Watching Daily At My Gates

April 7 Read Psalm 74:1-11

Israel of old went through many periods of attack and ruin from enemies. Many of these were in response to sins that they had committed both nationally and personally. The church of this day can be under attack as well. Most of the time it is not a physical attack though in some areas of the world it most definitely is. This attack is subtle. It is economic or social. Again God brings this form of chastisement upon us because of the church’s sin. We must do as Asaph does in this Psalm. We must bring our cares to the Lord in prayer. We can do this on the basis of the covenant that God has made with us. Let this be part of our daily prayers both public and private. Sing Psalter 205:1-6.

April 8 Read Psalm 74:12-23

I remember a funeral message on verse 12. It was the funeral message of an aged grandmother in Israel. Is this our confession? Do we confess that God is our king? Do we confess the implications that follow from this statement? By confessing that God is sovereign then we confess that all that happens to us happens by his hand. Look at the rest of this chapter. Notice verse 20. On the basis of that beautiful covenant of grace, we can pray for deliverance from the enemies of God and his church. We may and must do this. Satan will war against God and his church until the end of time. Let us pray for deliverance for now and for eternity. Sing Psalter 205:7-13

April 9 Read Psalm 75

What is our relationship to the world? Do we embrace it and its inhabitants as our eternal home and family? Asaph did not. He saw that in the world are fools. These fools will be judged by God and found wanting. Our relationship with these people must not be one of brotherhood. We must look to the congregation of the most high for our trusted friends and companions. We must praise God for all his great works in creation and with his people. Then we will see that the earth is only a temporary dwelling and our home is in heaven. Sing Psalter 206.

April 10 Read Psalm 76

Here we have a Psalm that was composed as a song of praise to Jehovah. While it is true that God is known throughout the whole world by his deeds, he is more intimately known in his church indicated by Judah or Salem. God’s people can and must look at his works throughout the world, and they must see his sovereignty over the whole world. They must see that God’s judgment over the world is their means of redemption. Our response is to pay those vows that we have made unto him. We must keep all of our promises. Some of those vows and promises are baptism, marriage, confession of faith, and others. Do we treat those vows solemnly? Let us praise the God that deserves our fear. Sing Psalter 207.

April 11 Read Psalm 77

Here we have another Psalm in which Asaph chronicles his descent into trouble. He does the right thing and goes to God as he struggles with the difficulty into which he has fallen. We must remember to do this as well. It does not matter what the trouble is; our first response must be right prayer to a righteous God. Asaph’s initial foray into prayer was full of complaining about the strait in which he found himself. Look at some of the phrases he uses in verses 2-4 and 7-9. He looks back at what he has done and not at what God has done for him. As we pray in our distresses, let us remember that we do have a gracious God who will deliver his children out of trouble. Sing Psalter 209.

April 12 Read Psalm 78

Parents have an awesome and solemn duty before Jehovah God. They must instruct the children, whom God has pleased to give them, in his law and his way. This is not just something they might do in their spare time or because the state requires it. This is part of the vow that they have taken at baptism. Children must see that Word carried out by their parents and grandparents every day. Children must be taught God’s Word so that they might hope in God as the way of their salvation. There is also a negative reason why this must be done. That is found in verse 8. Let us contemplate this section of Scripture, and let us carry out our duty before God. Sing Psalter 213.

April 13 Read Psalm 79

Once again we come to an imprecatory Psalm. The Psalmist mourns the damage done to the church of God. He also notes that the sins of the people are the cause for this destruction, and he prays for deliverance from Almighty God. We, too, must realize that our help is only from the God of our salvation. We, too, must live in a way that those around us, both godly and ungodly, can tell that we walk in the way of the Lord. Is this our desire? Do we wish to serve him and give him thanks? Is it our joy to show his praise to the children of the covenant? Let us seek God while he may be found, and call upon him to help us glorify him alone in all of our lives. Sing Psalter 216.

