Watching Daily At My Gates

February 5 Read Psalm 43:1-6

When we have difficulties with those around us especially those not of the household of faith, where do we turn? David had those kinds of difficulties. We read of many in Scripture, and we can imagine that he had many more. David knew that he must turn to God, the almighty Judge. He knew that God would take up his case and provide for him the deliverance that he desired and needed. We must do this as well. We must go to God through his Word and through prayer. In this way we will find the answers to the needs that we may have. David knew that to encourage his flagging spirit, he needed to hope in God alone. Let us hope in the God of our salvation and turn to him for help in time of need. Sing Psalter 120.

February 6 Read Psalm 44:1-8

The Psalmist praises God for the victories that he has given to Israel as they settled in Caanan and established his church. God continues to give to us such victories today. Of course they are not the physical victories of long ago, but rather victories over sin and Satan. We must see that God continues to establish his church throughout the four corners of the world. As that church is established, the signs will be fulfilled, and the ultimate victory will ensue. All of the church will be triumphant and will reign with Christ in heaven. In this God we must boast and not in any god of this earth. Sing Psalter 121.

February 7 Read Psalm 44:9-16

There are times of our lives when we believe that God has deserted us. It is evident from this portion of the Psalm that the writer believes that was true in his case. Each verse gives another piece of evidence that he uses to prove his case. But yet there are certain phrases that show that in his heart he knows that is not the case. First of all we see that in most of the verses, he states “Thou…” He knows that the sovereign God is in control of all things. Is that our confession? In verses 15 and 16 he comments that he is ashamed because God’s name is blasphemed. Do we feel shame when that is the case? It is a comfort to know that God is in control of all things. May we never blaspheme his holy name when things do not seem to be going the way we think they should. Sing Psalter 122.

February 8 Read Psalm 44:17-26

In the last section of these Psalms we looked at the afflictions that the wicked bring upon God’s people. We saw that it is comforting to know that God is in control of all things. Here the Psalmist calls upon God to arise and deliver his people from their troubles. He sees that God knows all things, but yet he sees that because God’s people trust him they are afflicted. Does God really sleep? The answer is of course, no! We know that all things work for our good and God’s glory. When the time is right he will arise and deliver us from troubles. He does this for his sake and not ours. May we be “patient in adversity,” as our beloved catechism states. Sing Psalter 123.

February 9 Read Psalm 45:1-9

This Psalm is a Messianic Psalm; some say it was written by Solomon. Do we proclaim Christ’s kingly nature often? Do we give the honor and glory due him in that office? Christ is our king who will return on the clouds of heaven to take us unto himself in heaven. He is God whose throne is in that heaven. Each day we must bow to his kingly majesty. We must refrain from glorifying ourselves in anything that we do. We, too, must love righteousness and hate wickedness even as our king does. Take another look at our king’s attributes. Do we emulate them? Shouldn’t we? Sing Psalter 124.

February 10 Read Psalm 45:10-17

Yesterday we looked at the king and his glory. The king was Christ who once came to earth as a meek and lowly baby but will return as the triumphant King of his church. Are we preparing to stand in the presence of that King? Verse 11 tells us how to be ready. First of all, our body must be prepared. We cannot do this by ourselves. This is part of the mystery of the incarnation. That same king took on our flesh to die on the cross for us. Secondly, we must worship him. We must learn how to do that now. This is why Sabbath observance is so important, for here we learn how we must worship the King in eternity. Let us continue to look forward to the day when we will be united with the King and all those who are his. Let us prepare ourselves for that grand and glorious day. Sing Psalter 125.

February 11 Read Psalm 46:1-5

Devotional after devotional could be written about this Psalm, Luther’s favorite. The child of God and the church in general can draw much comfort from its words. With God as our refuge, we need not fear any enemy. Satan may bombard us; man may heap affliction upon us, but we can be confident that God is always with us. We find that refuge as we attend the worship services of our God twice each Lord’s Day. There in his house we can find a peace that is unsurpassed by any man can imagine. People of God, look for that peace and find it in almighty Jehovah who gave to us the Prince of Peace. Sing Psalter 127.

