The Song of Zion
“A Psalter–Psalm Devotional of Praise to Our Sovereign Covenant God”
February 16 Read Psalm 45:4; Psalter 124:4; I Thess. 2:11-20
Only God can ride forth in battle with supreme might destroying in fierce anger the wicked, and at the same time gather the elect in gentle meekness. What a different God we see here from the arminian god who pleads with men to accept salvation! God sends forth the preachers of His word into the world to gather His people. He equips them with the two-edged sword of His word, and by the power of His Spirit, He turns the hearts of His people who hear away from sin and unto Himself. Christ rides forth in royal majesty to gather His people. He is doing so right now. Pray for the ministers of His word and for the raising up of young men called unto that work. Sing the Psalter.
February 17 Read Ps. 45:5; Psalter 124:5; Acts 7:54-60
A sharp blade is deadly in the hand of the murderer but can preserve life in the hands of the skilled surgeon. So is the sword of Christ which pricks the hearts of men: the reprobate gnash their teeth, but the elect are humbled and ask “how must we be saved?” As Christ rides to the ends of the earth throughout every nation, He destroys the enemy and gathers His church. Every member of His body, every stone of His temple must be gathered. He also defends His church against the constant attack of the wicked who want to destroy it. Let us humbly submit to His holy will as we see the sword destroy those round about us. Sing the Psalter.
February 18 Read Ps. 45:6; Psalter 124:6; Heb. 1:1-9
Hebrews 1:8 is a quote from Psalm 45:6. This New Testament text makes it plain that the Psalm speaks of Christ and that Christ is truly God. So many today who even call themselves Christians would have us believe that Jesus is really not the God who is the Creator of all things and Savior of the world. For them God is no more than the desire for peace which Jesus has given to men by His example and the supposed power in man to attain peace. But God makes it clear that Jesus is His only begotten Son. He is God. He reigns supreme and His throne is forever. May the true knowledge of God and His salvation never depart from our midst. Sing the Psalter.
February 19 Read Ps. 45:7; Psalter 124:7; Heb. 1:8-14
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ reigns in perfect joy. He does not sorrow when so many who hear the gospel of salvation reject it because He has determined all things and all things happen according to His sovereign will. Perfect joy awaits all those who are found sinless. Sorrow is the result of sin. Christ imputes to us His righteousness, and we begin to experience this joy, but so long as we live in this earth our sinful nature clings to us. Do you look forward to the day when we will reign with Christ? Though earthly ties and the awful reality of death make it difficult to leave this life, we must pray for the swift return of Christ. Sing the Psalter.
February 20 Read Psalm 45:8; Psalter 124:8; Song of Solomon 3:4-11
The Psalm has revealed unto us Christ the King who conquers and rules over all and now brings us to the goal of His activity: the day of marriage with His bride. The word of God is not cold and abstract. God gives unto us the gift of marriage and uses this relationship to reveal in earthly language the wonderful relationship which God has in store for His people. Christ comes to His bride with everything to make the union most wonderful and glorious. He comes with the sweet perfumes of His grace and the music of the gospel. God brings us into perfect fellowship and a glorious salvation. How can we begin to give thanks to Him? We are so unworthy in ourselves. Sing the Psalter.
February 21 Read Ps. 45:9; Psalter 124:9; Rev. 19:6-9
In this verse the attention turns to the bride of the king. She is the church gathered from every nation of the earth and made into a glorious body. She has been raised from her former shame and sin, cleansed, and made glorious, perfectly suited for the King. God makes the Church for Himself. He has determined in His eternal council to dwell forever with His people, redeemed from sin and death. Though the church appears to our earthly eyes to be filled with strife and division, the church as cleansed by the blood of Christ is beautiful in the eyes of God. We can only rejoice in the knowledge that God so loved His people that He sent his only begotten Son. Sing the Psalter.