April 14 Read Psalm 80:1-7

This seems to be a continuation of the last Psalm. Asaph calls upon God for deliverance. He does this on the basis of the covenant promises that God has given to his church. Notice, Asaph does not say, “Turn God.” He says, “Turn us, O God.” This must be our prayer throughout our lives here on this earth. We must ask for repentance in the way of God turning us to the right way. This may be painful at times. We must seek the God of our salvation, and ask him to make his face to shine upon us. In this way we will have the blessed assurance of our salvation through Christ alone. Sing Psalter 218.

April 15 Read Psalm 80:8-19

In the second part of this Psalm we see that Asaph is using the history of Israel to illustrate the goodness God has show to his people. He calls to God on the basis of that goodness and asked for deliverance from the wicked who are oppressing them. We are called to go to God in prayer. Our prayers must have substance to them. This substance is from God’s Word and promises. A prayer that is trite and full of man’s wishes and desires will not be assuring for us. Let us copy Asaph’s example and pray calling upon God and asking on the basis of his promises for deliverance from all sin and temptation. Sing Psalter 221.

April 16 Read Psalm 81:1-7

Israel had several God-ordained feast days. On these days they were to call to remembrance the works of God in giving to them their freedom from Egypt and other works of God’s deliverance for them. We see in verses 6 and 7 the depths of this deliverance. He delivered them from a burden and from trouble. He has delivered us from the burden of sin. He has given to us a day in which to remember this deliverance. Once a week we are called to God’s house. Do we see this as a great privilege? Do we use the day in thanksgiving to God? The next time we are tempted to miss church for our convenience, let us think of the God who has given to us deliverance from a great burden. Sing Psalter 222:1-5

April 17 Read Psalm 81:8-16

In a short summary the Psalmist recounts some of the wonderful works God performed for Israel as they went through the wilderness from the picture of hell, Egypt, to the picture of heaven, Canaan. We fall into the same sins of rebellion today. Not only do we have the testimony of Scripture about those wonderful works, but we also have the testimony of Scripture of the fulfillment of those works, our Savior Christ Jesus. Is our response to that great work one of thankfulness or rebellion? We may enjoy the blessings showered down upon us now, but let us earnestly desire the greater blessings in heaven. Let us pray that we be kept from the sin of rebellion against our most gracious God. Sing Psalter 222:6-9.

April 18 Read Psalm 82

How often do we defend the poor and fatherless? That is our calling according to this Psalm. This is, according to James, the meaning of pure religion. We are called to be judges of their cause as God has made us those judges. How do we handle this responsibility? Do we go out of our way to avoid the plight of those in distress, or do we delve into their needs and help them? In the end we all die and will face the final judge. What verdict will he pass upon us? Sing Psalter 223.

April 19 Read Psalm 83:1-8

Asaph continues in the thoughts of previous Psalms by asking God for vengeance against God’s enemies and those of his church. This is not a popular theme today, but yet is one that we must become adept in as we head into those days when Satan will stir up that type of enemy once more. Satan’s hatred of God will be transformed into a fierce hatred of God’s beloved people on earth. While Satan is bound, he still can work that hatred among the people of God. Let us learn to pray for deliverance for God’s sake and his glory. Sing Psalter 224.

April 20 Read Psalm 83:9-18

Here we have the end of Asaph’s imprecatory prayers. We must not stop with verse 17. We must make sure we move on and understand verse 18. The reason for such prayers is not so we get revenge or even safety from such men. The reason is only that God may be glorified. This is not easy for us to swallow in this world of “me first.” But yet, this must be our goal and our desire. God must be glorified, and all must know that he is the sovereign God of all creation. Sing Psalter 224.

April 21 Read Psalm 84:1-7

Notice the exclamation mark at the end of verse 1. While they may not have had such devices when this Psalm was written, we do well to give the thoughts of this Psalm such feeling. When we are in distress, no matter what the reason, if we flee to the courts of God, we will find refuge. We will find refuge first, and most importantly, in the preaching of the Word. That Word will give to us refuge from all the cares of this world. We will also find refuge in the prayers that are uttered and in the praises expressed in the songs that we sing there. Let us seek that refuge and do that in confidence that God will give to us that refuge. Sing Psalter 225.

