The Song of Zion
“A Psalter–Psalm Devotional of Praise to Our Sovereign Covenant God”
August 16 Read Psalm 27
Psalm 27:13-14 People of God do you have the faith to wait upon Jehovah? In this world in which we want instant gratification of our desires do we know how to wait with patience on God’s way? David said he would never have made it except that he believed in God’s goodness. He knew that his victory was not on this earth because this is not the land of the living but is the valley of the shadow of death. David also knew that the courage he needed came not from his heart but from the hand of God—waiting upon God. What a hard thing to do—w aiting upon God. What a blessed thought! Let us wait with patience upon Jehovah who cares for us throughout all our life. Sing Psalter 73:5-6.
August 17 Read Psalm 28
Psalm 28:1-2 David begins this Psalm with prayer. He opens by calling God his rock. If you have been exploring this summer, you may have come across some interesting rocks or rock formations. One fact about these wonders of creation is that your parents and grandparents could have seen them and your children and grandchildren could see them yet if they are not moved or destroyed by man. Rock stands for a long time. But yet because rock can erode, it is only an earthly picture of our heavenly God. We like David can pray to Him with the assurance that He will not be silent toward us. David also confesses that God is a heavenly God. We must pray to Him as such. We may never bring Him down to our level because He is not earthly. Sing Psalter 75:1-2.
August 18 Read Ecclesiastes 8-14
Psalm 28:3-5 The wicked have a certain end. Of this David is sure. David also knows that his human nature would cause him to attain the wicked’s end if it were not for the grace of God. He passed this knowledge unto his son who wrote the reading for today. Do we like Solomon understand that God will have us give an account for every work that we do? David knew sin, and we know sin as well. Daily we must pray for the needed grace to deliver us from sin and hell. Make that your prayer today. Sing Psalter 75:3.
August 19 Read Micah 7:1-7
Psalm 28:6 The word blessed means “to speak well of”. It is hard to imagine that we can bless God. But we must because He is the blessed One Who blesses us. Our blessing God is an expression of gratitude for our salvation. David had experienced the answer to his prayer of verses 1-5. He now breaks out in joy for that answer. God’s answer may not always be what we wish to hear, but God’s answer will always be good for us as we confess by saying Romans 8:28.(“And we know that all things work for good to them that love God…”) Sing Psalter 75:4.
August 20 Read I Timothy 4:1-11
Psalm 28:7 David continues his expression of joy for God’s answer to prayer with a confession of faith. Young people who are contemplating making a public confession of faith before the church, can you make this confession of faith daily? Do you confess by your words and deeds that God is your strength and shield and that it is He that helps you throughout life? You must live your confession daily before men. You must know and be able to sing the songs of Zion in any situation. We read that “out of the heart are the issues of life”. Does your heart rejoice because God makes it glad? If it does that, thank Him often and praise His name whose mercy endureth forever. Sing Psalter 75:5
August 21 Read Psalm 28
Psalm 28:8-9 David’s confession of faith which started out personal now becomes a confession for the church. Not only does he confess that Jehovah is his strength, but he also confesses that He is the strength for all those who have been chosen from eternity to be the people of God. David now prays for the salvation of all of God’s people. Is this your prayer, people of God? Is this your desire? Do you wish the communion of saints with all the saints in heaven? Do you show that by your actions on this earth? How about you, children and young people, what are your attitudes to those children and young people whom GOD has placed around you? Do you love every one of them? If you do, pray for them; if you do not, pray that God will give you the grace to love all the saints. Sing Psalter 75:6.
August 22 Read Psalm 29
Psalm 29:1-2 There are four commands in these two verses. Three of them are the same, and the fourth has the same idea. We are called to give unto the Lord. While this giving does not specifically mention offerings the idea is there, I believe. First of all David makes it clear that the mighty are to give unto God. This does not exclude the lowly but it specifically includes the mighty. Who are these mighty? They are anyone God has endowed with gifts in this life. It may be riches, intellect, gifts in the church, or any other gift God has given us in an extra measure. What are we to give? We are to give to God the glory due to His name. This may be by singing, by offerings, by doing our work to his glory, or by doing anything else to His honor. The last command is more specific. We are to worship Jehovah. The word worship means “to bow the knee toward”. We must bow in humble adoration toward God. Let us think about this as we look toward the Lord’s Day. Sing Psalter 76:1.
August 23 Read Isaiah 35
Psalm 29:3-5 The next three verses tells us something of whom we worship. Each of these verses mentions the voice of Jehovah and its majesty. Who among us cannot remember someone whose voice has a nice timber to it. When God speaks however, something happens! Something is moved or is broken. He speaks and a mighty rushing wind causes an effect on the earth. He speaks and war breaks out in the nations. It is to that voice that we must bow in worship to our heavenly Father. God speaks in many ways. Are we listening to His voice? Do we see what is happening in the world around us? Are we taking notice of what happens? God is speaking. Are we listening? Sing Psalter 76:2.
August 24 Read Revelation 8:1-13
Psalm 29:6-9 These four verses continue the thought of the previous three. It speaks of the effects caused by Jehovah’s voice. These effects are far encompassing. Even the birth of the animals are controlled by his voice. His voice causes things to happen in the deepest forest. David is teaching us about the omnipresence of our God. Do we confess this attribute of His? Are we conscious that each action is caused by a God who can speak and it comes to pass? What is our reaction to the voice of Jehovah? The last part of verse nine tells us what it should be. We must speak of His glory concerning all that happens on this earth. This is hard to do sometimes. We do not want to give glory to God for a wild storm. We want to take credit for our accomplishments. We must not do that. We must give God the glory for all things are His and are under the control of His majestic voice! Sing Psalter 76:3.