February 22 Read Psalm 45:10; Psalter 125:1; II Cor. 5:14-21
The Royal Bride, the church, is now called to give her full devotion to Christ, her husband. Just as an earthly bride is called to devote herself to her husband and forsake relationships which interfere, so the Church is called to separate herself from the world of sin, death, and slavery out of which she is taken. She belongs to Christ. Every believer is made new in Christ. Together, as the church, believers serve Christ. Are you ready to give up earthly pleasures and seek first the kingdom of heaven? This is something we can do only by the power of God’s grace. Pray to God for a willing heart to serve Him faithfully today. Sing the Psalter.
February 23 Read Ps. 45:11; Psalter 125:2; Col. 1:12-20
The Church is the body of Christ. She is loved and cherished by Christ. Christ is her head. He rules over her in love as her Lord. The relationship between Christ and the church is one of perfect love and glory as He rules over all His creation. Husbands and wives, do you seek to be a picture of this relationship in your marriage? Children and young people, do you know what the relationship between Christ and His church is like when you see your parents? We fall far short, but we must continue to strive for a marriage which reflects the perfect marriage. Young people, do you see a partner with whom you desire to reflect the marriage of Christ and His church? Pray that our families may be blessed with godly marriages. Sing the Psalter.
February 24 Read Ps. 45:12; Psalter 125:3; Isaiah 60:1-12
The gathering of the people of God is a glorious thing indeed. The church is not to be found in the glory of earthly buildings nor in the riches of the Roman Catholic Church. The church is the gathering together of believers as the body of Christ; it is a glorious temple made with living stones. Like precious stones gathered from every region of the earth God’s people are added daily to the church. Every believer is given the riches of Christ which he or she brings into the service of Christ. God is well-pleased with Christ and His bride, but to the world, the church is not beautiful at all. May we seek the honor and praise of God and not men. Sing the Psalter.
February 25 Read Psalm 45:13; Psalter 125:4; Isaiah 61
The church is clothed with the garments of righteousness. It is the righteousness imputed unto her by Christ her head. He has borne the burden of her guilt and made her whiter than snow. True righteousness alone is pleasing to our holy God and He loves us in Christ. No matter how lovely you may think you can make yourself in the eyes of God, every work of man is corrupt. The robe of righteousness cleansed in the blood of Christ alone makes us beautiful before God. The truth of sovereign grace alone is woven throughout the whole of Scripture for we must know this truth to be saved. Give thanks to God for the faithful preaching of the whole counsel of God. Sing the Psalter.
February 26 Read Psalm 45:14-15; Psalter 125:5; II Corinthians 11:1-6
In this verse the Church enters into the King’s palace. She comes as a pure virgin. Purity before marriage is a picture of the Church prepared for Christ. Paul uses the language of this Psalm to exhort the young church to remain pure in the doctrine of Christ. The church is always susceptible to the lies of Satan as false preachers bring new ideas to fill itching ears. By nature man is not satisfied with the gospel, and the gospel has not changed since its announcement to Adam and Eve. Salvation is by grace alone. Are you content with the Word of God alone? Do not give your ear to the seducing lies of the enemy. Stand up and defend the truth when it is under attack. We are called to remain pure and holy before our God. Sing the Psalter.
February 27 Read Ps. 45:16; Psalter 125:6; Gal. 3:21-29
The Scriptures speak of the church, the body of believers, as the bride of Christ, and individual believers as children of Christ and the church. We are the spiritual seed of Abraham, sons of heavenly birth, a chosen generation, princes in all the earth, heirs according to the promise, the elect of God. What beautiful pictures God uses to describe His people! Though we may be poor and lowly from an earthly point of view, we belong to the royal family. We are united to Christ by faith alone. Do you value your royal lineage? May the pleasures and riches of this earth not distract you from your calling as a heavenly prince. Sing the Psalter.
