Watching Daily At My Gates

Read 1 Kings 1.

Once again the consequences of David’s sins in his early life come back upon him.  As he comes to the end of his life and is so feeble that his body processes are failing, his son Adonijah makes plans to usurp the throne from Solomon.  Only by the wisdom of Nathan the prophet, as ordained by God, was the throne given to its rightful heir, Solomon.  When news reached Adonijah and his friends, he became frightened and fled to the temple for refuge.  Only through Solomon’s allowance could he go home in peace.  Here we see that Satan will war against the kingdom of Christ Jesus until the very end.  May we pray for strength to overcome every wile of the evil one.  Sing Psalter 198.


Read 1 Kings 2.

As David nears death he gives to his son Solomon some instructions about those around him.  David knew that Solomon would not be able to withstand the treachery of Joab, Shimei, and others.  After David died, Solomon found it necessary to follow his father’s instructions.  Adonijah’s request was refused and he was put to death.  Joab’s treachery was dealt with, as well as evil Shimei.  Only Abithar was spared death, but the sentence pronounced upon Eli and his house was completed with his banishment from Jerusalem.  God’s church must be purified from those who would do despite to it. Sing Psalter 124.


Read 1 Kings 3.

Like his father David, Solomon had a weakness.  His weakness was beautiful women.  He began is journey down this wicked path with his marriage to the Egyptian princess.  The evils that came with his wives were their idols.  Not only did Solomon sin by having more than one wife, but he also sinned by allowing idol worship into the kingdom of God.  This incident shows to us that Solomon, like his father, was only a type of Christ, not the Christ himself.  We also see in this chapter Solomon’s wise choice of wisdom to lead the church of Christ.  May those who are entrusted with such leadership make this their prayer. Sing Psalter 308.


Read 1 Kings 4

Solomon received not only the spiritual wisdom for which he asked, but he also received riches, honor, and an intellectual ability surpassed by no one.  When you read the three books that he penned, you cannot help but be struck by his abilities.  God gives to his church such men. May they use their abilities and gifts for the good of the gospel of Christ as we await the return of our Savior. Sing Psalter 223.


Read 1 Kings 5.

David had a friendship with Hiram king of Tyre.  When Solomon ascended to the throne, this friendship bore fruit for the church.  David had his dream of building a temple.  God had told him that he was not the man for the job.  That task fell to Solomon.  It was time for Solomon to use his abilities for the building of the temple that would be the typical dwelling place for God.  Today God dwells not in temples made by hands, neither is he worshiped in any one place in the world.  Today we worship in spirit and in truth as Christ decreed. Sing Psalter 368.


Read 1 Kings 6

As we read this account of the building of the temple, we should pay special attention to verse 7.  This verse records the fact that there was little noise in the temple proper during its construction.  A house of worship needs to be a house of peace.  While we do not regard our church buildings as temples as did Israel during the time of typical worship, we still need to pay all honor and reverence due to our God as we use our houses of worship.  We approach the thrice holy God in our churches, and we must worship in the beauty of holiness in those places. Sing Psalter 137.


Read 1 Kings 7

Just as Moses was given a pattern for all instruments needed for the worship of Jehovah in the tabernacle, so Solomon was given the patterns needed for the temple.  Neither he nor the craftsmen had any artistic license as they made the furniture and utensils used in worship.  This was God’s house, and he alone decreed what was to be used in it.  In our worship today, even though we are not given patterns for the physical parts of worship, we are to be guided by the regulative principle of worship in order to worship properly our covenant God.  May we be guided by such things all the days of our lives. Sing Psalter 251.


Read 1 Kings 8

Now it was time for the dedication of the temple.  This was to be a time of great solemnity as well as great joy for the people of Israel.  God’s people should be joyful when he establishes the visible manifestation of his church.  They should be joyful that God sees fit to allow the organization of those congregations that make up the visible church on this earth.  Solomon’s prayer is one that we should read and imitate even as we lead God’s people in prayer.  Such prayers give to us the chief way to show thankfulness for the great salvation that we are given. Sing Psalter 367.