February 12 Read Psalm 46:6-11

From the busyness of verses 6-10, we come to the peace of verse 10. How often do we have to be reminded to “Be still”? Sometimes God has to make this reminder quite forceful as he stops us from going about our normal daily life by illness. He uses other methods as well. We must take the time to be still and know that he is God. We might not discredit his Godhood, but we might be guilty of not giving to him the glory due his name. Devotions are a good time to be still and know that he is God. We should let the Bible speak to us daily about him so that we can glorify him as the sovereign God of the covenant that is extolled in verse 11. Let us “be still.” Sing Psalter 128.

February 13 Read Psalm 47

As you read through this Psalm, you see some variations of the phrase, “Sing praises.” This, along with prayer, is the chief means of thankfulness that we have to God. In the church world today there are many forms of music and singing. Many of them are beautiful and worthy of imitation. Others violate the principle found in verse 7. Our praise singing must be with understanding. It cannot be the repetition of words or sounds that have no basis in God’s Word. Let us “make a joyful noise” because God is the King of our salvation. Sing Psalter 129.

February 14 Read Psalm 48:1-7

Throughout the Psalms and other parts of Scripture, Jerusalem and Zion are used as pictures for the Church of God on this earth. Physically Jerusalem, situated on Mount Zion, was an excellent location for a capital city because it could be easily defended. This was David’s plan when he chose the location for the city. This was in God’s providence and counsel, as he would use the location as a picture of his church. In the first few verses of this Psalm we see that during the height of Israel’s glory nations dared not attack Jerusalem. As the nation grew sinful then God allowed Satan to incite nations to come up against it and eventually take it into captivity. A strong church will stand as a defense against Satan’s wiles. A church riddled by sin and refusal to obey God’s commands will fall prey to those same spiritual wiles. Only with God’s help can we stand strong. Let us pray for that help every day. Sing Psalter 131.

February 15 Read Psalm 48:8-14

The Psalmist continues to give thanks for the strength the people of God can find in the church. While it appears that he extols the physical strength in these verses, we can easily see in the last verse that it is the spiritual strength that is being lauded. Do we take the time to examine God’s church for its strengths, or are we too busy bemoaning its weaknesses? With which do we wish to impress our children-strength or weakness? In that church we find the guide who will direct us throughout our life on this earth. He will never let us wander around lost in the maze that is here. He is a faithful guide and will lead us unerringly on the path that leads to heaven. Thanks be to God! Sing Psalter 132.

February 16 Read Psalm 49:1-5

The Psalmist begins this Psalm with a call for all to listen to what he has to say. As we will see, he will not be boasting or calling the world’s inhabitants to listen to his wisdom. Rather, he will be calling them to listen to the wisdom of Jehovah. Is this to what we call people to listen? Do we show those around us about the wisdom of God and the fear of Jehovah? We have been given a beautiful treasure in that Word of God. We are called to share it. We need not fear what the world will say about that wisdom. Its author will care for us. May we speak the wonderful words and works of God to all with whom we come into contact. Sing Psalter 135.

February 17 Psalm 49:6-14

At first glance we may say that there is nothing for us in these verses. Or worse yet, we might be inclined to say, “well, the wicked will get what is coming to them”, without a thought of what God’s grace has wrought for us. But there is much in these verses for us. First of all, we see what man by nature has in store for him. Without the redemptive work of Christ, we all would be looking at death with no hope of salvation. Secondly, how often are we guilty of saying the same things that are captured in the above verses? How often are we guilty of those sins of pride and rely on wealth to deliver us from life’s situations? We must see ourselves in these verses, and then see the beauty of God’s grace shining down upon us bringing to us the good news of salvation. This good news has nothing in it from us. It is all for us. Thanks be to God. Sing Psalter 135.