February 28 Read Psalm 45:17; Psalter 125:7; I Cor. 11:23-29
Yesterday’s verse and today’s verse turn again to Christ. He is the King of a royal race: the elect. He rules over all things and His name shall be remembered throughout all generations. Christ Himself instituted the Lord’s Supper as a means whereby His name should be remembered. It is very important, therefore, that the Lord’s Supper be honored and understood clearly so that Christ be remembered properly. His Name is also proclaimed in the preaching throughout the whole world. When all the elect have been gathered and Christ returns, then the church will give Him praise forever in heaven. Sing the Psalter.
Devotional by Skip Hunter
Reprinted from March 1998.
Watching Daily At My Gates
The Song of Zion
“A Psalter–Psalm Devotional of Praise to Our Sovereign Covenant God”
March 1 Read Psalm 46
Psalm 46:1 People of God, have you been in trouble lately? This trouble may be caused by our sin, it may be caused by a particular circumstance in our lives, or it may be caused by the enemy around us. Are you in trouble? What did you do about it? Did you wring your hands and cry, “Woe is me”? Did you do nothing? If we did either of these things we need to stop and consider this verse. God is a present help in trouble. He is present which means that He is always there in our times of troubles. We do not have to wait for Him to return from a trip, to wake up, or to finish another’s troubles. He is there for us all the time. He is like no other friend we can have in this earth. He is also a help. His advice or guidance as given through His word will work. Oh, it may not be the answer we want. It may not be easy. But God’s answer is a help and the only help. Remember that and go to your refuge and strength in times of trouble. Sing Psalters 126:1 and 127:1.
March 2 Read Judges 5:1-11
Psalm 46:2-3 In writing about the first verse of this Psalm, I spoke of personal troubles. I want to examine ecclesiastical or church troubles this time. We often forget about the church of which we are a member. Classis, Synod, Presbytery, or General Assembly meets, and we may mention it once in a while in our prayers but that is about it. We have a corporate responsibility to our churches as the manifestation of the body of Christ. We can learn much about this responsibility by examining the history of Old Testament Israel. In the Scripture reading for today we see that they are returning from battle. They have fought against a formidable foe. They have won because God was with them. He fought for them by using various parts of His creation. Do we see that He is fighting for us as an earthquake rocks our homes? Do we see His victorious march in the aftermath of a hurricane or tornado? Have this winter’s storms shown us His hand on our side in our fight against Satan and his hosts? We should and must see these things. We will not fear if we confess that our God is fighting for us against sin and Satan using His creation. Sing Psalters 127:2 and 128:1.
March 3 Read Genesis 2:8-14
Psalm 46:4 There is a spring which provided much of the water for Jerusalem during David’s time. This water source enabled them to live in this strongly fortified city. This river is used as a picture of the grace which blesses God’s city or His church. It blesses them in such a way that they are glad. Do you acknowledge that you drink daily from that river of grace, people of God? Are you glad of that grace and what it means for you? We are the dwelling place of God. This is confessed in the New Testament when our bodies are spoken of as “temples of the Holy Spirit.” This gladness that we receive from this river of grace must be evident in our daily lives. We must show our happiness to be a member of the city of God. We must never attend church grudgingly. Our service of thanksgiving must be evident in all we do. Let us be glad, people of God! Sing Psalters 126:2 and 127:3.
March 4 Read Revelation 7:9-17
Psalm 46:5 The Psalmist continues with his confession that God is in the midst of His church. We can see this by examining and learning about the history of Old Testament Israel, We can see this if we examine the history of the church of all ages including our own churches. And we can see that this is true of the church triumphant in heaven as we read in Revelation. Because God is in the midst of her, the church will not be moved. Oh, a particular congregation may cease because of the will of God, but the church will not vanish ever. Of that there can be no doubt. In times of trouble God will help His church. He will help them because it is His church. This church is the bride of the second person of the Trinity. This church is the body of Christ. Why would He not help her? Why would He not come to her aid in times of trouble? He helps her and will bring her to glory in heaven. Pray for this help and pray in the confidence that it will come in a timely matter. Christ Himself has said, Behold, I come quickly.” Let this be our confidence today and forever. Sing Psalters 127:4 and 128:2.
