Watching Daily At My Gates

May 11 Read 1 Samuel 24

David continues along the long road of patience. An opportunity presents itself for David to kill Saul. David makes the correct choice in not killing the Lord’s anointed. He continues to wait for God to give to him the kingdom. Even after Saul promises not to kill him, he retreats into the hold, the network of caves that makes up the countryside around Bethlehem. Are we waiting with patience because of the “hope that lies within us” for what God has decreed for us? We not only wait for things in our short-term lives, but we must wait with patience for the coming of Christ. Sing Psalter 192.

May 12 Read 1 Samuel 25

In this chapter we have two sordid happenings and two bright lights. First, we have the bright light of the death of Samuel. God took his faithful servant unto himself. There was probably not the fanfare on earth like we might see for some who die today, but you can be assured that the angels rejoiced in heaven as Samuel joined that “great cloud of witnesses.” Then you have Nabal’s foolishness and the sins that accompanied it. Then you have the spiritual beauty of Abigail as she helped the servant of God. Finally, the chapter recounts David’s lack of wisdom as he “multiplies wives unto himself.” This would cause him great distress later in his life. Let us seek the wisdom of God and flee the foolishness of the world. Sing Psalter 64.

May 13 Read 1 Samuel 26

Once again God brought David face to face with Saul. Once again David had an opportunity to end Saul’s life and to take the kingdom by force. Once again David by the grace of God resisted temptation and did not kill Saul, choosing rather to admonish him before both armies. It was not easy for David to do this. He was a man with a weak flesh, but by God’s grace he was patient and waited for God’s time. Are we this patient? Do we show this measure of restraint and wait for God? Let us always pray for this grace. Sing Psalter 73.

May 14 Read 1 Samuel 27

David journeyed from the mountaintop of faith in chapter 26 to the valley of despair in chapter 27. Once again he takes matters into his own hands, leaves Canaan, and goes to Philistia. God does not bring him back right away. David must live a life of deception for which he will be chastised. We must learn a lesson from David’s life. We must pray daily that we walk in God’s path every hour of every day. Through grace we can be assured that he will preserve us in the face of any and all danger. Sing Psalter 191.

May 15 Read 1 Samuel 28

When God has departed from a person, what terror must flood his soul. Imagine Saul’s despair when he realized that God would not answer him. It was time for the man of God’s choosing to take over the throne. Saul visits the witch of Endor and finds out what he knew all along—that God was not on his side. The true believer does not have to face this despair. God will never leave his people no matter what “lamentable falls” they may have. This David and Peter both experienced. This is our comfort. Sing Psalter 204.

May 16 Read 1 Samuel 29

While Saul was finding out that God had destined him to death, David was learning that God provides a way of escape for his people. David thinks that his double life is going to catch up to him. Does he get away with it? The answer, as we will find in the next chapter, is no. Through that hard way, however, God is gracious to his servant, the man after his own heart. God preserves his saints no matter how grievously they sin. May we ever go to the cross and see the way of salvation provided by our gracious God. Sing Psalter 106.

May 17 Read 1 Samuel 30

As we intimated yesterday, David was chastised for his double life while in Philistia. He was chastised first by God’s instrument, the Amalekites. Second, he was chastised through the means of his own men when they grumbled about the “disaster” and then in the distribution of the spoils. Through it all David relied on God. This must be our way in this life. We must see all things as being in God’s hands, and that “all things work together for good.” Is this our experience? Is this our confession? Sing Psalter 386.

May 18 Read 1 Samuel 31

Here we read of God’s hand upon Saul for his lack of obedience. His heart was not right toward God, and the kingdom was taken from him and his family. But we must also see that this is God’s word to Israel for wanting a king like the other nations. Sometimes God brings into our lives circumstances that should cause us to examine the way we live. Are we living a life of obedience unto our sovereign God? Do we walk in his ways and in obedience to his word? While he preserves his people in their salvation, he also chastens them in this life to make them ready for the life above. We sang of this yesterday, and we should sing of it again. Sing Psalter 386.

