins and walk in the right way as ordained by our covenant God. Sing Psalter 109.
February 3 Read Hosea 7
Succinctly the prophet enumerates Israel’s sins and then describes its punishment. In the first verse God reminds them that he had sent his prophets with the word to them. Their response was to rush headlong into every type of sin, committing them to the worst degree. They were not content with sins within the nation; they went outside the nation to learn sin. They are finally described as a cake not turned. This figure is that of a piece of dough laid by the fire but never turned over. The result is this insipid cake burned black on one side and a doughy mass on the other. The prophet finally tells them that they will call upon heathen Egypt for help, but that they will be carried away captive by Assyria. We must take heed to this prophecy and flee from our sins and return to our God. Sing Psalter 216.
February 4 Read Hosea 8
There are several striking passages found in this continuation of God’s denunciation of Israel. First, their cry in verse 2 is false. They did not know God. In fact, they have cast off what is good, as is explained in verse 3. The result is found in the following verses. They will be consumed by enemies. Verse 7 is used in many contexts, but we need to see the meaning found here. Israel in its wickedness has sown the wind, a practice that is useless. From that wicked seed came an even worse wickedness. A storm of sins has come down upon them and will consume them. Finally, in verse 14 we see they have forgotten their maker. Have we forgotten God? Sing Psalter 123.
February 5 Read Hosea 9
The message of this chapter is plain. The ten northern tribes, the nation of Israel, part of the people that God had made his own, had fallen so far from him that they would be destroyed by the nations around them. Egypt would be no help. Those who went there would die in that heathen land. The rest would be taken captive to Assyria, where they would perish. God has given to the church today many good things. How have we used them? If we have preferred the things of this world, we will find ourselves as forsaken as Israel. Let us flee the lusts of the flesh, and let us daily walk in the law of our God. Sing Psalter 213.
February 6 Read Hosea 10
This chapter is much like the ones before it. The sins of Israel are pointed out to them. These sins are not just ones that happened in their present history. God reminds them of terrible sins that had been committed during the time of the judges. Gibeah was a sad day in Israel’s history. But in verse 12 there is a call to repentance. There is a remnant left in Israel. To them God will be gracious in the way of repentance from sin and a seeking after his way. Do we hear and heed that call to repentance? Sing Psalter 206.
February 7 Read Hosea 11
In this chapter we find a summary of the contents of the previous ones. It is as if there is a debate going on between God and wicked Israel. God reminds them how he had treated them many generations before. He had taken them from oppressive Egypt, led them safely through the wilderness, and established them in the land flowing with milk and honey. Their response was to tread upon the holy things of God and treat them and him with despite. There is a word of grace found in this chapter. That word is the prophecy of Christ’s returning from Egypt to live his life on this earth, so that his people may live in the new Canaan, the new Jerusalem. Let us hold onto this word of grace and not fall into the sins of Israel. Sing Psalter 164.
February 8 Read Hosea 12
Not only the northern kingdom comes under the righteous scrutiny of God, but the southern kingdom does as well. They are not without reproach in the matter of fleeing from God and seeking gods on this earth. God reminds them of his mercies of old, and to the remnant he promises future mercies. As we read through this prophecy to the church of old, we must see the lessons we must learn, as well as the mercy and grace that will be ours through Christ. Let us learn these lessons and live to God’s honor and glory. Sing Psalter 244.
February 9 Read Hosea 13
Parents and teachers alike use repetition to teach lessons that must be remembered for a long time. God uses the same technique in this chapter. Once more he points to idolatry as the cause of their problems. They sought other gods, causing them to be abandoned by the true God, the maker of heaven and earth. This chapter is not without hope, however. Like the previous ones, the remnant is promised the care and love of their faithful shepherd. Let us hold on to that hope and live in the love of our God. Sing Psalter 308.
February 10 Read Hosea 14
The beautiful strains of the gracious songs of God run through this chapter. The remnant is given instructions in the way of their return to God’s favor. Upon that return they will see the grace that is theirs through the sacrifice of Christ. The elect will never be cast off in spite of their sins. God will gather them to him as the shepherd gathers the wandering lambs. May we use this chapter to guide us in our daily lives as we seek to live in and out of the goodness of Jehovah. Sing Psalter 241.