The Song of Zion
“A Psalter–Psalm Devotional of Praise to Our Sovereign Covenant God”
July 16 Read II Chronicles 14:1-8
Psalm 24:7 Many texts in the Old Testament speak of the city of Jerusalem’s picture of the church of God. The walls of that physical city served as defenses from many enemies. The gates had two purposes. They were used to not only keep out unwanted intruders, but were also used to let in the King. Today’s church has the Word and the doctrines of that Word to serve the same purpose. Even as Asa was diligent in building up Jerusalem, so we must be diligent to learn the Word of God so that we may fight Satan and his hosts. Sometimes we think that summer time is a time for resting from studying. Satan never rests! Should we? Sing Psalter 58:1 and 59:4.
July 17 Read II Chronicles 14:9-15
Psalm 24:8 Yesterday we read how Asa built up Judah’s defenses. Today we read how he fought a war, and won that war by the power of God. God is the King that lives forever. His Son is the King who will make a triumphal entry into heaven with the whole church. Our King of glory is mighty. Israel of old had to see that in a very real physical manner. We must believe it as we read the accounts of the battle and know that He is fighting no less hard for us in our daily battles. That we are in a battle, there is no doubt. That God will fight for us is also sure. Are we thankful? Do we want a mighty God who fights spiritual battles for us? Do we confess daily that He truly is a King of glory? Sing Psalter 58:2 and 59:5.
July 18 Read Matthew 21:1-11
Psalm 24:9 Yesterday I alluded to the triumphal entry of Christ. Today we read the account of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The church of the old dispensation could not appreciate the true meaning of this event. God has given to us His Word and we must appreciate its meaning. Do we? Do we truly believe in the King that we have been given? Do we confess Him in and by our lives? Do we hold our heads high and proclaim that we are Christians waiting for the coming of our King? Are we ashamed of having the King that we do? Young people, will those around you know that Christ is your King tonight as well as every night? It will not be easy to do this in the final days on this earth. But that we must do this; of that there is no doubt. Sing Psalter 58:2 and 59:6.
July 19 Read Psalm 24
Psalm 24:10 Yesterday we spoke of the necessity of confessing the King of Glory. We also saw that this is not an easy task. People of God, we do not have to do it alone. God does not require that we face the wiles of Satan by ourselves. We see in today’s verse that our King of Glory is the Lord of Hosts. First of all we can see that those hosts are the many other Christians in the world. Do not forsake them in your lives. Young people, make them your friends and companions. Fighting Satan and evil will be much easier. Secondly we know that there are hosts of angels encamped about us. God has given His angels charge over us. By His Spirit He will help us during all the battles that we face. Pray for the grace to trust in the King of Glory-the Lord of Hosts. Sing Psalter 58:3 and 59:7.
July 20 Read Psalm 25
Psalm 25:1-3 David begins this prayer asking that he and other people of God be not ashamed because they are believers. People of God, young people, are you ashamed because of your faith? Do God’s enemies cause you to hide your faith as you go about your daily work? How can it be possible that we might not be ashamed as we may be ridiculed for believing the way we do? With what confidence can we take a stand that is clearly opposite from what most people may do? The answer is found in verse 2. Because we can trust in God, we will never be ashamed. True, our faith may waver at times; we may become weak and be ashamed, but yet by trusting completely in our heavenly Father, we can have confidence in Him. Let us say with the apostle, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:” Romans 1:16a. Sing Psalters 60:1-2 and 64:1.
July 21 Read Proverbs 8:12-21
Psalm 25:4 & 5 To not be ashamed of the gospel necessarily demands that we only walk in the ways of God. With David we must make the request to be lead in the paths of truth. This means that we must seek the wisdom that is found only in God. This means that we must be well acquainted with His Word and seek it all the days of our life. Church attendance, catechism preparation, and other Bible studies should not be a chore but should be a delight. In asking for God to lead us means that we will walk that path even when it may not be physically appealing. Each of us no matter what our age must wait upon God. When we pray for such help, and when we with contentment walk His paths, we will feel His blessing. Sing Psalter 60:3-4 and 67:1.