March 5 Read Judges 5:12-23
Psalm 46:6-7 We return to the words of Deborah and Barak’s song to look at this part of Psalm 46. Israel won a battle by the strength of Jehovah. Wicked armies fought against God’s covenant people; He spoke and those wicked were routed. This is true today. Oh, we may not see such dramatic victories with our physical eyes, but if we look with the spiritual eyes given to us by God, we can see just as dramatic victories. Read the history of the church and the reformers. Look at what they have done through God. Once we examine those histories and examine our lives and experiences, we should be quick to confess that Jehovah of hosts is with us and is our refuge. People of God, do not fall into the trap of trying to win these victories by your own power. Do not be deluded that the strength of man is anything. Only by the grace of Jehovah of Hosts will we conquer Satan and the forces of sin. Sing Psalters 126:3 and 127:5.
March 6 Read Judges 5:24-31
Psalm 46:8-9 How do we know that God will give to us the victory? How do we know that He will be there when we need Him? How can we be certain that placing all of our trust in Him is the right thing to do? David tells us what to do. He commands us to come and see the works of God. Look around you, people of God, what do you see? As I type these words the Northeast part of the United States has utter desolation caused by God’s winter voice. Other parts of the world have also seen the works of God whether they acknowledge them or not. As we examine history (Young people, that is why you study history in school.) we cannot help but see God’s sovereignty and power. Do you see these things? Are you ready to confess that the Lord, He is God? If not, than go look again. If so, bow your head and pray for the grace to see that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” Sing Psalters 126:4 and 127:6-7.
March 7 Read Psalm 46
Psalm 46:10-11 In the end of this Psalm the Psalmist continues to tell us how to find confidence in God’s doings. He tells us to be still and know that He is God. We must put away our busyness and know that God is God. This is particularly applicable to this day of the week. How many of us either work or play till we fall into bed on Saturday night exhausted with no thought for Sunday? We need to put away our weekly activities and be still a while on Saturday evening so that we can be ready for the Lord’s Day. By doing this we will truly see that God is our refuge and strength. We will be able to experience the mercies of God which are new every morning. Best of all, we will be able to be glad in the Lord’s Day and be able to obtain all the benefits that God has given to us in the Sabbath. Be still and know, people of God. Sing Psalters 126:5, 127:8 and 128:3.
March 8 Read Psalm 47
Psalm 47:1-2 Psalm 47 is a song of praise. We see that its title states that it was written for the sons of Korah who took part in the temple worship. We, too, can use it for our worship of Jehovah whether privately, at home, or at church. The first verse tells us to be excited in worship. Oh, not the superficial excitement that many in the church world exhibit today. But rather the excitement of those who realize that they are part of a peculiar people. Are we excited as we worship God? Do we show it in church? Or is it easily seen that we are there either grudgingly or out of custom or habit? The second verse tells us to be excited in worship because Jehovah is a great king. We must be excited because of what He has done for us. Be excited people of God in the presence of the terrible and awesome King. Sing Psalters 129:1 and 130:1.
March 9 Read Hebrews 4:1-11
Psalm 47:3-4 We were introduced to our King in verse 2. In these verses we have some of the things He will do for us. First of all He “subdues the people under us.” This refers to the wicked who oppress us daily. This should give to us the comfort needed to live with oppression and persecution now and in the future. As a King, God is also revealed as our Father because He chooses the inheritance that He will give to us. That inheritance is to sit at His feet in heaven. As our King, He loves us and cares for us. He wishes nothing but the best for us. Did we praise Him for that in church yesterday? Are we praising Him for it today? We must praise God from whom all blessings flow because He is our king. Sing Psalters 129:2 and 130:2.
