Watching Daily At My Gates

April 20 Read Isaiah 60:1-8

Here we have an explicit prophecy of Christ, and especially that he came to earth not only for the Jewish elect but also for the Gentiles. Notice that he is called the light. A light is the means by which we see in a very dark place. This world is a dark place of sin. We need the light to find our way in this world. Let us walk in that light day by day. When we walk in the light of the Word, we will see clearly our path for now and for eternity. Sing Psalter 334.

April 21 Read Isaiah 60:9-14

Here we see the victory of the whole church that is occasioned by the victory of Christ on the cross. We also see, in verse 10, both the justice of God and the mercy of God. At the cross both were accomplished. God’s justice against the sinner was fulfilled in Christ. In his mercy Christ bore our suffering. We also see that there are both elect and reprobate in the whole world. Those who are God’s chosen will inhabit the heavenly Jerusalem. Those who are not the chosen will bow the knee before they are condemned to hell. May we give thanks for the victory wrought for us by Christ on the cross. Sing Psalter 302

April 22 Read Isaiah 60:15-22

Here we have a description of life in heaven after the return of our Redeemer Christ Jesus. While we might wish to focus on the richness of the glory that will be ours, we must remember that that richness is but a picture of the spiritual riches that will be afforded to those who are accounted as all righteous. Look at the various symbols found in the text which are found elsewhere in Scripture. All the symbols will be brought together in the kingdom of peace. Let us await that peace which we cannot imagine in this world of sin. Let us watch daily for the Everlasting Light. Sing Psalter 238.

April 23 Read Isaiah 61:1-5

This passage is familiar because it is one Jesus used as a text for a sermon in Nazareth. We can see that it is truly Messianic in character because it describes the work of Christ. He comes to those who are poor in spirit. These poor need Christ to lift them up against all the trials of the world around them. Are we the poor in spirit? If we are, we are truly the happy ones as proclaimed in the beatitudes. The Holy Spirit as the spirit of Christ will bring to us the comfort found in the gospel because he is the Comforter. Israel received physical blessings when they returned from captivity. We will receive spiritual blessing when we are released from the captivity of sin. Thanks be to God. Sing Psalter 403.

April 24 Read Isaiah 61:6-11

Isaiah continues with his prophecy of joy concerning the gathering of Christ’s church from all nations. Israel of old did not contemplate this reality, and sometimes we do not either. We become complacent in our home countries and churches and do not consider that God’s people are abroad. Our salvation is not of ourselves, but our salvation is of the sovereign, covenant God who has clothed us with the rich robes of righteousness. Let our souls be joyful in our salvation wrought by Christ. Sing Psalter 198.

April 25 Read Isaiah 62:1-5

Our redeemer will not rest until we are delivered before almighty God in full righteousness. What was begun at the cross will be finished at his second coming. We may rest in that assurance even as we walk through this valley of the shadow of death. While most of the world wishes that we be desolate and forsaken, Jehovah’s delight is in us, hence our new name Hephzibah. May he bless us each and every day, and may we continually give thanks for his care over us. Sing Psalter 55.

April 26 Read Isaiah 62:6-12

What a blessing it is that we have watchmen upon the walls! These watchmen are not of our doing. God has given to us men called officebearers. These men must make it their duty to watch for the enemy and pray without ceasing for us. When we have good preaching and when church discipline is faithfully carried out, the world will know that God is with us. Then we will truly be a holy people and not forsaken. May God continue to be with us and may we esteem those who have been placed over us. Sing Psalter 354.

April 27 Read Isaiah 63:1-6

This passage recounts the victory of Christ over his and our enemies. Edom typifies all those who would fight against the church of Christ. It was Edom (Esau) who sought to kill his brother Jacob. It was Edom who cheered as Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon. Only Christ will redeem us in the fight against Satan and his hosts. Only Christ will deliver us to glory from all the Edoms of this age. May we wait for the day of salvation when the conquering king will return to this earth and take us for his own forever. Sing Psalter 379.

April 28 Read Isaiah 63:7-14

The prophet looks back on God’s goodness to his people in the first verse of today’s passage. This is similar to the words of Jeremiah in Lamentations. Both of these prophets had seen God’s people fall into grievous sins and refuse to follow God. Both of these prophets could see that even though the people did not deserve it, God showed to them great loving kindness. Do we see this today? We should because the mercies of Jehovah are new every morning. When we awake, we must realize that we have only been sustained through another night by him alone. Let us give thanks each day for these undeserved mercies. Sing Psalter 309

April 29 Read Isaiah 63:15-19

“We are thine” are the first words of verse 19. What a blessed thought that is! If we are our covenant God’s, nothing can happen to us in this life that will prevent our joining with him in the new heavens and the new earth. All of life’s trials, troubles, and disappointments are nothing in comparison with the glory that will be ours in heaven. Because our redeemer is from everlasting, we know that his victory for us is sure. May we wait the day of Christ’s coming in prayer; always praying even so come quickly, Lord Jesus, and receive us unto Thyself. Sing Psalter 28.