August 25 Read Psalm 29
Psalm 29:10-11 In closing this Psalm, David tells us that our mighty God is gracious to His people. Because He is our king, He rules us by His sovereign power. We need not worry about what may happen. He will care for us. He gives to us the strength which sustains us in any circumstance. Strength in time of our need is His gracious gift to His people. He also blesses us with peace. We can have peace on this earth even when it is shaking around us. Why? Because it is Jehovah’s voice which causes it to shake. We will have peace in heaven when He takes us through death or the second coming of Christ. This is a blessed peace. Thanks be to God! Sing Psalter 76:4.
August 26 Read Psalm 30
Psalm 30:1-2 The title to this Psalm gives to us the information of David’s devotion to God. Even though he was dedicating his own house he gives to God glory. He realizes his ascent to being king of Israel was not his own doing but the Lord’s. He knows that if it were not for Jehovah’s help he would have been defeated by his enemies. Is this our reaction to success in this life? Do we give God all the credit, or are we like Nebuchadnezzar saying, “Is this not great Babylon that I have built…?” David also confesses his sin on such an occasion. This, too, must be our prayer in all that we do. Our sins rise up against us daily; only God can take them away. Give to us a humble heart O Lord in the midst of this world. Sing Psalter 77:1 and 78:1.
August 27 Read Luke 23:32-43
Psalm 30:3-4 Facing death the elect thief on the cross found forgiveness in Christ. He was assured that he would spend eternity in heaven. David had this confidence as well. He knew that death was not the end for him. He knew that there was a better life awaiting him. Oh, he could not know it as we do with our full revelation of Scripture. He reminds the church that the redeemed have a reason to sing. They can sing because they are the redeemed. Their song must be the thanksgiving for the holiness of God. The reprobate cannot sing with this assurance. Their singing just sends them further and further into hell. We must sing often, and we must sing only songs which glorify God for our salvation. Sing Psalter 77:2 and 78:2.
August 28 Read Revelation 21:1-7
Psalm 30:5-6 The reason for our singing can be found in verse five. We sing because our God is full of lovingkindness. We sing because of his grace which is found in the word favor in verse five. We may have sorrows in this life. Over and over Scripture testifies of the afflictions of the righteous. But when the long night of life on this earth is past, joy comes with our entrance into heaven. God inspired David to write these words. David had a glimpse of the glory that would be his and ours. He realized that in all his riches he had nothing without God. Is this our confession? Do we live that confession? Or are we like the rich fool? Think about it. Pray about it. Live your confession. Sing Psalter 78:3.
August 29 Read Acts 10:1-8
Psalm 30:7-8 David continues in this prayer to address the greatness of God. Like Cornelius he knew that prayer was the way to address God with his concerns. David realized that at times because of his sins, God’s favor was taken from him. David asked for deliverance and like Cornelius his prayers were answered. The word supplication means an asking. We must ask God for the things he has promised to give us. We ask them not because God wants to make us beg, but rather we ask because it is a means of thankfulness to enter into prayer. It is only unto God to whom we must and can go in time of trouble. Let us bow on our knees in prayer often asking Him for those blessing He is pleased to give us. Sing Psalter 77:3 and 79:1.
August 30 Read Luke 18:1-8
Psalm 30:9-10 By way of the parable which we read today, Christ taught his people to pray often. He taught them that God was more righteous than any earthly judge and would answer our prayers in His time. David knew that truth as well. David, like Moses, called upon God’s promise of eternal life as he prayed for help. He knew that only in the way of salvation from sin would he find peace with God. He wanted that peace. Is this our desire? Do we want the peace that forgiveness from sin brings? Do we call on God often for such peace? Pray, people of God, and pray often for that peace. Sing Psalter 77:4 and 79:2
August 31 Read Psalm 30
Psalm 30:11-12 David’s prayer is finished with words of joy. He has gone through God-ordained afflictions, and now he participates in God-provided joy. Through the way of sin’s forgiveness, David has come to a time of gladness. But that gladness has one object. That object is, of course, to praise his redeemer’s name. He can not be silent. He cannot attend the congregation of elect in the temple and just watch. No, David must break forth into singing in gratitude for salvation from his sins. Are you planning to sing with your whole being in church today, people of God? Young people, what are your doing during the songs? Are you lifting your voices in glad adoration of your Savior? If you have trouble opening your mouth in church, imagine what it would be like not to have the opportunity in hell. Singing is the God-commanded way of thankfulness for the believer. Therefore let us sing and give praise to His Holy Name whose mercies endure forever! Sing Psalter 77:5 and 79:3.
Devotional by John Huizenga
Watching Daily At My Gates
The Song of Zion
“A Psalter–Psalm Devotional of Praise to Our Sovereign Covenant God”
Psalm 31 “This song of mingled measures and alternate strains of grief and woe was intended for public singing, and thus a deathblow is given to the notion that nothing but praise should be sung.” Spurgeon
September 1 Read Psalm 31:1 & Psalter 80:1
We can not know the great power and love of our sovereign covenant God if we don’t know the greatness of our sins and miseries. Once again we find David in the troubles and distresses of this life which lead to God through Christ. Are you distressed with family troubles, great loss, money problems, or discontent with your lot in life? Do these things weaken your faith and leave you miserable? Does it seem as though the ungodly neighbor is more happy and content than you? May God so work in your heart by the Spirit that you turn to God with these words of David every day as you walk as a child of God with your creator and redeemer. Shame is experienced when we are found wandering away from God in pursuit of our own self fulfillment and lust. God delivers His people from shame in “His righteousness,” i.e., His covenant faithfulness in which He never departs from His eternal plan to save. Sing the Psalter.