Read 1 Kings 9

Once again God reminds Solomon of his spiritual duties as king of Israel.  God had laid down spiritual guidelines for Israel’s kings before they entered the land of Canaan, and now he reiterates them to Solomon.  These guidelines should be used in the church of God today and until Christ returns.  The rest of the chapter continues to outline the grandeur of Solomon’s kingdom as it typifies the grandeur of the kingdom where we will dwell forever.  Sing Psalter 198.


Read 1 Kings 10.

In this chapter we have the account of the unknown queen, the queen of Sheba.  After she visits Jerusalem and takes in all that Solomon has, she leaves, never to be heard of until we read about her in the New Testament.  Both Matthew and Luke speak of her rising up in judgement against the church of their day.  May we live in accordance to God’s law in a way that is pleasing to God.  May we use his church in a way that is pleasing to him and does not bring judgement down upon us. Sing Psalter 40.


Read 1 Kings 11.

The final chapter of Solomon’s life ends on a sad note.  Notice how the first verse begins “But.”  In contrast to all the spiritual beauty that is portrayed in the previous chapters, we find a spiritual ugliness in this one.  We must not fall into the sin of Solomon as we consider marriage either for ourselves or for our children.  Solomon was only a type, and so his life must end this way.  But we must learn how to live in the church of God.  Proper marriages will bring joy to homes and to the church.  Marriage outside of the family of God will bring grief to homes and to the church.  Sing Psalter 360.


Read 1 Kings 12.

God’s counsel did not decree an earthly kingdom in the Old Testament or in the New.  Even today we must be careful not to fall prey to that kind of thinking.  The kingdom for which we must wait is heavenly in nature.  We also see in this chapter that God visited the inequities of Solomon upon his children.  Rehoboam’s unwise choice was the instrument used to divide the kingdom and bring about the coming of Christ.  May we ask for the grace to fall into neither the sin of Rehoboam nor the sin of Jeroboam. Sing Psalter 83.


Read 1 Kings 13.

The consequence of Jeroboam’s sin was a nation that became fraught with idolatry.  The northern kingdom would be plagued by that sin and all the practices that went with it.  Jeroboam is known as the “son of Nebat who made Israel to sin.”  What an awful thing to be said about one who was entrusted with leadership.  We also see in this chapter a certain characteristic of the prophets.  God’s prophets were to be obedient to God in their work.  A lack of obedience caused the death of the prophet in this chapter.  Today, in the office of believer, we are called to be kings and prophets.  May we carry out our calling properly as God has ordained. Sing Psalter 109.


Read 1 Kings 14.

As Israel goes more and more into the way of apostasy, we will find those whom God preserves in his love.  In this chapter we find a son of wicked Jeroboam whom God called to be his own.  Even in his death, he was a lesson to his father and mother.  Did they learn from that lesson?  The answer is obviously not.  May we learn the lessons that God teaches us in this life, and may we live lives of obedience to our holy God.  Sing Psalter 329


Read 1 Kings 15

As we trace the history of the various kings of Israel and Judah, we must not be too hasty to point our fingers at their sins.  Their sins are our sins in our private as well as in our public lives.  When we see a God-fearing man such as Asa fall, we shake our heads.  But we must be careful.  In the Canons of Dordt we are told about the “lamentable falls” of David and Peter.  Then we are reminded of God’s grace that not only preserved those saints but will also preserve us as we walk in this world of sin.  May we ever pray to him to “lead us not into temptation” and “to deliver us from evil.” Sing Psalter 140


Read 1 Kings 16

As Israel heads more and more into apostasy, we see their cup of iniquity filling quite rapidly.  In this chapter we see several acts which show this fact.  We see murder to gain the kingdom, and we see civil war among those and their supporters who desire the kingship.  The chapter ends with the beginnings of most wicked Ahab.  Here we see that a man, seeing his wickedness, ignores the commandment of the Lord concerning the building of Jericho.  The curses pronounced upon Jericho’s builder are carried out.  Do Israel and Ahab heed the warning God gives in this incident?  The answer is no.  Do we heed those warnings? Sing Psalter 96.


