Watching Daily At My Gates

January 10 Read Isaiah 44:1-4

Here in this short passage we have several beautiful words to and about the people of God. First of all, we see that they are the chosen servants of God. Secondly, we notice the covenant aspect as God identifies himself as Jehovah. Then we see that we have no need to fear because he has formed us even before we were born. The word Jesurun is a tender nickname that means “upright one.” It is a loving name that God calls his people. Finally, we see that to encourage us and to help us in the wilderness of this world, God has sent the Holy Spirit who refreshes our children and us. What words of comfort we have here! These words can give to us the confidence to live lives of praise and glory to our God. Let us do that today and everyday. Sing Psalter 241.

January 11 Read Isaiah 44:5-8

Isaiah had to proclaim God’s sovereignty to the people of Judah. He had to do that at a time in which idol worship was prevalent. As the second commandment states, our God is a jealous God. The idea of following others is an age-old problem. The words we see in this text are similar to those Paul wrote to the Corinthians. It is no different today. We are prone to follow some man or some idea. We, too, need the admonition that there is no God besides Jehovah. He is the first and he is the last. He has made us to be his people. We need not be afraid of such turmoil around us. God is God, and of that there is no doubt. Let us cling to him as the sovereign God of our salvation. Sing Psalter 308.

January 12 Read Isaiah 44:9-20

What do we do with God’s good creation? Israel of old took it and made idols out of it. They used the same materials that Solomon had used in building the temple to fashion images with which to worship. Why did they do that? It was unbelief as we see in verse 18. In verses 19-20 we see the foolishness of their actions. How can you worship a created thing? For most of us, we do not bow down to a graven image. But do we have idols? The answer, sadly, is probably yes. Those idols are as foolish as a golden calf. There is not salvation in them. Let us seek to walk only in adoration to him who made us and all of creation. To trust in anything else is to trust in a lie. Sing Psalter 309.

January 13 Read Isaiah 44:21-28

The chapter is finished with the promise of redemption. This is a redemption that only can be carried out by Christ. It is a covenant redemption as we see by the use of LORD or Jehovah. Creation awaits that redemption as it, too, will be made whole in the new heavens and the new earth. The church will be restored and gathered together as the church triumphant dwelling with God and the lamb. The assurance that all this will come to pass is found in the last verse. Cyrus will give the order that the earthly Jerusalem will be rebuilt. Cyrus’s birth is over 150 years away. The people then and the church of all ages will know that the Word of the Lord is true and will come to pass. Sing Psalter 310.

January 14 Read Isaiah 45:1-7

It should be no surprise that God raised up a man named Cyrus to release his people from captivity and make it possible for them to return to Jerusalem. It is not surprising because God is God! Nothing is too hard for God. Notice the last verse of this passage again. There is nothing that is not in God’s hand. He is sovereign over all things on this earth. He controls all the forces of nature. He controls all the forces of mankind. Why does he do this? First of all, of course, he does it for his own glory. All things serve to God’s glory. Even what we might call evil serves to glorify God. Secondly, he is sovereign over all things for our salvation. This provides to us utmost comfort as we confess in Lord’s Day 1. Let us see God’s glory in all things, and let us thank him daily for the great salvation he has afforded to us. Sing Psalter 265.

January 15 Read Isaiah 45:8-14

Quite often man, including God’s people, forget who has made them. We forget that it is the sovereign God who not only created all things but also has formed them for his glory. Creation is not just for our benefit, but we must use creation in a way that God is glorified. There are many times that we want to ask “Why?” about our situation in life. We want to ask that in a way that shows we think God is being unfair. His answer to us is “Because I have made you.” This should be a comfort for us because we know that God makes all things good. Judah had to learn this and we must as well. Sing Psalter 287.

January 16 Read Isaiah 45:15-25

The final part of this chapter gives hope to all peoples: not every person, however, but all kinds of people. This gives hope to us, the Gentiles of the new dispensation. It is only through God that our salvation cometh. There is no one or nothing else that can give to us the salvation that we so desperately need. This is the truth of the Reformation for which Martin Luther and the rest of the reformers struggled and even gave their lives. This is the truth that is carried on today. It is only in Jehovah that we are justified. What a glorious thought that is! What a comfort that we can have in this dark world of sin! What a hope is ours as we await the return of Christ! Sing Psalter 174.