September 2 Read Psalm 31:2 & Psalter 80:2; 82:1
David uses language that demonstrates familiarity with God. He knows God as a Friend. He knows God is exalted infinitely above him, yet he does not hesitate to request that God as it were, stoop down and listen to his plea like a child to his father. He prays that God would be to him a rock and a house. God is often called a rock in the Psalms, but we need to experience what this means. David wants to experience security and contentment in God. Fear has taken hold of him; he is weak and unable to go on. Every one of us has reason for such distress when we realize how far short we fall in our love and obedience to God. Meditate today upon your sins and pray this prayer of David. Sing the Psalter.
September 3 Read Psalm 31:3, 4 & Psalter 80:3; 82:2
Notice the titles of the two Psalters from which we are singing: “God Our Resort in Trouble” & “Security in God.” These titles reflect the theme of the first 18 verses of Psalm 31 and our devotions through the next week. We will see how David’s persistent request in time of need is turned into praise of God’s goodness. While seeking security in God, David brings before God various details and truths about his covenant life with God. In the verses we consider today David recalls the truth that God is his rock and fortress. There are many things that we know about God also, but that does not mean our feelings and life reflect this knowledge. We need to pray to God as we know Him, and seek the work of God in our heart to open our eyes to Him. God is pleased to use the meditations of His people to work assurance of salvation and covenant fellowship. Sing the Psalter.
September 4 Read Psalm 31:5 & Psalter 80:4
Do you give over your life to Jehovah? This is something you must do continually. By nature we easily imagine that success in school, work, dating, friends, or marriage depends upon our own abilities and we have no need of help from the outside. Though one may prosper in earthly things, one really has not begun to live until he commends his life to God in all things. It is not enough to depend upon our own abilities until we fail, and then, as a last resort, hand over our messed up life to God. It is sometimes easier to commit our life to God after we have utterly failed and can do nothing else, but a godly walk requires that we learn to commend our lives each moment of the day. Knowing that God has washed away our sins, we know that the afflictions we face will draw us near to God, we know that God will bring a suitable marriage partner too in the time appointed or give grace to live as a single. Above all when we commend our lives daily, we will be ready to commend our life to God in death. Sing the Psalter.
September 5 Read Psalm 31:6, 7 & Psalter 80:5
Ungodly men thrive on lies as they seek to advance themselves in life. We all face the great temptation to present a false image of ourselves to gain attention and friends. Are you attracted to the popular people who in reality are putting on a big show? Many will say they want to be friends with people who are honest and true, but they will not seek God and friends who love God in whom alone is truth. These people love the false. The child of God hates those who love lying vanities. Separate yourselves from the crowd that hovers around the deadly fumes of lying vanities and put your trust in the Lord. Meditate upon His word. Have fellowship with His people. Stamp out the fires of lying when it appears in your life and friends. In God and His mercy you will find happiness and joy. Sing the Psalter.
September 6 Psalm 31:7, 8 & Psalter 80:6
Did you find happiness and joy in God’s mercy yesterday? By nature each one of us has been wooed by Satan, forsaken God, and boarded the train headed for the concentration camp of Satan—hell. By nature our pride lifts us up so that we are willing to forsake the good purpose of God for us in favor of our own idea of happiness in the thrills of this world. An enemy has never had better hold of his captives than the devil with man. Man has no hope of escaping by himself, because he does not want to escape and is even dead in sin and powerless to escape should he want to. Neither does God have any obligation to rescue man. God is perfectly just in sending us with haste to eternal damnation. This truth is gloomy and terrifying indeed. The only hope is God’s mercy; His desire to deliver and reveal His glory and power in doing so. He comes in the power of His Spirit to open our eyes and make us alive to see our plight. Do you see? Sing the Psalter.
September 7 Psalm 31:9, 10 and Psalter 80:7
Who is God? We must all have a ready and accurate answer. So many people who may even call themselves Christians think of God as a being who is more powerful than the individual man and influences man, but does not have sovereign control and leaves the destiny of man in a large degree to man himself. The role of Jesus in salvation is minimized to his being a good example. Their concept of salvation is based on man’s ability to direct the affairs of the world. But God Himself makes very clear what He wants man to know. God is the one who has eternally decreed that man fall into the rebellion and death from which He would save. Who is God? He is the Creator of all things, and known by the children of God from day to day as the One who is constantly delivering us from our guilt and shame. He is our Savior. Sing the Psalter “God Our Resort in Trouble.”
September 8 Read Psalm 31:11-13 and Psalter 80:8
The way in which we walk in covenant friendship with God is not bustling with friends who want to include you in their fun all the time. God often makes our way lonely from an earthly point of view in order to impress upon us the richness of friendship with God. David is crushed under the burden of his sin and afflictions and human companions have forsaken him. Jesus experienced dismay of friends who turned away when the disciples fled and Peter denied him. Job’s friends turned against him when they came with their criticisms. Though earthly friends are important, God uses hard times to separate us from ungodly friends and strengthen our bond with Christ who never forsakes His own. Sing the Psalter.