July 22 Read Isaiah 63:7-14
Psalm 25:6 In reading this verse, we might be inclined to say that this is only the experience of the aged saint. It would be only one who with experience has felt the lovingkindnesses for a long time. David was probably not so old when he penned these words. He knew of God’s mercy because of the experiences of Israel of old. His parents had taught him about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the children of Israel. He knew their experiences, and by faith he knew that just as God kept them, He would keep him. Is this your confidence, young people? Do you see that God has given us history to show these attributes of mercy and lovingkindness? Because they have been of old, they are good. Sing Psalter 60:5, 64:2, and 67:2.
July 23 Read Isaiah 63:15-19
Psalm 25:7 The first line of this verse is hard for any child of God to say. First of all we must confess that we have sinned. Who among us can easily admit his faults? When we are young we feel we know it all and what we are doing must be right. According to this verse we must stop and realize the paths of youth which we walked were probably not so good. We can confess these sins only by the mercy of God. Our old man of sin would try to cover our sin. The new man asks God for help in this difficult way. The new man also knows by grace that God’s mercy is good. Young people, confess your sins now. It will make it easier when you are old. Sing Psalter 61:1, 64:3, and 67:3.
July 24 Read Mark 6:1-6
Psalm 25:8 & 9 While Jesus walked on this earth much of his time was spent teaching and preaching. His parables were constructed for this very purpose. Even the miracles were more than acts of healing or help. In those miracles the child of God must see grace. David knew that he needed God to teach him. Do we know that? Do we confess that? Are we willing to listen to the great teacher? Who does He teach? He teaches the meek sinners who turn to Him in their distress. Turn to Him, people of God, and find the rest that He has prepared for us. His teachings are good and refreshing. Sing Psalter 61:2 and 67:4.
July 25 Read Proverbs 19:13-29
Psalm 25:10 Yesterday we saw who the teacher was. Today we see who the successful students are. These students are not necessarily the most intelligent. They may not be voted most likely to succeed. They may never make the honor roll of the world. But they will make God’s honor roll. How will they do that? Not on their own strength of course. But rather, by God’s grace which will let them keep His covenant and obey His testimonies. These students will seek Him through the help of the Holy Spirit. People of God, are you striving to be such students? Are you praying for the help needed in God’s classroom? Sing Psalter 61:3, 65:1, and 67:5.
July 26 Read Romans 7:12-21
Psalm 25:11 After describing the teacher and student, David returns to an earlier theme. This theme is the necessary pardon for sin. After seeing the way he must go, he realizes that he has departed from that way often. This is our experience as well. After hearing the law each Sunday, we see our sin and know that we have need of a savior. Not only to we see sin, we see great sin. Paul’s experience was no different. Neither is the experience of any other saint. I have heard many of them confess with Paul that they are the chief of sinners. We must confess that our sins are great. Buy we may not to stop there. By God’s name sake we can ask for pardon in the confidence that He will abundantly bless us. Sing Psalter 61:4 and 65:2.
July 27 Read Luke 12:13-21
Psalm 25:12-13: The passage that we read in Luke spoke of a man who thought his soul would dwell in ease. He thought he had it made. His life was before him, and he would have not troubles. How mistaken he was! David speaks of a soul resting in ease as well. But this soul will rest in ease only because he is elect of God. Only because he fears the Lord and walks in His ways. This should be our desire. We should look for the ease that obedience to God’s Word brings. Only in that way will we find contentment. Only in that way will we see the blessing of God’s covenant upon us. We see the evidence of that covenant in the last part of verse 13. This is God’s sure promise to us. We must establish schools for our children in the faith that God will cause them to prosper and our children will inherit the land which is heaven. Sing Psalter 62:1 and 68:3.
July 28 Read I Corinthians 4:1-6
Psalm 25:14 Do you enjoy secrets? I am speaking of good secrets. I am not talking about secrets which will hurt someone when they are told, or secrets which are about someone’s sin. I am talking about a secret in which someone is surprised because something good happens. Our God has a secret for us. It is a secret that is so wonderful that when we find it we will be happy forever. This secret is not for everyone. This secret is only for those who fear Him. This secret is only for those who walk in His covenant. What is that secret? Of course, it is salvation. It is the promise of living in eternal covenant fellowship with the Holy Trinity in heaven. What a secret! Look for it to come true. It will. Sing Psalter 62:2 and 68:4.