January 17 Read Isaiah 46:1-7

In this passage we see the folly of trying to serve someone or something other than God. Isaiah points out the lack of logic in worshiping a god that you have to carry from place to place and set up. We do this when we make an idol out of something or some thought in our lives. How can we say that they are equal to God? Why would we want to do such a thing? Whether it be money, education, sports, or some human philosophy; it cannot be compared to almighty sovereign God. Why is idol worship ludicrous? It is because our God cares for us from birth to death. He cares for us. What else can we want? Sing Psalter 266.

January 18 Read Isaiah 46:8-13

Notice that in this text we have the reassurance that salvation is only from God. We can have all the idols we want, but they profit us nothing because they are nothing. We must stay away from idol worship because our God is a jealous God. Judah had to go into captivity, ordained by God, in order to learn that lesson. God will teach us as well to not hold onto other gods. Let us adore him in all that we do. Let us live lives of thankfulness for the salvation that he freely gives to his people for his own glory. Sing Psalter 263.

January 19 Read Isaiah 47:1-9

Isaiah comes to Judah with these words of judgment against Babylon. Once again we must be reminded that these words were spoken many years before the captivity and the return. These words served to encourage the faithful remnant in Judah that God had not forgotten them. By his judgment of Babylon would come their redemption. We must also remember that Judah and Babylon are pictures of the elect and the reprobate. Therefore, we can be comforted in this world filled with evil that there is redemption for us though the judgment of the wicked. Our redeemer is the covenant God, Jehovah of hosts. Trust in him, as he delivers you to glory. Sing Psalter 379.

January 20 Read Isaiah 47:10-15

The final portion of this chapter is words addressed to Babylon. But they are words to which we do well to pay heed, for we are no different. We often time fall into the same sins. We say that God does not see us. We act as if there is no God, and we can do what ever we wish. We, too, trust in our own counsels not depending upon God’s will and providence. We must know that he will chastise us when we fall into such sins. But we must know that Christ has died for us for our salvation. Let us flee sin and ever walk in God’s ways. Sing Psalter 380.

January 21 Read Isaiah 48: 1-7

We see that Isaiah’s writing goes from a condemnation of Babylon in the last chapter to a chastisement of Judah in this chapter. What is the difference? The difference is that Judah is God’s people. Of course not all of Judah is. There are those that face the same condemnation that Babylon does. But only the remnant belongs to God. And they must repent. They, too, say they love God, but it is only lip service. What about us? Are these words for us as well? Of course they are. Because of the old man of sin which lurks within us we, too, are obstinate. We, too, must be set on the right path. Let us pray daily for the grace to walk in God’s ways and seek to glorify him the creator of heaven and earth. Sing Psalter 146.

January 22 Read Isaiah 48:8-15

The purpose of all things is for God’s sake, his honor, and his glory. This is hard for us to understand when affliction is brought upon us. We wonder why God has chosen to cause us what we see as grief. But we see that through the affliction there is profit for us. When we acknowledge God as the covenant God, only then can we understand his ways. In his sovereignty he loves us and only does what is good for us. As we have said before, we will be redeemed through judgment. We must be patient and wait until God delivers us to eternal glory. Sing Psalter 329.

January 23 Read Isaiah 48: 16-22

Standing by a river that flows through a field or woods can be very peaceful. The sound of the water provides solace for a soul that has been troubled by the busyness of the world. This is the picture that we see in verse 18. Walking in God’s commandments can provide that same solace. When we try to live as we want instead of what God commands, there is no peace for us. But when we seek Jehovah and his kingdom, waves of peace flow over us throughout the day. Let us see that peace by obeying our covenant God. In that way we will feel the redemption wrought for us on the cross. Sing Psalter 127.