April 22 Read Psalm 84:8-12

We do well to read and pray these words often in our lives. We quite often will look for other places of refuge. We need to know that the only place of true refuge is in the courts of worship, God’s house. We need to utter these words often trusting in God to provide us with that refuge from any care on this earth. Is this our experience? Is this our desire? If it is, we can say with the Psalmist, “blessed-happy- is the man that trusteth in thee.” Let us seek to be one of those happy ones. Sing Psalter 226.

April 23 Read Psalm 85:1-7

The grammar of this portion of Scripture is very interesting. First of all, you have the facts of verses 1-3. Then on the basis of those facts, you have the imperative pleading of verse 4. Then there are the questions of verses 5 and 6. Finally, one more pleading found in verse 7. This is a form of prayer that we can use. Using our beliefs about God and his care for us, we can plead for deliverance from sin and the troubles that sin brings to us. Nothing of our own worth can save us from his wrath. Only his mercy can turn us from the ways of the old man within us, and put us on the path of the new man that leads to glory. Sing Psalter 231.

April 24 Read Psalm 85:8-13

After the pleadings in the first part of this Psalm, we come to the truth that God is good and will take care of his people. He will do this in the way of peace. This is not the worldly peace, sought after by so many, but rather the inner peace that comes from his mercy, truth, and righteousness. In that righteousness we will find true happiness because on the basis of Christ’s righteousness, we are righteous. The reason for all of this is found in verse 9. He gives to us salvation for his own glory. This is a wonderful truth and fact. May we live out of it now and in the days to come. Sing Psalter 232.

April 25 Read Psalm 86:1-7

There are many times in the life of the child of God that prayer is the means of comfort to which we must turn. Here we see one of those times for David. While the title indicates no particular time in David’s life in which he would utter such a prayer, it seems as if he is in distress such as when he was fleeing from Saul. He calls upon God on the strength of God’s mercies. He knows that Jehovah is a good God and ready to forgive his sins. He also knows that God will help him. Is this our experience? Do we feel the goodness of God surrounding us at all times? If we take honest stock of our lives, we, too, will see God’s goodness. Let us pray in time of need, knowing that our God will answer us. Sing Psalter 233.

April 26 Read Psalm 86:8-17

The prayer of David continues with more expressions of the greatness of God. Reread verse 15 to see some of his comforting attributes. We should take time to muse on each one, especially as we have experienced them in our lives. Our God, who is our teacher, is like no other teacher that we have had on this earth. He will never forsake us. He has given to us his Word that has strengthening words to help us in every situation. Let us seek him all day and every day of our lives. Sing Psalter 234.

April 27 Read Psalm 87

There are many phrases in this Psalm to which we could draw our attention. Let us look at verse 5. “This and that man was born in her;” What a glorious blessing to be a child of the covenant born within the confines of Christ’s body, the church! Are those of us, who by providence can claim that distinction, thankful for such a situation? Do we thank our God for birth into that glorious body? Sometimes there are those who come into the church from outside. They are puzzled by our lack of thankfulness and zeal for what we have been graciously given. Let us consider our situation, and thank God for what he has done for us. Sing Psalter 237.

April 28 Read Psalm 88:1-9

Do we pray like this Psalmist prayed? Do we call daily and even hourly if need be to our God for help in time of need? Prayer is the chief means of thankfulness to our sovereign God. Even prayers for help and forgiveness for sins committed are prayers of thankfulness. We must acknowledge that God brings all things on us, and that all things are for our good. When we pray, we acknowledge our weaknesses and seek help from our strength, Jehovah. Sing Psalter 240.

April 29 Read Psalm 88:10-18

Here we have the second part of this prayer of Heman. He continues with his lamentation of troubles. Even in these lamentations he confesses that it is only God to whom he can go in trouble. It is his confession that God will help him when the wicked come up against him. Is this our prayer? Do we confess that only the living can praise God, and then do we praise him even when in trouble? Let us make this our prayer today and every day. Sing Psalter 240.