May 19 Read 2 Samuel 1

When David hears of the news of Israel’s defeat and the death of Saul and Jonathan, he does not immediately make plans to take over the kingdom. He is worried about what may happen to God’s people. In his lament for Saul and Jonathan, he shows his concern by asking that the news not be spread. He exalted them for what they had done for God’s people. He especially mourns the death of Jonathan as a friend in the Lord. Do we have such friends? Do we seek them out and cherish them as David did? Friends in the Lord are the means God uses to help his people during life on this earth. Sing Psalter 369.

May 20 Read 2 Samuel 2

David was not given the kingdom on a silver platter. He had to work for it, and his followers had to see that it was God’s will that he become king. Israel, because of its sin, had to go through this terrible time of civil war. God would chastise them for rejecting him as their king. Do we acknowledge God as king in our lives? Do we try to take things into our own hands? If we do, we may surely know that we will be brought through some difficult circumstances. Sing Psalter 266.

May 21 Read 2 Samuel 3

David’s taking over the kingdom is a time of great strife in Israel. First there is the strife between the house of Saul, led by Ishbosheth, and the house of David. There is also the strife between Ishbosheth and Abner, the captain of Saul’s army. Finally, there is the strife between Joab and Abner resulting in Joab’s murdering Abner. This strife is all caused by sin. Sin in our lives leads to strife among the people of God. When we live out of love for God and the neighbor, we can escape the strife that is sure to follow. Sing Psalter 103.

May 22 Read 2 Samuel 4

The strife continues in Israel, leading to the murder of Ishbosheth. Notice that David does not want the throne unless it is clearly given to him by God. Thus he puts to death the murderers of Ishbosheth. We, too, must wait for God to give us what he has ordained for us. To take matters into our own hands will lead to a sad result. Sing Psalter 110.

May 23 Read 2 Samuel 5

David was a type of Christ. This is clearly seen in his taking over of Jerusalem and establishing the kingdom of Israel on Mount Zion. We also see him as the type of the conquering Christ as he defeats Philistia, a picture of the wicked world that often oppresses the church. But we must remember that David is only a type. This we see in his marriage to more than one wife. These multiple marriages would lead to much grief for David. Let us always seek to obey God in all things all of our lives. In this way we will please him and have his blessing on our lives. Sing Psalter 302.

May 24 Read 2 Samuel 6

We must obey God in all areas of our lives. We must especially obey God in the area of our worship of him. David had a noble idea. His intentions were good. He cannot be faulted for that. But his execution of those ideas was not just flawed; it was wrong. God had given to Israel strict instructions on how he was to be worshiped. Israel and David did not keep those instructions when they attempted to bring the ark to Jerusalem. For this Uzzah was killed when he touched the ark. What about us? Do we obey God in the matter of our worship? Has our worship of Jehovah turned into a worship of convenience? Let us see him in all that we do, and let us worship him in spirit and in truth. Sing Psalter 137.

May 25 Read 2 Samuel 7

After moving the ark to Jerusalem, David next wants to build an edifice to house that ark. That building would reflect God’s glory; of that there is no doubt. This time he consults God’s prophet Nathan about those plans. After an initial acceptance, Nathan receives a message from God that David is not the man to build the temple. He was a type of Christ, but his work was that of a soldier. His son Solomon would be that type of Christ. We, like David, must accept the place in the church of God that he has given to us. Some are ministers, some are elders, some are deacons, and others have different roles in the church. Let us be satisfied with our place in the body of Christ, and let us glorify him in this way. Sing Psalter 367.

May 26 Read 2 Samuel 8

David had a new purpose as he went to war against the Philistines. That purpose was to gather materials to use in the building of the temple. We see this in verse 11. Is the purpose of our occupations to gather money to use in the kingdom of God as it is manifest on this earth? Do we put aside out of our paychecks money for the offerings of the kingdom causes as they are collected each Lord’s Day? This we must do, and in this way we will glorify God with our work. Sing Psalter 368.