July 29 Read Exodus 14:10-20
Psalm 25:15-16 Once again David reminds us of the plight he was in and we are in. Egypt is always around us. It may take the form of Pharaoh, Goliath, Saul, Absalom, the Pharisees, or any of the cruel tricks that Satan plagues us with. Satan’s traps are around every corner. He is looking for the opportunity to cause every child of God to sin-from the youngest to the oldest. No age group is immune from his wiles. But we like David need not fear. With our eyes on Jehovah, we can have the confidence that he can pluck us out of any net which is entangling our feet and is about to trip us up. God may use Satan to chastise us, but He will never let us fall from grace. Sing Psalter 62:3-4 and 66:1-2.
July 30 Read 2 Samuel 16:5-14
Psalm 25:17-19 In this account from David’s life we see the truth of God explained. David, even as he was fleeing from Absalom, was cursed by an enemy. David, like Christ, did not revile his enemies. David saw that God by His sovereignty had even this incident planned. Even this was for David’s good. In the verses we consider from Psalm 25 we see that even though his experience is that he is oppressed by Satan, he needs to ask for forgiveness for his own sins. David is not ready to blame those around him for all of his troubles. He sees the necessity of pointing the finger at himself and asking God for help. We, too, must not blame our troubles on those around us. We must examine our lives and make sure that they are lives pleasing to God. Sing Psalter 63:1-2 and 66:3.
July 31 Read Psalm 25
Psalm 25:20-22 As David finishes his prayer he teaches us one more lesson. We have learned that we must trust in God at all times. We have learned that God is our teacher and his lessons must be learned well. We have also been instructed in the necessity of asking for forgiveness for every one of our sins. Now in these verses we see that we must remember God’s church in our prayers. Even though this is a very personal prayer which we would do well to model, it is also a prayer for God’s people everywhere. God’s church has troubles even as the individual has troubles. Because we are members of that church, we must pray for it. Each of us at whatever age has that responsibility. We do this in the realization that one day we will all be joined together around the throne with the Lamb who has redeemed us from all of our troubles. Sing Psalter 64:3-4 and 66:4.
Devotional by Skip Hunter
Watching Daily At My Gates
The Song of Zion
“A Psalter–Psalm Devotional of Praise to Our Sovereign Covenant God”
August 1 Read Psalm 26
Psalm 26:1-3 David makes four requests of God in these three verses. He asks God to judge, examine, prove, and try him. He does this not in a boastful way but rather in a way in which he humbles himself completely to God. Are we able and willing to ask these things of God. Are we willing to put our lives under the scrutiny of God’s laboratory. I use this term because it is as if God is a scientist testing a material or process to see its worth. Of course we know that of ourselves we would be found wanting. David knew that as well. But David had a certain confidence which allowed him to make that request. We will investigate that tomorrow. For now pray for the grace to make these requests of God. Sing Psalter 69:1.
August 2 Read Jeremiah 31:1-9
Psalm 26:1-3 Yesterday I spoke of the confidence which David has to make his bold requests of Jehovah. We find them in verse one and three. There are four of them. Because of their length I will not rewrite them, but you try to find them. Once again we must know that David’s confidence is not found in himself. There are those who would conclude that from these verses. But rather David’s and our confidence must only be founded on Jehovah’s lovingkindness. That is the thrust of these truths. Because our trust is in the Lord we may have confidence that we will not slide into sin. Only because of the truth of salvation by grace alone will we and all believers have the confidence which David expresses in these verses. We must pray daily for the grace needed to give us this confidence and that we may live lives pleasing to Jehovah for all that he does for us. Sing Psalter 70:1-2.