September 9 Read Psalm 31:14, 15 and Psalter 80:9
“My times are in thy hand” sang David. These words are a most beautiful expression of God’s providence, a doctrine cherished by every believer and strongly defended by the Reformers in the Canon’s of Dordt, Fifth Head of Doctrine. God upholds every sparrow, He sends hurricanes and tornadoes, He maintains life of every form, and every believer confesses that every aspect of his or her life is in the hand of God. There are no “accidents” that just happen by cold chance. Statistics may determine your chance of getting hit by lightning or living to be 100, but statistics only reveal the constant work of God in and through the means He has established to work out His eternal plan. God is intently playing the instrument of your life in the grand orchestra of the universe for His glory and your salvation. Submit to God and pray that He will show you the joy of salvation. Sing the Psalter.
September 10 Read Psalm 31:15, 16 and Psalter 80:10
“Make thy face to shine upon thy servant,” sang David, another beautiful desire placed by God in the hearts of His children. This desire and its fulfillment is the fruit of “serious repentance” as we read in the Canons, Fifth Head Article 5. Speaking of the times when the saints fall into sin, we read in the Canons, “By such enormous sins, however, they very highly offend God, incur a deadly guilt, grieve the Holy Spirit, interrupt the exercise of faith, very grievously wound their consciences, and sometimes lose the sense of God’s favor, for a time, until on their returning into the right way of serious repentance, the light of God’s fatherly countenance again shines upon them.” Take the time now or sometime today to meditate upon the Fifth Head of the Canons and Rejection of Errors in the back of your Psalter. Sing the Psalter.
September 11 Read Psalm 31:17 and Psalter 80:11
Shame overwhelms when the hope which we defend and upon which we govern our actions and words and direct our entire life, is shattered and we stand exposed and naked to all who laugh at our foolishness. We hope in God who has revealed Himself and the way of salvation in His Word. We struggle our whole life to flee the life of sin which God forbids but the world enjoys. We strive to crucify our pride and give God all the glory. We believe God’s promise of life with Him in heavenly glory after death. The world laughs and says, “This life is all there is, get all you can now or you will forever miss out on life.” God gives us a taste of heavenly bliss now through the preaching of His Word and a life of obedience, but when times of doubt and sin overwhelm, the fear of shame may be strong. The world’s trust in science often challenges our hope in order to bring us to shame. We can be certain that God’s work will never come to naught. May we ever call upon God that we may never be ashamed. Sing the Psalter.
September 12 Read Psalm 31:18 and Psalter 80:12
Lying lips surrounded David with their incessant blather, they surrounded Christ as he taught in the cities and died on the cross, and they surround us today. The discontented factory worker spews forth vulgarities in every sentence, the scientist relentlessly scours God from every discovery, the “theologians” never give up trying to make myths of God’s Word. God speaks in all creation and from the pulpit “I AM” and man responds “He is not, I am.” Lying lips; do you hear them and cry out to God that He silence them, or are you listening to them with indifference or even interest? Listen for lying lips today and pray each time you hear them, “Let the lying lips be put to silence.” Watch your own lips too that they join not in the grievous speech against the righteous. Sing the Psalter.
September 13 Read Psalm 31:19 and Psalter 81:1
The new Psalter number sets forth the tones of praise which always follow the cries of God’s people in distress. God answered David’s prayer in such a way that David saw the riches of God’s goodness. Sin–Deliverance–Gratitude. This is the pattern of the Heidelberg Catechism. This is the pattern of the Psalms. This is the pattern of life. The better we know this pattern, the closer will be our walk with God. God is pleased to show us the riches of His goodness in the way of the troubles and distress of life which He sends. When you find yourself walking the valley of the shadow of death, you know what to do: pour out your heart to God, read His word, listen to His word in church. He will reveal to you something that is not revealed to the ungodly. He will reveal not only that He is good in himself, but also the effect of His goodness, i.e. the salvation wrought by Christ and tasted here on earth. Sing the Psalter.
September 14 Read Psalm 31:20 and Psalter 81:2
What are the riches of God’s goodness? He hides us in the secret of His presence. The idea here is that He gives His people a share in His own hidden life. He brings them into covenant friendship; into the sphere of His fellowship, a region where the brightness of His glory shines from His face in Christ, a region into which the ungodly are unable to go. Presently we find this secret sphere of God’s presence in the hearing of God’s Word which is wisdom to God’s people but foolishness to the ungodly. In this sphere we have peace which can never be quenched by the pride of man and the strife of tongues. Do you long for the day when we enter into eternal life with God, being forever in His presence? Seek the shelter of God’s grace whenever the pride of man and the strife of tongues penetrate your life. Sing the Psalter.
September 15 Read Psalm 31:21, 22 and Psalter 81:3
These verses tell us about another of God’s riches—His marvelous kindness. In the Psalter we sing, “His love beyond compare.” David came to know the love of God through the experience of distress. God’s love is at the heart of all the riches of His goodness. When David thought about the goodness of God, he was reminded of his weakness. Even though he had felt that he had failed and was cut off from before God’s eyes, God did not forsake him. God loves his elect people and will never forsake them. Though we often speak words of foolishness in our haste and weak faith, God hears us in Christ. Let us also bless Jehovah for his steadfast covenant love. Sing the Psalter.