April 30 Read Psalm 89:1-14

A relative of the previous Psalm’s writer probably penned this Psalm as they are both designated as Ezrahites. Verse 1 gives the theme of this Psalm. The Psalmist and we must sing of the faithfulness of Jehovah that endures to all generations and for all generations. In any trouble we can rely on God’s faithfulness and mercy to sustain us and bring us deliverance. Jehovah is a strong God. He rules even the oceans and all the peoples of the earth. Because all things are his, he can use them for the good of his people no matter what circumstances befall them. Let us be glad for our sovereign Lord and let us glorify him forever. Sing Psalter 241.

May 1 Read Psalm 89:15-37

There are two thoughts in this section of Scripture from which we can gain comfort and instruction. First of all we see the blessedness of the chosen. God has chosen to himself a people. His voice to them is a joyful sound. Do we hear his voice in our lives? Do we not only hear it but also listen to it? Do we glory in his name? Secondly, we see the promise of the Savior. David was a type of Christ. His children were pictures of Christ’s children the church. Do we keep his Word and walk in his covenant? This is what we must do to enjoy the happiness promised to those who hear the joyful sound. This is what we must seek after today and every day of our lives. Sing Psalter 242.

May 2 Read Psalm 89:38-52

The Psalmist finishes this Psalm by lamenting the destruction brought upon Israel. He has recognized earlier that Israel’s problems had been brought about by its sins. But he calls upon God’s lovingkindnessess, sworn to David, as a basis for Israel’s being brought back to favor with God. We, too, must confess our daily sins. We, too, must call upon God’s mercies especially based on the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. No matter where we are led in this life, we, too, must say, “Blessed be Jehovah for evermore.” Is that our prayer? Sing Psalter 243.

May 3 Read Psalm 90:1-4

Here we have another non-Davidic Psalm. This might be the best known of all of those types of Psalms. What a blessed thought we find in verse 1. A dwelling place or home is a place of refuge. Saints of all ages can find, not just a sense of refuge in God, but a sure refuge in the Most High. God is sovereign, and his sovereignty extends over all things. It is a great comfort to know that no situation in this life is too big for our God. He will help us and in a way that is good for us. May we give to him all glory and honor. Sing Psalter 245.

May 4 Read Psalm 90:5-12

We see in this portion of the beloved Psalm an expression of the brevity of life. While we might think that life is ours to live and will be long, there are two thoughts that we must consider. First, compared to God’s existence our lives are short. He is timeless; we are time bound. He is from eternity to eternity; our lives on this earth have a beginning and an end. Secondly, our lives are fleeting. We do not know when they will end. Our end can come quickly and unexpectedly. We must have the thought of verse 12 firmly entrenched in our heads. We must use our days wisely so that we honor and glorify our God with our lives. May these be our thoughts now and always. Sing Psalter 246.

May 5 Read Psalm 91:1-8

It does not matter what distress may fall upon us. Our covenant, sovereign God will protect us. He will be our fortress and refuge. Notice the various figures shown in these verses. The enemy, Satan, has many tricks and wiles to deceive us and to draw us into his traps. Our God has ample room under his wings to protect all of his people from those wiles of Satan. He truly can deliver us from the evil one as we are taught to pray in the Lord’s Prayer. Let us not despair, people of God. Let us place our trust in Jehovah, God of our salvation. Sing Psalter 248.

May 6 Read Psalm 91:9-16

The hope and trust of the first section of this Psalm becomes the salvation in this section. Notice how the section begins with the word “because.” This does not become our work, however; this is the work of faith which draws us unto God. Notice also the words that Satan used when he tempted Christ. He quoted the first part of verse 11. He left out the second part. Christ’s way was the way of the cross. We do have the promise of angels’ help. They do watch over us. The final section has a change of speaker. The faith given to us by the way of Christ on the cross is rewarded by the blessing of salvation from God. Let us call upon him knowing that he will answer us. Sing Psalter 249.