August 3 Read II Peter 2:1-10
Psalm 26:4-5 Young people, can you make the statement that David makes in these verses, or are you found in the company with those who hate God? Parents, do you let your young people keep company with those who have no use for God and His church? Do you like Eli refuse to rebuke your children and give them over to Satan so that they become sons and daughters of Beliel? We definitely live in the world, but we must just as definitely not be of the world. You cannot go into the fire even a little bit and not get burned. We must walk an antithetical walk all the days of our lives. We must teach our children and young people how to walk this life as well. Pray to God for grace in this matter. Sing Psalter 69:2.
August 4 Read Daniel 6:1-22
Psalm 26:6-7 In this familiar passage to all of God’s saints, young and old, we see that Daniel was saved because of the innocency he possessed by the grace of God. With confidence he walked into the lion’s den knowing that Jehovah was able to save him from death if it was His will. He did not fear death in any form because he knew the reward that awaited him. When he was delivered Daniel made a confession of faith to the king. David knew because of the righteousness granted him by God he, too, could make a confession of faith. Is this our experience? Young people, as you contemplate making confession of faith, are you doing it for the right reason? Are you convicted of your innocency even as David was? Those of us who have made a confession of faith, are we living it? Sing Psalter 69:3 and 70:3.
August 5 Read Micah 4:1-13
Psalm 26:8 Two days ago we went to God’s house. Did you enjoy it? Did you love it? Were you content to spend a nice summer day listening to the word of God which may have pointed out our sins? Young people were you able to forego your pleasures willingly and participate in the pleasure of the church? Adults are you willing to tell your coworkers what you did on Sunday? David loved God’s dwelling place because he knew of its importance to his life. He knew that here he found his salvation and was willing to forsake all earthly pleasure to frequent the house of God. Let this be our joy in this life and know that this is just a foretaste of the Sabbath rest that will be ours in the life to come. Sing Psalter 69:4.
August 6 Read Acts 13:4-12
Psalm 26:9-10 Once again David returns to life with the wicked. He once again wants not to be found with them. He does this in the knowledge of their end namely Hell. David knows what will happen to those who will not take the name of Jehovah on their lips in praise. David knows what happens to those whose whole life is consumed with doing evil. He knows that God sees every man in every sin, and he does not want to be found with evildoers. We, too, must have this desire. Our actions must not be driven for our pleasure because then usually we will seek mischievous ways. Let us pray for grace to live lives pleasing to God and the desire to do so. Sing Psalter 69:5 and 70:4.
August 7 Read Psalm 26
Psalm 26:11-12 In the close of this Psalm David returns to making a request of God. He asked that he might be redeemed by God. He knows that of himself he is no better than the wicked of whom he spoke earlier. He knows that there is only one place for him. It is the place which has been made smooth by God’s grace. His place and our place is among the congregation of God’s people. There is no other place of refuge for the elect. His place and our place is doing the will of God in accordance to His Word and to His glory. Is this your desire, people of God? Sing Psalter 69:6-7 and 70:5.
August 8 Read Psalm 27
Psalm 27:1 This Psalm has long been a favorite of God’s people of any age. I have heard many an elderly saint refer to its most comforting words. In the first verse already we read of the confidence that every child of God may have because Jehovah is his light, salvation, and strength. Like Paul in Romans 8 David confesses that the elect saint need not fear anything or anyone. Sometimes we fear what may happen to us in some earthly situation. We do not need to fear anything at all. God will care for us. More importantly we need not fear any spiritual situation because the same God will care for us here as well. Do not be afraid, people of God, Jehovah will guard in this life and bring you safely into the life to come. Sing Psalter 71:1 and & 73:1.
August 9 Read II Timothy 1:12-18
Psalm 27:2-3 David becomes more specific in his confidence in his Savior. David spent much time in the early part of his life fleeing from enemies. Some of those enemies could be found in Israel while others were from outside. No matter what the occasion David could trust in God. We, too, can have the same faith. We can have it because God is God. He has promised to care for His people, and His promises are sure. Throughout history saints have undergone persecution. That will be our lot as the time of the second coming draws closer. We have but one concern that is to speak of the hope that lies within us. Everything else is in the sovereign hand of our King who reigns on high. He will keep us from one or one hundred enemies. Even if they kill our earthly body, our souls will sing with the church triumphant. Sing Psalter 71:2.