May 27 Read 2 Samuel 9

This is more than a touching story. David was truly concerned about the promise he had made to his friend in Christ, Jonathan. In many societies of the day, the new king would kill anyone related to the past kings so that they could make no claims to the throne. David brings Mephibosheth into his palace and makes sure that he receives all the inheritance that is rightfully his. Do we keep all the promises that we make? Do we show kindness to those whom God has afflicted in some way? In this way we keep the second great commandment that we love our neighbor as ourselves. Sing Psalter 24.

May 28 Read 2 Samuel 10

Here we see a continuance of the two aspects of David’s character that we examined before. First, David wanted to show kindness to those who had shown kindness to Saul’s family when they recovered the bodies of Saul and his sons from the Philistines. Then when the messengers that he sent were despitefully used, he sent Joab and the armies to punish them for their duplicity. When Syria attacked, the army again was used to keep Israel at peace. In our lives we must constantly fight the battle of faith. We do not fight against flesh and blood, as the apostle tells us, but against Satan and his hosts. The battle is spiritual. Let us rest in God as we fight this battle. Sing Psalter 152.

May 29 Read 2 Samuel 11

David got too comfortable in his role of king, especially as it related to living in the palace. When it was time to go fight, he neglected his work and soon fell into a grievous sin. As sin breeds sin, he then compounded his troubles by trying to cover up his first transgression in this matter. In this chapter we see the sordid history until we reach the commentary of the last verse. What a sad thing this is! Is it true of us? Sing Psalter 83.

May 30 Read 2 Samuel 12

Part two of yesterday’s story is told today. We were left with the scathing commentary, “But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.” Nathan was directed to go to David and to expose him in his sin. Nathan does this with a short story and a short sentence. “Thou art the man.” Notice that in our Bibles the word art is in Italics. The accusation is even shorter: “Thou, the man.” David is immediately filled with remorse. But the deed is done, and the punishment must be administered. The baby dies, and David must forever bear the consequences of his sin. Sin has wages, as Paul tells us in Romans. Those wages are costly. Only by God’s grace have those wages been paid by the death of Christ. Let us hear the words of Jesus: “Go and sin no more.” Sing Psalter 140.

May 31 Read 2 Samuel 13

As Nathan had said at God’s behest, David’s house was rocked by strife and scandal. We may not like to read these words, but they are the sentence of God against disobedience of his law. David could not stop the cycle, and as we see in the end of the chapter, he was even part of it. His love of his rebellious son, Absalom, would lead to more troubles. We must seek to walk in obedience to God’s law, to teach our children that law, and demand that they obey God in all things. To do anything else will lead to the troubles that were found in David’s house. Sing Psalter 69.

June 1 Read 2 Samuel 14

The phrase “beauty is only skin deep” describes Absalom well. First, he killed his brother Amnon. Then he used devious means to worm his way back to Jerusalem so that he could inhabit the palace once more. We know how this story will end. Joab is no help to David either. Instead of rebuking Absalom and treating him as one that is excommunicated should be treated, he works for him against David and the cause of God. All of this is in God’s counsel. But none of the participants in this episode is guiltless. The church must walk in the ways of Jehovah and exalt him over self. Sing Psalter 217.

June 2 Read 2 Samuel 15

Absalom’s treachery continues in this chapter. When David learns of his plans, David gives orders for those loyal to him to prepare to leave the city. We may wonder about this decision. David knows that the trouble that has come upon him is because of his sin many years ago. In order to preserve peace in Jerusalem, he made the decision to leave. Sometimes for the good of God’s church, we must make decisions that make no sense in the world’s eyes. But we do them for the good of Zion, that God’s name may be glorified. May we always seek Zion’s good and God’s glory in our lives. Sing Psalter 216.

June 3 Read 2 Samuel 16

Troubles continue for David. Ziba misrepresents Mephibosheth, and Ahithophel turns traitor. Satan always seeks ways to tempt God’s people to sin. We must fight against his wiles daily just as David did. Instead of throwing up his hands in despair, David is Christ-like as he continues to do what is good for God’s people. He slowly but surely makes his way away from the comforts of home. May we take on the mind of Christ as we live in this world of sin and trouble. Sing Psalter 13.