Read 1 Kings 17.

God sends a most striking prophet to Israel and Ahab.  Elijah pronounces the word of the Lord and disappears.  During the three years of drought and famine, God cares for his prophet both at the brook Cherith and in the country of Zidon.  Elijah learns the power of prayer, as we read in James.  Elijah is also a picture of John the Baptist, who preached the same message that of repentance.  Do we hear that message?  Do we heed it?  Ahab did not, and we know his sad end. Sing Psalter 1.


Read 1 Kings 18.

“Jehovah, He is the God” was the cry of the people after Elijah by grace won the contest on Mt. Carmel.  For some it was truly a cry of victory.  For others such as Ahab it was a forced confession that was no confession.  Obadiah had showed faithfulness during Ahab’s reign.  How he could do what he did is a mystery that will not be revealed to us until we go to glory.  But Obadiah and the others of the 7000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal were rewarded by God’s goodness.  May we be found faithful even when all around us walk in wickedness.  May we be Obadiahs and not Ahabs.  This can only be done by grace.  Let us pray for that grace. Sing Psalter 308.


Read 1 Kings 19.

Elijah was only a human instrument for almighty God.  Elijah shows that humanity as he flees the wrath of Jezebel and heads into the wilderness of Sinai.  Even God’s care for him by an angel does not wake him up to see the way he was traveling.  It takes God’s hand upon Mt. Sinai through the signs given there.  Sometimes we are apt to be despondent about what we think is God’s slow way in the church and even in our lives.  May we hear the voice of Jehovah and walk willingly and obediently in the way that he leads us. Sing Psalter 184.


Read 1 Kings 20.

Once again we see Ahab’s rebellion against God, even when God shows to him his power in the defeat of the Syrians.  The apostate Ahab calls the wicked heathen Benhadad his brother, and even when he is rebuked by one of God’s prophets, he does not repent.  Do we call wicked heathen our brothers and sisters?  Do we refuse to hear the voice of the Lord as it is prophesied each Sunday from our pulpits?  May we learn from these historical accounts thy way that we should walk in this world.  Sing Psalter 253.


Read 1 Kings 21

Once of the saddest things that might be said of us is that we sell our precious birthright.  We have been given such a precious birthright by grace.  What do we do with it?  Are we like Naboth, who refused to sell it even in the face of death?  Or are we like Ahab, who sold it over and over again to gain good things in this life.  Our birthright, the word of God, must be precious unto us.  We must guard it even unto death.  If we take an easy path in this life, we will sell our birthright.  If we esteem the world’s pleasures greater riches than the word, we sell our birthright.  There are many ways in which this birthright can be sold.  Let us do none of them. Sing Psalter 362


Read 1 Kings 22.

In this chapter we see that Ahab does not learn his lesson and on the occasion of a war with Syria, the judgement of God is brought upon him.  What a sad thing that he pronounces about Michaiah—that he hates him.  In actuality it is not Michaiah that he hates, but Jehovah himself.  When we despise those whom God has sent to preach to us and to lead us, we despise God himself.  God’s ministers must be highly esteemed among us.  If they are not, we become in danger of having our candlestick removed from among us.  Let this chapter be a warning to us in our lives and in our walk. Sing Psalter 205.


Read 2 Kings 1.

How often do we not act like Ahaziah?  How often do we live our lives as if there “is no God in Israel”?  The answer is quite often.  We make plans, judgements, and the like as if there is no sovereign God in heaven ruling over all.  We do not go to him in prayer when we should, which is all of the time.  We may use the means of doctors or other aids in this world, but we must always remember that all things are in God’s hand.  We may not and must not act like Ahaziah did and impudently seek to inquire after the world’s help as if there is no God in heaven.  Sing Psalter 260.


Read 2 Kings 2.