September 16 Read Psalm 31:23, 24 and Psalter 81:4
At the close of this Psalm, David exhorts the saints to love Jehovah and be of good courage. What a marvelous conclusion to a Psalm which began with sorrow and shame. God sovereignly works this love in our heart by means of sin and deliverance. We do not love God blindly; we love in faith knowing all that God has done for us. We read in 1John 4:19, “We love him, because he first loved us.” David recognizes the love of God in the doctrine of God’s providence. God preserves those whom He has cleansed in Christ. In preserving His people, God rewards the proud doers with their just destruction. Thus a clear knowledge of the doctrine of reprobation which serves the doctrines of election and preservation is necessary for our love for God. May you also find courage in the wonderful works of God. Sing the Psalter.
September 17 Read Psalm 32:1, 2 and Psalter 83:1
Psalm 1 speaks of blessedness in a godly walk, and the Psalm we begin testifies of a blessedness that comes after being forgiven an ungodly walk. The sin of David which was covered was his sin with Bathsheba and of killing Uriah. David wrote Psalm 51 before he confesses his sin and experienced terrible guilt, but he wrote this Psalm after the heavy burden was lifted from his shoulders. God uses this Psalm in Romans 4:6-7 to teach us that the great blessedness experienced by David comes to the child of God in the way of knowing the doctrine of justification by faith alone and not of our own works. This was a favorite Psalm for Augustine who also was delivered of great sin. Martin Luther also expressed his great delight and peace found in the doctrine of justification by faith alone. May you also know the happiness of forgiveness by God in this day. Sing the Psalter.
September 18 Read Psalm 32:3-5 and Psalter 83:2
Guilty silence, what a miserable condition. We sin against someone, we know it, but we are too proud to admit it. We feign joy and peace, we may even speak and talk freely with the one against whom we have sinned, but a wall stands between us and true fellowship is virtually silent. Meanwhile inside we are being ripped violently apart. Though outwardly silent about his guilt, David roared inside and his strength was wasted; all because he was proud and wanted to live in his sin. Left to ourselves, our pride would bring us to death. In grace God sent Nathan the prophet to bring the sharp word of God which cut his festering sore and let the poison of his unconfessed sin drain out. Confession of sin is the only way to experiencing the blessed forgiveness of God. Pray that God would crush our pride and open our hearts to confession of sin. Sing the Psalter.
September 19 Read Psalm 32:6, 7 and Psalter 83:3
The child of God who desires covenant fellowship with God must never procrastinate to enter into that fellowship in all its fullness. David’s misery only increased when he refrained from seeking God’s forgiveness. It is very foolish to seek your own pleasure while you are healthy and strong and wait until you are in desperate need before seeking God. God is near right now as you meditate upon this portion of God’s word. He is near in the preaching. May God open our eyes to see the great blessedness we receive when we confess our sins immediately. God saves His people by means of His presence in the preaching of His Word. Woe is he from whom God removes the preaching of His Word. Seek Him diligently now while He may be found. Sing the Psalter.
September 20 Read Psalm 32:8, 9 and Psalter 84:1
The doctrines of sovereign grace are often criticized as doctrines which force men to obey God so that men become machines and not willing joyful followers of Christ. God’s sovereign power over us, however, works in such a way that we are given a new heart and made willing followers of Christ. Yet the old man of sin remains to make us sluggish and ignorant. Except God constantly and graciously guide and teach us, we would become ignorant and stubborn like a mule. Let us be diligent to study God’s word that we might not be ignorant of God’s marvelous grace. We can not expect to be found in heaven when we wander in beastly ignorance and indifference to the preaching of God’s word. Sing the Psalter.
September 21 Read Psalm 32:10, 11 and Psalter 84:2
Under God’s gracious guidance, His mercy shall compass us about. This means that when we walk in obedience to God through the trials in our lives, God will always be present and ready to lift us out of our miseries. Don’t imagine that a godly walk, due to the demands of God which are contrary to our sinful nature, is a way of greater sorrow than a walk in our own sinful desires. We have sorrow because we know our sin, but when we strive to walk in obedience, we will always be near unto God’s word, and the consciousness of God’s mercy will quickly restore the joy of our heart when we fall. The ungodly try to cover up sorrow with more pleasure. They may appear happy, but it is only a mask. Those who are cleansed in the blood of Christ have every reason to rejoice. May this be a day of joy for you. Sing the Psalter.
September 22 Read Psalm 33:1-3 and Psalter 85:1
Praise is comely, i.e. beautiful and suitable for the righteous. You and I could do nothing better than praise Jehovah. How must we praise God? With our voice moved by our love for God. Musical instruments in themselves do not praise God except they help train your voice to lift up the best music possible. Our love for God, not music, must inspire us to sing. Highest praise comes from the lips of the godly saint who sings from the heart without the aid of musical instruments. Sing as loudly as you can without distorting the quality of your voice. Sing a new song. A new song does not mean a different song, but it is a song sung with zeal that is newly inspired by a deeper knowledge of God. Take the time to learn the music of this Psalter and so meditate upon the words that you can sing it joyfully from the heart without musical accompaniment.
September 23 Read Psalm 33:4, 5 and Psalter 85:2
We sing praises to Jehovah because His goodness fills the earth. The word of Jehovah is in the Bible, and also includes the entire decree of God’s counsel according to which He created all things and governs them for the salvation of His people. In all of His words and works, God is good. We live in a world in which lying, pain, hate, and distress bring sadness and death, but God loves truth and lives in eternal bliss. All the scientific wonders and history of the earth reveal His goodness. Even sin and its terrible effects on the world reveal God’s goodness because it is the means whereby God reveals the fullness of His grace to His people. We have much reason to praise God. Show forth His praise as you sing the Psalter.