March 10 Read Joshua 6:1-11
Psalm 47:5-6 The passage we read for today shows one of the manners in which God fought battles for Israel. Both Israel and Jericho had to be mystified by what happened during that long week. And then when the sounds of the trumpet rang out and the shouts of victory? What a glorious noise to God! This was a signal victory for Israel as they began to claim the land of Canaan for itself. It is also a signal victory for us as we believe the power of God and His ways. What must our response be? We must sing praises to God! We must sing praises to our King. These are not the wishy-washy songs of much of what calls itself church. These are the solidly Reformed God-centered songs. We must sing them and sing them daily. Sing Psalters 129:3 and 130:3.
March 11 Read Isaiah 30:27-33
Psalm 47:7-8 The Psalmist comes back to the reason for singing songs to God. That main reason is that He is our King. It is not that we make Him King; He is King! We must realize this daily. These praises that we sing must be praises with understanding. They may not be simply platitudes with which the world praises its monarchs. God commands us that we praise Him with understanding. This means as was written yesterday that our songs of praise must have substance to them. Secondly it means that we must sing Jehovah’s praises with our hearts. How many choirs have sung the “Hallelujah Chorus?” How many of them sang it with their hearts and with understanding? We must sing our praises in this manner because our God is a Holy God. He tolerates nothing but holiness before Him. Through Christ Jesus our songs can appear holy before Him. Let us sing His praises and let us sing them with understanding. Sing Psalters 129:4 and 130:4.
March 12 Read Psalm 47
Psalm 47:9 We come to the end of this Psalm of praise. One more truth is explained to us. We see that our King is a covenant King. We see this in the words “people of the God of Abraham.” The fact that God is a covenant king has great implications for our lives. Our whole life needs to be shaped by this realization. Our marriages must be founded on this fact. We teach our children using the best possible covenant schools based on this fact. We worship based on this fact. That our God is a covenant God means that He is friends within Himself and with us. If this concept is hard, study it. Immerse yourself in it and find out its meaning for your lives. Its truths are our salvation. For by the covenant of grace, God sent His only begotten son to this earth for us. God is King; God is a covenant King, and He deserves our praise. Sing Psalters 129:5 and 130:5.
March 13 Read Psalm 48
Psalm 48:1 This is a favorite Psalm of many of God’s people. From the opening verse of praise until the closing verse of trust, God’s people can gain much from this Psalm. In the first verse we are reminded of the greatness of our covenant God. Secondly we are reminded that He is to be greatly praise by us. We are told where to praise Him. We are to praise Him in the church. The idea of church is further given as the “mountain of His holiness. Is God great? Do you confess this daily? Do you confess it in church weekly? We must do this because of who God is. This is not a choice but a command by our sovereign creator. Sing Psalter 131:1.
March 14 Read II Samuel 5:1-10
Psalm 48:2-3 Verses two and three continue to describe the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We found first of all that the church is a holy church. Now we find that it is beautiful. Jerusalem was known not only for its physical beauty but also for its strategic location on Mount Zion. God uses that for a picture of the church throughout Scripture. We find that the church is the place of dwelling for the great king of Psalm 47. It is the place where God is pleased to dwell among His chosen people. We also find that He is the refuge for His church. Here the figure changes. The refuge of the city is the King. When she falls into troubles, she is to look to Him for help. She can run to Him in times of trouble and find a place of refuge. This is another reason why Jehovah is greatly to be praised by the church. Sing Psalter 131:2.
March 15 Read II Chronicles 17:1-10
Psalm 48:4-7 In verse three we read that “God is known in her palaces for a refuge.” We find in today’s verses that He is known by nations other than the church. How is He known? He is known by His doings. Kings had often gone against Jerusalem; most of the time without much success. That God was the God of Israel caused some to leave Israel alone. Others became afraid and quickly went away. Others tried to fight and were painfully destroyed. Even ships on the sea would feel the power of Israel’s God. This is a comfort to the people of God. When it looks like the wicked are gaining an upper hand, God will protect His people. But it must be because the wicked know that God is our God. We cannot live like the world and expect the world to fear us. When Israel’s people forsook Jehovah, they were conquered by the wicked. When we forsake our covenant God, our sins will rise up against us. It is only by God’s mercy that we are not consumed. Sing Psalter 131:3.