February 18 Read Psalm 49:15-20

In yesterday’s Scripture we discovered that one condition is common to most men. That condition is death. Many in the world today fear death. Some will go to great lengths to prevent it. Some even look for ways to come back from death. This need not be the attitude of the child of God. Death is given by God as the passageway to the glorious life of heaven. Christ has gone through the grave for us to conquer death. This conquering gives to us a unique hope in this life. We know that death has no sting for us and the grave has no victory over us. We have been given a gracious gift. Thanks be to God! Sing Psalter 136.

February 19 Read Psalm 50:1-6

This Psalm shows that even the church of the old dispensation knew of a judgment day. While they did not know as much as we do, they, nevertheless, knew of its existence. They, like us, had to live lives that showed they waited for such a day. We must do this because God is a righteous judge. He will come for his people whom he has made his own through the final sacrifice. All the sacrifices of the Old Testament were but a picture of Christ’s sacrifice for all those comprehended in the covenant of grace. May we look with eager anticipation for the final coming of Christ. May we live a life that is pleasing to God the righteous judge. Sing Psalter 137.

February 20 Read Psalm 50:7-15

Israel had a very scripted worship. There were times that they were guilty of carrying out that worship but not with their hearts. While we do not have the sacrifices and rituals of the Old Testament, we still have elements of worship that are commanded by God. We still can be guilty of going through the motions of worship but not worshiping with our hearts. We need to see that our worship must be as God has commanded us. We must not have a worship of convenience or what we think feels good. We must worship God in spirit and in truth. The blessing of a right worship is found in verse 15. Let our worship be that which glorifies God in the way that he has commanded. Sing Psalter 138.

February 21 Read Psalm 50:16-23

As we look at the words of this part of the Psalm, we might be inclined to think that they are only for the wicked. However, there are strong words for us found in these verses. Look at verse 17. When we do not listen to our instructors, no matter who they might be, we find ourselves wandering aimlessly through the material that they show us. When we do not listen to God’s instruction found in his Word, we are just as hopelessly lost. God’s Word is our instruction through this world. We need to read it, learn it, and follow it. Then there is verse 23. It needs little explanation. When we walk according to the Word of God, we will see his way of salvation. What more do we need? Sing Psalter 139.

February 22 Read Psalm 51:1-9

Here we have the familiar Psalm of confession and repentance. David penned these words after his sins of adultery, theft, and murder. These are the hardest words for someone to say or write. To confess one’s sin before almighty God and our acquaintances is a necessary part of our lives. God brings us to our knees in order that we may contemplate who we are, and how we have come to be in this world. The sinner loses the sense of joy as long as his sins remain unconfessed. We need to ask for forgiveness from God and from those against whom we have sinned. Only God can cleanse us from our sins; may we remember this need each day as we pray. Sing Psalter 140.

February 23 Read Psalm 51:10-19

As David continues this Psalm of confession he prays that God will send his spirit unto him to remove the stain of the guilt that pervades his soul. David knows that he must show thankfulness after the forgiveness that God has given to him. He promises to teach those around him about God and his goodness. He also asks God to allow him to open his mouth so that he can sing songs of praise to God. Finally, David shows that true repentance is found in a heart that is obedient unto God. That obedience is the sacrifice that we must lay upon God’s altar. That altar is found only in one place-God’s church. May we seek him in the beauty of holiness each and every Sunday. Sing Psalter 141.

February 24 Read Psalm 52

Which part of this Psalm describes us? Do we find the description of our lives and personalities in verses 1-7 or in verses 8 and 9? In what do we place our trust- in God or in the strength and riches of man? These are questions that the child of God must consider as he lives his life on this earth. If we do not trust in God’s mercy forever, we will find no mercy. David had to learn this as he fled from Saul. After David learned that God is sovereign and does all things for David’s good, he could praise God forever. As we live our lives on this earth let us trust in God’s mercy to sustain us in all life’s situations. It will, because these situations are of God. Let us wait on his name, the name above all names. Sing Psalter 145.

February 25 Read Psalm 53

Sometimes we tell our children that God sees them doing bad even when they may think that no one knows. But yet, are we any different? This Psalm tells us that God sees all the evil that man does even when man thinks that no one knows. We may look at this fact in two ways. First of all, it should make us consider our ways at all times and walk in a way pleasing to God. Secondly, we may gain comfort that God sees the work of those who persecute us and will avenge us of the evil done upon us. Salvation will come out of Zion in the form of the righteous Judge. We will sing songs of praise to him when this is accomplished. Sing Psalter 146.