September 24 Read Psalm 33:6, 7 and Psalter 85:3
We sing praise to Jehovah because He has created all the wonders of this world and the universe. The Word of God is Christ (John 1) and His Breath often refers to the Holy Spirit. Thus we praise the triune God. The very existence of every atom and the energy and life within the living creature is upheld each moment by God. He spoke and the massive stars and galaxies of the universe came into existence. If you stand by an ocean you can see the curve of the earth and it appears as though the water is in a big pile. God holds the water in place by the mysterious force of gravity which He has created and upholds every moment of the day. We must remember that God continues to uphold the creation which He created for this too is a reason to sing praise to our God. Sing the Psalter.
September 25 Read Psalm 33:8-9 and Psalter 86:1
This Psalm of praise began with an exhortation to praise God and gave reason for praise in the goodness of God and the wonder of creation and preservation of that creation. In the section covered by Psalter 86 everyone in the world is exhorted to stand in awe of and fear God for His providence and grace toward His people. The God who gathers His people to be with Him in heaven has created the world to accomplish this purpose. Because the ungodly hate this fact and seek ever to erase it from their minds, God declares it in His word so that they are unable to hide from God. The doctrine of providence causes the ungodly to tremble, but makes the godly lift up their hearts in praise. Do you find peace and joy in the doctrine of God’s providence? Meditate upon this doctrine today and sing the Psalm.
September 26 Read Psalm 33:10, 11 and Psalter 86:2
It is very common today to find people who confess faith in God and His salvation in Christ, but deny that His will and plan for them and the world never changes. They do this because they want man to have some control. Some who see the clear language of God’s sovereignty in Scripture say God sovereignly decided in His counsel to give man a will that is free to choose Christ if he wants. But God makes it plain that even though man has a will and nations make counsel to do this or that, it means nothing as far as the goal and purpose of man is concerned. God’s plan, His eternal and sovereign good pleasure, His counsel according to which He has created all things and governs them stands certain forever. Nothing which He has created will interfere and change it. Blessed are we who belong to God! Sing the Psalter.
September 27 Read Psalm 33:12 and Psalter 86:3
Indeed the eternal counsel of God is reason for praise! We can be at peace knowing that everything is in God’s hands. The world is so big and so many things are happening every day. We watch developments in the nations and peoples of the world, we stand helpless when denominations of churches slip into apostasy, we fear the power of the world to influence our churches and persecute the faithful. But God is in control of every event and heart of man in the world. Woe is he whose God is not Jehovah, whose god is evolution and the “forces of nature,” whose god is man. But we belong to the God who created all things and governs all things for our salvation and to His glory. Blessed indeed are we when we remain near unto Him. Sing the Psalter.
September 28 Read Psalm 33:13-15 and Psalter 87:1
The psalmist sets forth yet another reason to praise God: His omniscience and omnipresence, doctrines which comfort God’s people in the midst of an ungodly world. Jehovah is exalted above all that is created and looks down upon man which he has placed on earth to care for the earth and live in obedience to Him in love. He gave to man a mind and body suited for His service. But what does He see? We know that God is angry with man who has forsaken Jehovah and serves himself in pride and rebellion. Remember, God is also watching your every move. What does God see when he looks at you and considers your works? Does he see a humble and repentant sinner who hates his sin? Does he see one who seeks a refuge in Christ? Do not look to man for your salvation, come to Christ alone that your works may be seen in Him. Sing the Psalter.
September 29 Read Psalm 33:16-19 and Psalter 87:2
Does not a king depend upon his army to deliver the kingdom from the invading enemy? Does not a man depend upon his strength to fight off the foe? Would not a horse be invaluable to escape from danger? Human strength and physical power may preserve earthly life for a time, but the preservation of life in time itself only brings every man closer to death. Forget earthly strength. Behold, look over here, look at Jehovah who rules over all. His eye is on those that fear Him and hope in His mercy. His goal and His aim in all things is His glory in their salvation. Devote all your attention to that which is important: a right knowledge of God and His counsel. He is gathering His church. Are you busy in that work? Go to God in prayer and ask how He might use you and show you His great salvation. Sing the Psalter.
September 30 Read Psalm 33:20-22 and Psalter 87:3
Above all things, the child of God seeks God’s mercy. All the virtues and truths about God’s glory, righteousness, power, and providence bring fear to the sinner apart from the assurance of God’s mercy revealed in Christ. It is important that we know God as our help and shield. It is important to know God and put our trust in Him. In all our spiritual growing and hearing God’s word, we must always pray, “Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.” Our hope is rooted in our faith which is given to us by God. Our hope grows as we grow in our knowledge of God. We must seek to know God’s mercy revealed to us in Christ with every particle of hope that we have. Then we live in peace, our heart shall rejoice, and we will render the praise due unto Him. Sing the Psalter.
Devotional by John Huizenga
Watching Daily At My Gates
The Song of Zion
“A Psalter–Psalm Devotional of Praise to Our Sovereign Covenant God”
Psalm 34-36 Psalter Numbers 90-94
Note: Psalm 34 is an acrostic Psalm, meaning that each verse in the Hebrew language began with the next letter of the alphabet. This made it easier to memorize the psalm.