January 24 Read Isaiah 49:1-12

In this chapter we see the promise that Jehovah God will also be the God of the Gentiles. The Jews would reject God and his Son, and he would call unto himself a people from among all nations. He would use his servants such as Isaiah to accomplish this purpose. We, who are of those Gentile nations, must not fall into the sin of rejecting God even as the Jews of Isaiah’s time did. We have been given a glorious gospel and promise. Let us look for the day when Jesus returns on the clouds of heaven and brings the church of all ages together around the throne. Let us live lives steeped in waiting and watching for that glorious day. Sing Psalter 195.

January 25 Read Isaiah 49:13-26

What a comfort we find in the first few verses of this section! It is a comfort which should cause us to break forth into singing. As Christ said, if we cannot sing at his coming, the very rocks would cry out. Are we thankful for the great salvation wrought for us by Christ? Do we sing with joy when we have the opportunity? We may think that God has forgotten about us. He no more forgets us than a mother would forget her newborn baby. He will care for us in all adversity. He will be our God even unto death. So sing in thanksgiving. Sing Psalter 170.

January 26 Read Isaiah 50:1-11

First of all, in this passage we see that God speaks to the rebellious Jews who had rejected him. They did not listen when he sent his prophets to proclaim his Word. This should be a warning unto us. We are blessed with the preaching of the Word each Sabbath. Are we listening? Secondly, we see a prophecy concerning Christ. Christ would be abused. Why? The answer is so that we might receive the salvation that he earned for us. Finally, there is a message to believers and unbelievers alike. Reread verses 10-11. Are we trusting in Jehovah or lying down in sorrow? Our help is in God. Let us trust in him at all times. Sing Psalter 352.

January 27 Read Isaiah 51:1-8

These verses afford to us great comfort at all times on our earthly pilgrimage. We are called to look unto the rock. That rock is Christ and the covenant line that he has established with his people. A rock is something unmovable. A rock is something that will last. When we look to him, we can rest assured that he will care for us in all things. Our salvation is eternal and cannot be taken from us. We need not fear what men might do to us; they are mortal and their works will fail. The day is coming in which we shall rejoice forever in our salvation. Thanks be to God! Sing Psalter 162.

January 28 Read Isaiah 51:9-16

Here we have an impassioned prayer that God, who is signified by the arm of the Lord, would deliver Israel even as he delivered them from Egypt. In verse 11 God replies with certainty that they would be redeemed and delivered not only from the struggles in the present age but from all struggles. What a comfort this is that when we take a loved one to the grave we know that the struggle against sin and Satan is over and God’s people are delivered to the heavenly Canaan. God is almighty; we are his people, and he will most certainly care for us now and forever. Sing Psalter 307.

January 29 Read Isaiah 51:17-23

Now it is Jerusalem, that picture of the church of God, which is called to awaken. Her sleep is not alcohol produced; her sleep is produced by her wickedness. Among her none is found that can bring comfort. The only deliverer is the almighty God. That deliverer will give to the church the victory over sin and Satan. He will bring deliverance and redemption through the judgment of the wicked. What a comfort this is to us. Let us wake up and walk in the ways of Jehovah. Sing Psalter 152.

January 30 Read Isaiah 52:1-6

Once again the church is called to wake up and notice what Jehovah has done for them. While these words were written to comfort the God-fearing in Isaiah’s day, they are written for us as we await the return of Christ Jesus. The day will come when our redemption will be complete; when all of God’s people will be gathered together in the new Jerusalem. We do not have to do anything for this day; in fact, we cannot do anything. We must wait with patience; we must use the talents that Christ has left us. This is a calling that has great promise. The day will come when we will know Christ experientially because we will be with him forever in heaven. Sing Psalter 182.

January 31 Read Isaiah 52:7-15

In the first verse of this section we see a beautiful description of the preaching of the Word. Those who preach must bring the good news, the gospel, that God reigns. They must bring the good news of salvation by faith alone. In that good news the people of God find peace. This is the only kind of peace that brings the comfort that we so desperately need in this world. These servants would not just proclaim the good news to Jerusalem; they would preach the gospel to the nations. What a joy it is when we hear the pure preaching of the word. Let us seek it and thank God for it each and every Sabbath Day. Sing Psalter 232.