August 10 Read Isaiah 26:1-9
Psalm 27:4 This is a most appropriate verse to consider today. For today is the Lord’s day. This is the day in which we ready ourselves to spend the eternal Sabbath in heaven. Is this your one desire, people of God? What about you, young people? Is this day precious for what it is rather than what you wish to do today? Did you behold the beauty of the Lord even as God’s Word was proclaimed in church? Did you go to church with the purpose of inquiring about the will of God in His house? Are we seeking the things of Jehovah today rather that our earthly pleasures? Maybe another look at the Heidelberg Catechism’s exposition of the Fourth Commandment would do us all good. We can only trust in our God when we seek the beauty of holiness in His house. Sing Psalter 71:3.
August 11 Read Zechariah 9:9-17
Psalm 27:5 David knows how he will be victorious over those who hate him. He knows that God will take him and hide him in His presence. David will not win a huge military victory over his spiritual enemies. Those victories were only pictures of the victory that will come at his King’s hand. His victory and ours is found at the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Only there will the child of God win the victory that will last forever. It is only in the shadow of the cross that we can find any real refuge from our spiritual enemy Satan. We must never hope to win any earthly victory but must be content to rest in the arms of Jesus. Sing Psalter 71:4.
August 12 Read Revelation 5:1-14
Psalm 27:5-6 I have included verse five with today’s verse so that we can see the cause for our rejoicing. After seeing the victory won by Christ, the child of God wishes to express his gratitude for his deliverance from Satan. David says that he will go to the house of God and sing the songs of joy given to him by God. Is this our reaction? Do we wish to sing? Do we wish to sing songs which only speak about God and his greatness? There are many songs in today’s world which seem to be Christian. But do they speak of God’s glory or man’s glory? Do they give man some credit for a victory over sin? These are not the songs which will show true gratitude for salvation. Look for the songs inspired by the Holy Spirit and sing those songs in gratitude for deliverance from sin. This will be a true sacrifice of joy! Sing Psalter 71:5.
August 13 Read John 15:1-10
Psalm 27:7-8 After expressing his confidence in God, David breaks into prayer. He prays that God will hear him at all times. He does this not because he lacks the needed confidence, but because he knows that he must be continually praying for deliverance. Every day we must lift our hearts in prayer to God. He has commanded this as we see in verse eight, and we must seek His face in obedience. Prayer is the means by which we can take our needs to our heavenly Father. We can pray knowing the God has answered saints in the past and cared for them. Our prayers must be cries of need. They cannot be the boasting words of the Pharisee. They cannot be the disrespectful words of many today. Our prayers must arise from our hearts asking for only things that are acceptable to His will and prayed in the name of Christ. Sing Psalter 72:1, 73:2, and 74:1-2.
August 14 Read Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 27:9-10 Children and young people, the worst thing that maybe you can think of would be that your parents would abandon you. I do not mean that God takes them from you in death, but rather that they just leave your house and leave you to whatever happens. This is what David considers in today’s verse. He does this so that he can teach us more about God and His love for the elect. There is nothing that we can do which would cause our heavenly Father to forsake us. We deserve that you know. We sin daily against Him. We do not deserve the least of the benefits that He gives us. But we have the confidence that He will never leave us; He will always be at our side guiding and comforting us. Sing Psalter 72:2, 73:3-4, and 74:3-4.
August 15 Read John 16:1-13
Psalm 27:11-12 David realizes that his only deliverance will be through the knowledge of his deliverer. Therefore he asks of God for that knowledge. He knows that he can only receive it through God’s teaching. David also knows that the knowledge will lead him in a plain path that is a path with one goal. That goal is the glory of God. Young people, many of you will be gathering for our Protestant Reformed Young Peoples convention. What is your goal? Will you ask God to lead you in a plain path? School will be starting soon. What is our goal in the upcoming school year? Will we seek the knowledge of our God and not our glory or pleasure? It is only through such knowledge that we can overcome sin and Satan. Sing Psalter 72:3.