Here we find the interesting account of Elijah’s leaving this earth.  He would be taken from the valley of the shadow of death by way of translation.  He would no longer have to fight the battle of faith in the midst of apostate Israel.  God would bring his faithful servant home.  We see also the beginning of the work of Elisha.  God would give to him the grace and the faith to do many miracles.  These miracles would prove to those around him that this was truly a man of God.  As we read about Elisha, let us see that this is for our profit, and that we must believe as surely as if those miracles had been done in front of us. Sing Psalter 33.


Read 2 Kings 3.

What an awful circumstance this chapter portrays!  Here we see three kings united together for a cause.  We have reprobate Edom, apostate Jehoram, and righteous Jehoshaphat linked together to fight Moab.  Was there a just cause to fight Moab?  There probably was.  Should Jehoshaphat have been there?  Absolutely not!  In 2 Corinthians the church is admonished to not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.  Jehoshaphat did just that.  He should have packed up and gone home after Elisha’s reluctance to help.  And then we see the wicked scene at the end of the chapter.  Jehoshaphat should have learned about antithetical living; shouldn’t we? Sing Psalter 224.


Read 2 Kings 4.

In this chapter we see five miracles performed by Elisha.  Miracles are signs in which the usual way of creation is changed to teach to God’s people a spiritual lesson.  We must always see grace in miracles.  God’s people are spiritually hungry, ill, and distressed.  They are dead in their sins and trespasses.  God by his grace feeds, heals, and raises us from our spiritual deaths.  Let us look for the work of grace in our lives in all that God does for us. Sing Psalter 211.


Read 2 Kings 5.

Would our children be ready to confess their faith to a heathen when they are far from home?  Would we have instructed them in such away that they could be as this little girl and show her great faith to the master who had taken her from her home?  Quite often we focus upon Naaman or Gehazi when we consider this chapter of Holy Scripture.  We should take the time to see the faith of the little girl who let her light shine in a heathen place.  Would we dare to show our faith? Sing Psalter 322.


Read 2 Kings 6.

The miracles of God as performed by Elisha, like the preaching of the word, had a two-fold effect.  To the believing prophets of that time there was the demonstration of the work of grace in the people whose hearts were as heavy as that iron ax head.  To the unbelieving kings of the northern kingdom and of Syria, there was the effect of continuing in unbelief.  What is the effect of the preaching of the word upon us?  Do we listen to it intently?  Do we seek to learn more?  Or do our hearts shut out that word and does it condemn us even as it condemned those of Israel and Syria?  May God give to us the grace to embrace the preaching of the word each and every Lord’s Day.  Sing Psalter 249.


Read 2 Kings 7

When we listen to the word of God, do we show belief or unbelief?  The king’s lord not only showed unbelief, but he was also callous toward the word of God and mocked the word of God’s prophet.  When we hear the preaching of the word each Sunday, what is our attitude toward that preaching?  Not only is preaching the chief means of grace to God’s people, but also it is the voice of Christ speaking to the church.  When we disregard what is preached, we act like the king’s lord.  Let us look unto God’s word, believe it, and speak well of it. Sing Psalter 325.


Read 2 Kings 8

Here we have the work of God to two different parts of the church visible.  First, God shows his care for the true believers as through the prophet God advised the widow to take steps to avoid the famine that he would send as part of his punishment to unbelieving Israel.  Then he also cares for that widow by having Gehazi act as an intercessor for her to the king.  Secondly, we see the approaching judgement upon Israel through Hazael the Syrian.  God will not be mocked, people of God.  He does bring judgement upon the church’s wrongdoings. Sing Psalter 300.


Read 2 Kings 9

Ahab’s house will be destroyed for not only their great sins, but also for the troubles that they brought upon Israel.  Their wickedness would be dealt with by the Lord’s strong arm.  Not only would the ruling king be killed, but also all those who had a claim upon the throne.  God would demonstrate his justice upon these evildoers.  He would also destroy Jezebel, who was callous toward God even minutes before her death.  Her unbelief was demonstrated unto all who saw her fall to her death.  Her well-made up body would be eaten by the dogs as the fulfillment of God’s word to her by the prophet Elijah.  How do we face death? Do we face it defiantly or in humble submission to God’s way? Sing Psalter 206