February 1 Read Isaiah 53:1-5

Here we have the Christmas story that no one likes. Everyone likes to worship a baby lying in a manager when there was no room for his parents in the inn. That is the story that they love. But to worship an ugly, bloody, beaten man. That no one wishes to do. But it was that ugly, bloody, beaten man who was those things for us. He became those things to take away our sins. What about us? Whom do we worship? Remember, we were healed by his stripes. Sing Psalter 185.

February 2 Read Isaiah 53:6-12

Reread verse 6. Think of what that last clause means. Our Lord and Saviour took all of our sins upon him and went to the cross for us. Should this direct the way that we live? Should not we want to spend our lives in a way that shows gratitude for such a sacrifice? We know our sin; and when we realize that Jesus took each and every one of them upon him, it should be sobering. Jesus obeyed, and because he obeyed, we prosper in his hand because we are Jehovah’s pleasure. We are bought with a price and a very steep one at that. Let us be thankful each and every day for such a Savior. Sing Psalter 47.

February 3 Read Isaiah 54:1-10

Our God is a God of mercy. We see this throughout this passage. First of all he is a God of mercy because he saves his people from among all nations. We are from among the nations. We sometimes forget this. Most of us have been members of an established church for a long time but in our generations we have been gathered from among heathen nations. After Pentecost the church of Christ grew and spread throughout the world. Isaiah prophesied of this fact. Our God is also merciful in that he will not take his covenant of peace from among the line of continued generations that he has established with us. As God is merciful, let us also be merciful day by day. Sing Psalter 271.

February 4 Read Isaiah 54:11-17

“And all thy children…” What beautiful words are found in verse 13! Children and young people do not always consider their covenant education to be a great heritage. They are not ready to appreciate what true peace is. God, through Isaiah, gives to us these blessed words of hope. Our children will be taught by Jehovah. We may not always see how this is going to happen, but it will happen. We can be comforted that they will have the peace that passeth understanding. They will have the peace that is not the peace after which the world seeks. Jehovah cares for us in all of our life. This is a great heritage. This is what Christ has left us after dying and ascending into glory. We have no reason to doubt this because our righteousness is from Jehovah God alone. Sing Psalter 360.

February 5 Read Isaiah 55:1-5

Here we have the call of the gospel. This is not a call to all men. It is not an invitation to all men. It is only to those that are thirsty. Many in the world today do not think they are thirsty. They will not listen to this call. In the beatitudes we hear that those who are hungry and thirsty after righteousness shall be filled. The call is for the elect to drink only the pure drink of the Word. They are to buy only bread that is fit for consumption. Is that our goal in our life? If it is not, we will not come to the living water. It is good that it is not up to us, however. It is good that this verse is in the form of a command. This command will only be obeyed by those who are the called ones of God. Sing Psalter 114.

February 6 Read Isaiah 55:6-13

There is not much more that needs to be said than what we find in verse 6. It is a command for us to seek the Lord. When we look for other answers to solve our dilemmas we not only waste time; we will fail. We must look for him because his thoughts are the action for our lives. His thoughts because they are higher than our thoughts are the way that we must go. How do we seek the Lord? We need to go no further than our Bibles. Daily devotions will help us know our Bibles and therefore know what is in them that will help in any given situation. The end of seeking the Lord is found in the last two verses of the chapter. A blessed place of peace and rest awaits us in heaven. Sing Psalter 333.

February 7 Read Isaiah 56: 1-7

This is an appropriate passage for the celebration of the Lord’s Day. Our covenant God has given to us the way we must keep the Sabbath. Our Sabbath keeping cannot be our own invention. We must keep his day and his worship in the way that he has charged us to go. To do anything else is to not please our covenant God. The reward for obeying Jehovah’s commandment in this matter is found in verse 7. He will bring us to heaven where we will celebrate the eternal Sabbath with those of his from every nation. Let us diligently remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. Sing Psalter 251.