October 1 Read Psalm 34; 1 Samuel 21:10–22:2 and the titles of Psalters 88-91
Each day we do foolish things in the weakness of our faith; each day the grace of God toward us is revealed even more. David wrote Psalm 34 after the terrifying experience of being taken before Abimelech (“Father King”) Achish. He had put his trust in the strength of a wicked king instead of God and nearly perished because of it. David escaped by his quick thinking and willingness to degrade himself, but in the Psalm he acknowledges God as his sole deliverer. He knew he had been foolish, but he does not parade his sins before others. Rather, he dwells on the grace and power of God to deliver him and instructs us to put our trust in God always. Pray for the grace which strengthens us to flee from the use of our own wisdom for our glory, and may we seek to give God all the glory. Sing the Psalter.
October 2 Read Psalm 34:1, 2; Psalter 90:1; 2 Cor 10:12-18; 1 Cor. 1:28-31; Jer. 9:23, 24
Sinful man loves more than anything to boast about himself. Listen to children on the playground, listen to the poor, listen to the wealthy businessmen making new acquaintances, they are all ready to “one up” the other. Repentance and conversion by the grace of God turns us around to face the other direction. The new man in Christ seeks to boast not in himself, but in another, i.e. God. To boast in another is not at all what we want to do by nature. Do you boast in the LORD? It does not mean that we boast about how well we memorize Scripture, understand intricate doctrine, or all the happiness and material success God gives to us. Proper boasting in the LORD is always a very humbling experience. When we boast in the LORD, we confess we are saved by grace alone. We boast in our knowledge of God—a knowledge of our salvation from death by “the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.” Sing the Psalter.
October 3 Read Psalm 34:1-4; Psalter 88:1 & 90:2;
Boasting in yourself will drive friends away; boasting in God brings unity among believers. After being delivered from Achish, David fled to the cave of Adullam and all who were in distress came unto him and David became a captain over them. As they gathered around him in the dark cave, David met their downcast eyes with a wonderful call to praise and magnify God together. We are united together in Christ. Christ suffered the wrath of God under the burden of our sins, He cried unto Jehovah and God delivered Him from all His fears. Each day we must read God’s Word and hear the gospel. We must hear Christ say, “O magnify Jehovah with me.” Pray that God may show you the wonder of His grace each day so that you desire to be with God’s people in church to sing praises to God. Sing the Psalter.
October 4 Read Psalm 34:5-6 & Psalter 90:3; Isaiah 60:1-5
You can be sure that the tired men listening to David in the cave had gloom in their face. David’s face was beaming, and God would use him to make the faces of his men shine too. All hope must be found in God alone. Men of old looked unto God and His glory was reflected in them. Isaiah points us to Christ who brings light that never fades to every believer. Did you wake up this morning with gloom on your face? Are you distressed? Turn away from the troubles and trials of this life and look to God. He is working all things for your salvation and true knowledge of Him. By nature we are dead in sin and worthy of eternal hell, but God in his lovingkindness has chosen His people to eternal life. May the light of God’s glory in Christ drive away the gloom from your face today. Sing the Psalter.
October 5 Read Psalm 34:7, 8 & Psalter 88:2, & 90:4; 2 Kings 6:15-17
David continues to encourage his men with the word of God as they hide with him in the cave. People of God, are you hiding in a cave from those who threaten you? Turn to God’s Word. Don’t gulp down sections without trying to understand and taste them. Savor God’s Word. Distinguish its different flavors. Pray that your eyes may be enlightened as Jonathan was with a taste of honey. Pray that you may see the Angel of Jehovah encamped round about you. Elisha and his servant saw the Angel of Jehovah in the form of flaming chariots all around. Christ sends His Spirit to surround us with His protecting presence. As a shepherd He protects every one of His sheep and will bring them to glory. Pray to God that you might taste and see the goodness of God and be strengthened in courage for today. Sing the Psalter.
October 6 Read Psalm 34:9, 10 & Psalter 90:5 & 88:3; Isaiah 55
If you seek money, you will never have enough. If you seek health, you will never be healthy enough. If you seek an attractive appearance, you will never be attractive enough. If you seek fast cars, you will never find one fast enough. But, “they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.” When you seek to love Jehovah with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, you will always be satisfied with the abundance of His grace. Only in God can any man or woman be content. Are you content, or do you pine away for the many things which you think you need but can not have? God knows what is good for you and gives these things in abundance. Pray for contentment for “godliness with contentment is great gain.” Sing the Psalter.
October 7 Read Psalm 34:11, 12 & Psalter 90:6; Job 27
The fear of Jehovah is at the heart of godly contentment. But how do we fear Jehovah? David comes as a teacher to children with clear and easy to understand instruction. He comes with the tender love of a father. He catches their attention with the rhetorical question, “who wants to live in the enjoyment of happiness?” All men seek happiness, but why is it then, that so few find it? It is because they seek every way to happiness except obedience to God. The fear of Jehovah is happiness and contentment in this life. Are you attentive to this Word of God? Does the title of Psalter 89 catch your attention? Pray for the faith of a child that you may sit at the edge of your chair eager to hear the words of Christ our Teacher. Sing the Psalter.