April 30 Read Isaiah 64:1-5

Israel of old was looking for deliverance from their enemies of the day, and so these verses are their cry for help. But they are also applicable to the church today as we await the second coming of Christ. This must be our prayer as this world is not our home. We must look to God our help and Christ our redeemer and deliverer. Like Israel of old we have sinned and deserve God’s anger because of those sins. But we, too, have the covenant promise that God will save us through his Son. As we see happenings in the world of nature and men around us, let us know that they are signs that assure us that Christ is coming for us and will deliver us. Sing Psalter 224.

May 1 Read Isaiah 64:6-12

The Christian must understand that of himself he can do nothing good. Even what might be termed as good is described in this chapter as filthy rags. A rag can be useful in many applications. A filthy rag has no use whatsoever. Our only help is in Jehovah the sovereign potter. He fashions us in whatever way he desires by his will. We must go often to the potter in prayer. We must confess that we are his people. Only then will we know the blessedness that will be ours through the blood of Christ. Sing Psalter 140.

May 2 Read Isaiah 65:1-7

We see in these verses the addition of the Gentiles into God’s church, but we also see the rejection of the Jews. We have descended from those Gentiles. In our generations we were not those who were the chosen people as we are descendants of Japheth and not Shem. It is a blessing for us that we know that we are numbered among those who are covered by Jehovah’s covenant. But lest we boast, we must see the warning in the Jew’s rejection. We can easily fall into the same sins. We can desecrate the holy things of God. We can say we are holy but walk in a most displeasing way to God. Let us be warned and let us be thankful for the salvation that has been freely given unto us. Sing Psalter 183.

May 3 Read Isaiah 65:8-16

Here you have a picture of the church, as it is manifest here on this earth. In it you find both the elect of Jehovah, and those who are reprobate. Because of the elect found in the visible church, God does not cast it away. This was the truth as was found in Israel. The nation deserved destruction, but in it was a remnant. In that remnant was a special seed-Christ. As we celebrate his birth let us remember the circumstances of that birth. Let us be thankful to be part of the remnant that shall inherit eternal life through Christ our Savior. Sing Psalter 348.

May 4 Read Isaiah 65:17-25

In this passage the prophet looks beyond the coming of Christ to earth as a baby. He looks to the second coming of Christ when the church will be gathered together to live in heaven as the church triumphant. That will be a day of joy and rejoicing for God’s people. All the troubles of this life will vanish. Whatever we do in heaven will flourish and God’s church will not suffer. Are we looking for this day? Are we ready to leave this life behind? We must always remember that this earth is not our home. We are but strangers and pilgrims here. Let us watch and pray that our Lord comes quickly. Sing Psalter 31.

May 5 Read Isaiah 66:1-9

As the prophecy of Isaiah closes for Judah and for the church of today, we see that God is sovereign and in his sovereignty cares for his people. When the enemy attacked, God was there protecting his chosen people. This is no different today. God is on our side. He is our refuge and our strength. We also see the truth of childbirth as a picture of how God will bring forth his church. Even as God is in control of each birth, so he controls the bringing forth of his church. This is a great comfort for God’s people. We can rest assured that our God will care for us daily and will also bring us to heavenly glory at his appointed time. Thanks be to God! Sing Psalter 128.

May 6 Read Isaiah 66:10-14

Even when the afflictions of this life seem to be overwhelming, we can read a text such as this and realize from where true peace comes. That peace comes from Jehovah as we read in verse 12. And it is not just a little time of peace; it is a peace like a mighty river that refreshes the land. It is a peace that brings comfort in all times of affliction. We can be like the little child who runs to his mother’s arms for comfort. We have such a comforter sent by our elder brother as we read in John 14. Redemption is ours; of that, there is no doubt. We must rest in Jehovah and wait for him in our time of need. Sing Psalter 7.

May 7 Read Isaiah 66:15-24

Redeemed by judgment is the theme of this book. Who will be judged? Those who abhor God and his holy things and those who disdain the worship of Jehovah and his holy day will be judged for their sin. For the people of God this brings great comfort. We, too, deserve such judgment. By nature we are no different. But by the grace of God we have a redeemer. That redeemer is Christ. By his work of redemption, we can look forward to the new heavens and the new earth. We can look forward to spending our days in everlasting worship to Jehovah. This should bring to us peace because Christ is the Prince of Peace both now and for all eternity. Sing Psalter 385.