February 8 Read Isaiah 56:8-12

Israel of old had times in which those who were entrusted with the flock neglected their duties. Because of this the flock was harassed by wicked from without the church. It is no different today. Each of us is entrusted to be a watchman over the walls of Zion. While it may not be in the official offices of elder and minister, there is a calling to all of God’s people to watch. We must watch out for ourselves, for our families, and for our friends. If we do not watch, but are found walking in sin, there will come judgment upon us. Let us watch each day, that when Christ comes, he will find us faithful to him and his church. Sing Psalter 223.

February 9 Read Isaiah 57:1-12

Here we have a contrast between the only two kinds of people on the earth. There are the righteous and the wicked. You fall into one camp or the other; there is no middle ground. Notice the comfort brought to God’s people in the first 2 verses. While the world cares little for the death of the righteous, their death has no sting. Christ has taken away the sting of death. They are gathered unto “their people”- that “great cloud of witnesses.” The wicked, however, may have great funerals, but nothing can cover up the fact that their death is the beginning of an eternal death. Nothing they have done in this life can help them in the next. Those who disregard God have nothing in death. Let us not fear death, but let us fear God who has delivered us from death’s power. Sing Psalter 133.

February 10 Read Isaiah 57:13-21

Isaiah continues with his words of comfort to God’s people who are afflicted by the wicked around them. Their spirits are broken down by those who persecute them because of their righteousness. It is to them that God comes with peace and comfort. In this day and age we, too, are afflicted by the world. It may not be physical persecution, but they hate us and all for which we stand. God will come and bring perfect peace. We must be patient, for he will only come in his time. Let us be thankful for the peace that will reign in our souls and give to us contentment with the way our heavenly Father leads us. Sing Psalter 350.

February 11 Read Isaiah 58:1-14

God’s people have much for which to be thankful. How do we show it? One of the ways we must use is taking care of those in need. Do we see those whom he has placed on our path? Do we give to them the assistance that they need? Israel of old had their needy. These needy were right in Jerusalem There is a great blessing for those who care for the needy. Reread verses 11 and 12. When we are in despair, we should see that maybe our thanksgiving is not what it should be. Let us truly be thankful and show it to those around us. Sing Psalter 25.

February 12 Read Isaiah 59:1-8

In this section of Scripture we see an accurate picture of what harm our sin does to our relationship with God. Because of our sin we are separated from him. Our relationship is one of friendship. That is the truth of the covenant. There are times that it seems that he is not our friend any longer. Verses 3-8 describe exactly what we do. Is all lost and despair? No, that is the truth of verse 1. Because God establishes the covenant of friendship through Christ, it will never be broken. He will save us and hear us even when we fall into the worst of sins. Let us remember this blessed truth and live lives of thankfulness for his goodness toward us, an undeserving people. Sing Psalter 398.

February 13 Read Isaiah 59:9-15

When we read about the sad state of affairs that is described above, one calamity should jump out at us. That one is found in verse 15. “Truth faileth.” Now the text is speaking of the lack of truth among men because it goes on to say that Jehovah was displeased because the lack of truth meant the lack of judgment. Why was there a lack of truth? A major cause to a lack of truth among men, is that there is a disregard for the truth of God. When the church disregards God’s Word as found in the Scriptures and the pure preaching of that Word, the church will fall into all sorts of sins. This is true with us as individuals as well. We must hold the truth of God in high regard or there will be no truth within us. Let us seek God’s truth and walk in it day by day. Sing Psalter 230.

February 14 Read Isaiah 59:16-21

Israel had troubles from both within and without. From within were sins in both the people and their leaders. From without were nations who wished to destroy them and rule over them. After describing those troubles, God states that he will bring to them a redeemer. This passage is an introduction to the redeemer that will be described in the following passages. Yet, we find in these short verses a description of our Christ. There are comforting words in this chapter for the church of all ages and for us today. We need not fear because God will keep his covenant with us and his word will stand eternal. Let us embrace our redeemer and walk in his ways each and every day of our lives. Sing Psalter 280.