October 8 Read Psalm 34:13, 14 & Psalter 89:2; 90:7; 1 Peter 3:8-12
Will lying relieve you of distress and trouble? Will selfish love for yourself at the expense of others bring happiness? Lying and doing evil lead further into despair and misery. Watch what you say. Tell the truth. Let your tongue be a powerful instrument to build one up, not cut someone down. Guile is subtle and tricky talk. If you speak what is good, you have no need to use subtle language. Do you sense an evil situation developing in your conversation with others or in the thoughts of your mind? Depart from it. Walk away, pray to God for strength. Spend your energy seeking peace. Make peace your goal and pursue it without looking to either side or backwards to see what others are thinking or saying about you. Don’t mind your hurt ego, mind your own business, the business of the believer, the pursuit of peace. All this we can do by faith alone in Christ. Sing the Psalter.
October 9 Read Psalm 34:15, 16 & Psalter 89:3, 91:1; Luke 12:1-12
Psalter 91 picks up on a section of David’s instruction which speaks of the safety of believers under the watchful eye of God. Knowing that God protects us is also important for us to understand if we are to have happiness in this life. God watches you as if you were the only one in the world to watch. He preserves you in the path of righteousness. When the way appears to be dark and you see danger all around, God is near to hear your prayers as well. When it seems as though the wicked enjoy their life of wickedness and receive no punishment of God, we must remember that God’s face is against them. Though they set up monuments in their name, death will overcome them and they will be forgotten in this earth and forever. But God will not forget even a sparrow which falls to the ground, and even more so will he remember His people. Sing the Psalter.
October 10 Read Psalm 34:17, 18; Psalter 89:3; 91:2; Luke 15
God is near unto us at the times when we feel like He is far away. When our boasting heart is crushed, when our zest for life is gone; when we fall into sin and try to cover things up; when we begin to search for life and happiness in the world outside the fold of Christ and find ourselves alone and miserable like the prodigal son, God is very near watching and is in the process of turning us back. God brings us low because the high road we want to travel by nature leads to hell. In guilt we do not want to lift our eyes to God, but God will have us know His love and mercy. Thank God and praise Him for His lovingkindness and steadfast covenant faithfulness. Sing the Psalter.
October 11 Read Psalm 34:19, 20; Psalter 89:4, 91:3; 2 Timothy 3
If we think that the doctrine of God’s providence means that God will shield us from every danger and temptation, we are mistaken. The Christian must face head on the fact that the afflictions of the righteous are many. The men who came to David at the cave of Adullam must understand that the way to his God ordained place on the throne of Israel would not be easy. No matter how many afflictions there are, however, God will deliver from every last one. Not one bone will be broken. This does not mean we will never suffer broken bones physically. It means that the new man in Christ will never be destroyed. The body of Christ never suffered a broken bone, even so, the strength of church will never be broken. Not one of her members will be lost. Sing the Psalter.
October 12 Read Psalm 34:21; Psalter 89:5; 91:4; Esther 7
In contrast to the righteous who are protected by the righteousness of Christ, the wicked are destroyed by their own wickedness. This truth is made graphically clear in the story of Esther. Haman hated the righteous. He loved schemes of treachery. But God in His wisdom and power turned all his schemes against him for his own destruction. So it is on a grand scale with Satan. He was lifted up in pride against God and determined to take the whole creation with him, but his actions were only part of God’s eternal counsel to bring His people into heaven. We need not fret over the terrible things which wicked man does. Let us wait on Jehovah and see how He delivers His people. Sing the Psalter.
October 13 Read Psalm 34:22; Psalter 89:5; 91:5; Heidelberg Catechism LD 5
Jehovah redeems His servants. Redemption is that aspect of our salvation and preservation that reminds us of our guilt and worthiness to be punished. In ourselves, we are not innocent. God would do us no injustice to leave us in the hand of the enemy. Before God we are guilty. Redemption means that someone pays the price which would set us free and make us innocent and righteous before God. Only Christ is able to pay the price of death and hell. Knowing our redemption, we are assured of his favor, go into the world as His willing servants, and trust in Him for our every need. Pray that God will increase your faith to know God our Redeemer, and go forth today as His willing servant. Sing the Psalter.
October 14 Read Psalm 35:1-3; Psalter 92:1; Luke 18:1-8
We begin a new psalm today in which God reveals to us how David came to Him while he was being afflicted. He came before God as he would come to a judge for help. David knew the law of God and he wanted God to enforce it. Men were fighting against David and trying to kill him without a cause. As we meditate upon this psalm we must understand that David calls for God’s judgment upon his enemies out of holy zeal for God’s honor, and not out of proud contempt for those who did not like him. Those who were persecuting David were doing so because God was with David, and they hated God. Are you afflicted in your soul when you see and hear God’s name taken in vain? Are you filled with zeal for God’s honor when you are persecuted as a Christian? Then cry out to God for judgment. Pray without ceasing and do not faint. Sing the Psalter.
October 15 Read Psalm 35:4-8; Psalter 92:2; 2 Tim. 4:14-18; Romans 11:7-10
Christ tells us to love our enemies; was it right then, for David to pray for shame, treachery, and destruction upon his enemies? Let us notice first of all that David did love his enemies. Remember how David refused to kill Saul when he had the chance? David was not one to lash out in passion to avenge his own dishonor. Yet he prays for the destruction of his enemies because in their persecution of him, they slander and blaspheme God. David’s enemies manifest themselves to be wicked reprobates worthy of death. God alone knows who are the elect and who are the reprobate, so David calls on God to render swift judgment. Christ also could do nothing but bring all the sins of the elect to the cross to be destroyed. Pray that God’s grace may rest upon you to give you discernment and zeal for God’s honor. Sing the Psalter.