May 8 Read Nehemiah 1:1-3

In the beginning of this book we come face to face with a man of God named Nehemiah. We know little of his background, and we do not know the reason why he is still in Babylon after his countrymen have made their way back to Jerusalem, But we know that he is concerned about their affairs and the situation in Israel. We, too, must share Nehemiah’s concern for the church of God. We must seek Zion’s good at all times. The church’s welfare is not something to be left up to just the office bearers. We are the church, and we must care about her and for her. May we, as God has given to us ability, seek Zion’s good and God’s glory. Sing Psalter 273.

May 9 Read Nehemiah 1:4-11

Even though Nehemiah was a long way from Jerusalem, he deeply felt the troubles of Jerusalem, for Nehemiah was concerned about the church of God. When he hears of these troubles, he immediately goes to his God in prayer. Is this our response to troubles of others? Do we remember the church in all places of the world? Do we consider the families of our own congregations in their troubles? Do we bring those needs before the throne of grace? Let us be concerned about the church of the living God in their needs, and let us use prayer often. Sing Psalter 367.

May 10 Read Nehemiah 2:1-6

Here we see in this passage Nehemiah again going to Jehovah in prayer. Even though he is in the presence of a great earthly king, he knows that God is his king. He knows that by his sovereignty God can cause the heart of this king to give to him his desire. Do we do this? Do we pray without ceasing in every situation in which we find ourselves? Do we trust God to make his way for us plain in our sight? A second thing we must notice here. Because Nehemiah had been a faithful servant to this great king, the king was willing to please Nehemiah. This, too, was in God’s hand. We must be faithful in whatever we do. In that faithfulness, in even earthly things, we will find the blessing of Jehovah. Sing Psalter 234

May 11 Read Nehemiah 2:7-10

After receiving the king’s permission to seek the good of Jerusalem, Nehemiah makes provision for the task ahead of him. Because of his connections within the government, he was able to procure materials needed for his massive building project. We see how the chaff serves the wheat. But this, too, is all in God’s counsel and by his sovereignty as verse 8 tells us. Satan is grieved; that grief comes out in the hatred of Sanballat and Tobiah. The world hates the church and those who would help them. This is a sure fact. We have been given the armor of salvation to battle that hatred. Nehemiah would use that armor in the months to come. We must use that armor as we fight the battle of faith each and every day. Sing Psalter 205.

May 12 Read Nehemiah 2:11-20

There are times in the church’s history that God will raise up a leader who will incite those around him to do what is needed for the church. Nehemiah was such a man. God had put into his heart and soul the zeal for Jerusalem. Even after he saw the daunting task before him, he believed that God would prosper him. Not only would God give to him the zeal necessary for the work, but God would also give to him the courage to face enemies of the church. May we willingly take upon us whatever task God has given to us. May we look to him to help us in the church’s time of need. Sing Psalter 368.

May 13 Read Nehemiah 3:1-6

Here we have accounts of two different kinds of people in the church of God. Some rose up and got right to work, and some refused to “put their necks to the work of the Lord.” Which kind are we? Do we willingly undertake the work of Jehovah? Do we use the talents and abilities that he has given to us for his work? There are many things that we can do; are we doing them? It does not matter what the work is; it is important in God’s sight. We should not be like the nobles of Tekoa and refuse to work or to work halfheartedly. Let us look for work in God’s church and let us do it wholeheartedly. Sing Psalter 227.

May 14 Read Nehemiah 3:7-12

As we read through the list of those who repaired the walls, we see several notes of interest. We see people who were not inhabitants of Jerusalem working on the wall. They might have wanted to go back to their own home town and work there, but they saw the necessity of repairing the city of David, the place where God dwelt. Others saw the necessity of repairing the area near their homes. We must look to our houses and see what they need spiritually. If there are deficiencies, by the grace of God, we must work hard on their repair. Finally in verse 12 we see a man and his daughters working. This man was a ruler, but no work was too good for him and his daughters. There is a place for women and the work of God’s church. God will show that to them and to us. As we all work for the glory of God in his church may we look out for the place that he has set for us. May we never shirk in that duty, and may we know that God will bless us in his work. Sing Psalter 349

May 15 Read Nehemiah 3:13-32

As we read through the list of what was repaired, we notice the variety of what had to be repaired. One of those places was the wall and gate known as the dung gate. Here was the area in which the sewage left the city. A more malodorous place could not be found, but yet a man by the name of Malchiah volunteered to take that on. In the church, as well, there may be less than pleasant tasks. These, too, must be accomplished. Are we willing to take these on? Do we look for such tasks? As part of the work of the church they must be done. May God give to us the grace to carry out whatever calling he has assigned to us. Sing Psalter 369.