June 4 Read 2 Samuel 17

As David continued on his journey away from comfort, God’s ways were being worked out in Jerusalem. Through the means of Hushai’s counsel, Absalom was delayed in going after David. Ahithophel was discredited, and like the traitor in Jesus’s band, hung himself. God also provided for David through those who brought him food and other supplies. Through this we learn that God may lead us through difficult ways in this life, but he always cares for his people. May we thank him for his care, knowing that our lives here in this valley of the shadow of death prepare us for the green pastures of heaven. Sing Psalter 300.

June 5 Read 2 Samuel 18

In this chapter we see two sides of David. First, we see David, the general, as he prepares his men for the battle against Absalom and his troops. He knows what must be done in order to gain the victory over his rebellious son. But we also see David’s love for his erring son as the news is brought to him about Absalom’s death. David’s grief is understandable, but not well-advised, even as we consider the circumstances surrounding that death and the reaction that would come upon David’s men. David is only a type of Christ and does not walk perfectly in this life. Sing Psalter 7.

June 6 Read 2 Samuel 19

It took rough-mannered Joab to bring David to his senses as he continued in his grief. Then David had to deal with the jealousy between the men of Judah and the other tribes. Jealousy has no place in God’s church unless it is being jealous for God’s glory. We must seek to put any amount of jealousy away from us, no matter how petty it may seem. The love for the neighbor must reflect the love God had for us. Let us seek the good of all in Jerusalem, even to the putting away of our own good. Sing Psalter 369.

June 7 Read 2 Samuel 20

David’s troubles did not go away. His next problem was the rebellion of Sheba. There are many Shebas in God’s church. Many say that they have no part with Christ, and show that by both their words and deeds. Just as David was forced to deal with Sheba, so must we deal with those who turn away from God and the truth. We cannot just stand idly by. We must remove those who do this so that the church remains true. Let us continue the battle of faith within and without the walls of the church of which we are a member. Sing Psalter 12.

June 8 Read 2 Samuel 21

God afflicted the land of Israel due to sin committed in the matter of the Gibeonites. David had to remove the reproach from the land before the famine might be abated. While we might wonder at the manner at which justice was done, we must see that God is a God of right and Saul had not done right to Gibeon. David also shows his respect for the anointed of Jehovah once more when he gives to Saul and his family a proper burial. The chapter closes with David at war with Philistia once more. Satan and his hosts will never quit fighting against Christ and his church. We must be ready to fight the battle of faith in our lives. And we must fight that battle! Sing Psalter 309.

June 9 Read 2 Samuel 22

There is a difference of opinion about when the song recorded in this chapter was composed. It does not matter to us. We can sing this song with David as we too are beset by enemies. God is our rock and salvation in all kinds of trouble. We can call upon him at any time; he will hear us and deliver us out of our trouble. May we go to him in prayer and with song as we live our lives on this earth. Singing is a blessed gift that God has given to his church to go to him and thank him for all that he has done for us. Sing Psalter 35.

June 10 Read 2 Samuel 23

As David came near to the end of his life on this earth, he paused to give thanks to God for the goodness he has shown to him. He also tells that it was God who made all his exploits possible in this life. Just as David acknowledged that God was his rock, so must we give credit to God for allowing us to remain faithful to him. We are founded on the solid rock of the covenant and of the love that God has shown to us. This is the only reason for our salvation; it is not of anything that we have done. Just as we have ministers and elders to help us fight the host of Satan, so did David have his mighty men who were committed to the cause of God and his church. Sing Psalter 36.

June 11 Read 2 Samuel 24

As David’s life comes to a close, once more Israel is chastised for some sin in its life. God uses David’s weakness to chastise them. David becomes proud and desires to number the people. Even wicked Joab understands that this is not a good thing, but David is determined and has the work begun. As the work is being done, David repents. God gives to him a choice in a chastisement. David chooses pestilence under God’s hand. As we see from David’s reasoning, this was a wise choice. Because Israel had sinned, they, too, must be chastised. As the chastisement ends, God shows them that the way of escape is through the sacrifice of Christ. May we see that the only way of deliverance from our sin is through Christ our redeemer. Sing Psalter 170.