February 26 Read Psalm 54

What a comfort it is to God’s people to know that God is our helper! In the direst straits we can call unto him in the confidence that he will hear us and deliver us from all the troubles that Satan may bring upon us. This was David’s experience as he fled from Saul, and this can be our experience as we walk in this life. God’s name is good, and in that name we can do much for his name’s sake. Sing Psalter 147.

February 27 Read Psalm 55:1-8

Here we have another Psalm in which David seeks from God deliverance and peace from the onslaughts that his enemies brought upon him. While we may not have the outward attacks that David faced, we have the inward attacks of Satan. Our response to these must be the same as David. We must go to our God in prayer. If we do not pray, we will not feel the peace that passes all understanding. It was Christ’s promise to the disciples and the church that he would send peace through the operation of the Holy Spirit. By God’s grace we can feel that peace. Sing Psalter 148.

February 28 Read Psalm 55:9-15

As David continues to pour out his soul to God, he brings a very serious distress to the throne of grace. Sometimes God’s people face opposition from an unexpected source. That source is someone within the church or even a trusted friend. This was David’s experience when Ahithophel betrayed him to Absalom. This was also Christ’s experience when Judas Iscariot betrayed him to the rulers of the church of that day. We can do nothing better than what David and Christ did. We can pray in the faith and confidence that deliverance will come from our heavenly Father. Sing Psalter 149.

March 1 Read Psalm 55:16-23

Here we find David’s answer to his prayer. God granted his request and brought to him peace. He was able to return to Jerusalem and once more take up his position as king of God’s people. But he also felt an inward peace in his soul that could have only been given to him by God. We need to go to verse 22 often. We need to cast our burdens upon him who will not let the righteous be moved. May this be our response when those burdens become heavy just as Christ told us to do when he was on this earth. Sing Psalter 150.

March 2 Read Psalm 56:1-7

Here we have another Psalm in which David recounts a trying experience and his quest for help from God. First of all, he asks God for mercy. David knows that the sovereign God holds all things in his hand. He also knows that these trials were for his good, but he asks for mercy that he would not be destroyed. Secondly, we see that even when he is afraid, he puts his trust in God. Is this what we do? When we are afraid of all kinds of troubles, do we trust in God? Do we praise his name even in those troubles? Do we pray for divine help? These things we must do and we can do because Jehovah is our refuge and our strength. Sing Psalter 151.

March 3 Read Psalm 56:8-15

Our tears are in a bottle in God’s sight. What a blessing that is for us! In all our fears and sorrows he cares for us. This is a cause for rejoicing for God’s people. In this way they can trust God in all that he does. When our pillows are wet with tears every night, we know that not a single one of them goes unnoticed by our all-seeing Father. He will deliver us from all evil that some day we may walk before him in that place where there will be neither tears nor memories of tears. As we weep, let us look up for solace from the only one who is capable of wiping those tears away forever. Sing Psalter 152.

March 4 Read Psalm 57:1-6

Our God is so great that in the most distressful of situations his glory spreads from heaven to envelop us. He covers us with his wings just as a hen would protect her frail chicks with her wings when danger is present. We must never forget to pray in these situations. These prayers can be with confidence because God is able to deliver us from all harm. David could pray these prayers, and we must as well because in that way we will feel the assurance that comes from God to us. Sing Psalter 154.

March 5 Read Psalm 57:7-11

When we pray in the direst of situations, we will receive an answer. That answer will cause us to break forth into singing praises of him and to him who delivers us from all evils and fears. When we sing his praises, we are once more assured of our salvation and the care of our heavenly Father. Here we see the greatness of the attributes mercy and truth. They are higher than the heavens and they are full of God’s glory. This is what awaits us when we are delivered from this valley of tears. May we pray, and may we sing to him from whom all blessing flow. Sing Psalter 155.