December 7 Read Revelation 10
Thoughout the revelation of Christ to John at times there are interludes between certain events. In this chapter we have one such interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpet. During this interlude John hears and sees an angel bringing another message about what is to come. Some of what John hears he is not allowed to write. The church does not and may not know all that is to come to pass before the final days, which is the sounding of the seventh trumpet. What we must do is watch and pray. In our watching we will see sure signs of Christ’s return, and then we must pray, “Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly.” Sing Psalter 277.
December 8 Read Revelation 11
Along with watching and praying, the church must be busy witnessing to the nations the wonder of grace that is ours through Christ. Even as Noah was preaching before the flood that destroyed the first creation, we too must be sounding abroad about what is to come. This witnessing comes on many levels. As individuals we must witness to those whom God has placed in our path. As local congregations we must be evangelizing the area in which we have been planted. As churches we must send out missionaries bringing the gospel to the nations. This will not be easy and may bring persecution and even death upon us, but it has a glorious end, as is described after the sounding of the seventh trumpet. Sing Psalter 183.
December 9 Read Revelation 12
Since Satan’s fall there has been a war on earth between the forces of God and the forces of Satan. We have seen that this is not a dualistic struggle is which the outcome is in question, but rather is the unfolding of God’s plan for the salvation of his church and his ultimate glory. But Satan has warred against the church, is warring against the church, and will war until the final “It is finished.” is uttered. As we see in this chapter, the battle is fierce, and the church must fight on every side. But we have the confidence that our Redeemer is on our side and will ultimately deliver us. As we wait for his return, let us don with confidence the armor of salvation and fight the fight of faith every day. Sing Psalter 34.
December 10 Read Revelation 13
Without going into all the symbolism contained in this chapter, we see the identification of antichrist and those who work on his behalf. If this were the only chapter in Revelation that we read of this or if this is the only place in the whole of scripture where this is mentioned, we would have no hope and would surrender to this mighty force. But before we despair we come to the last verse that reminds us that the beast is only a created being like man. He, even when most powerful, cannot prevail against almighty God and the Lamb who was slain for his people. We need not lose hope; we need not despair. We only need to look to our God, who will prevail and deliver us to glory. Sing Psalter 35.
December 11 Revelation 14
After two chapters describing the woes that will be the church’s, John is now given to see visions of victory. First he sees Christ with the entire church enthroned on Mt. Zion. Then he hears and sees judgment pronounced on Babylon, the picture of Satan’s kingdom. It is not just the kingdom that is destroyed, but also all those who have taken the mark of the beast. Finally John and the church are given to see that there will be a final victory for God’s people and a judgment on the wicked. We may be comforted by the visions of this chapter as they show to us our final deliverance from all those who do and will oppress us. May we continue to pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.” Sing Psalter 36.
December 12 Revelation 15
Once again the revelation brings us close to the end of time. In this short chapter John is permitted to see the seven angels who are given seven vials or bowls that contain the wrath of God over various aspects of the creation. The church is permitted to see this judgment on wicked men who are determined for destruction. The church’s reaction is not of joy over the wicked’s defeat, but rather joy over the glory of God’s name. Again we are reminded of the Lord’s prayer, and especially the last part of that prayer. May our glorying ever be in God and in him alone. Sing Psalter 300.
December 13 Read Revelation 16
Think back to the theme of the book of Isaiah. That theme was “redeemed with judgement.” In this chapter we have the culmination of that theme. Just as Israel’s enemies were judged by God’s judgements upon them, so the church of all ages will be redeemed by God’s judgements poured out on the wicked by the angels with the seven vials. There are three significant words in this chapter. Those words are, “It is done.” Just as Jesus uttered similar words on the cross, so God’s people will hear those words, and the beginning of everlasting glory will occur. Yes, the last days will bring persecution, suffering, and maybe even death. But those last days will bring victory for the people of God, a victory wrought by Christ on the cross. Thanks be to God! Sing Psalter 318.
December 14 Read Revelation 17
John and we are given a fuller description of the destruction that will be wrought upon antichrist and his hosts. This is not to fill us with glee, but to show us what will happen to those who devote themselves to iniquity. Knowing the history of the world will help us see what is pictured in this chapter. Knowing that history and the chapter’s interpretation will sober us to watch and pray, looking for the return of the bridegroom. Knowing that history will help us realize that the things prophesied in this book will come to pass, and that we may have to suffer even as we await the return of our savior and the victory he will bring with him. Watch and pray, people of God. Sing Psalter 379.
December 15 Read Revelation 18
The Babylon of Daniel’s day was a great and wicked city. It was used by God for two reasons. First, it was the God’s instrument to bring chastisement upon wicked Judah. Second, it is a picture of the wicked world in which we find ourselves today. Yes, it is a world of commercial worth, but it is a world of great wickedness. Look at the entertainment business of today. Are you enticed by it? If you are, heed the word of the voice from heaven saying, “Come out of it.” This world in all its supposed glory and wickedness is doomed to fall. In its fall will come the victory of the church of Christ. Look up, people of God, and be not deceived by what is around you. Sing Psalter 200.
December 16 Read Revelation 19
From the destruction of Babylon, John is shown the glory that will belong to the Lamb of God. We will be part of that glory because we are the bride of the lamb. The culmination of the destruction of this wicked world will be the uniting of the church triumphant with its bridegroom. This is all part of God’s glory. All of his counsel will be brought together in that feast held in heaven. Our goal is not to make our mark in this world. That mark will pass away. Our ultimate goal is joining the throng that will sing praises to our God. For that we practice today. For that we long and hope. Sing Psalter 261.
December 17 Read Revelation 20
Once again we are directed to examine events that have happened, are happening, and will happen. Christ’s victory on the cross has bound Satan for a complete period of time. It is not a literal thousand-year period as some claim, but it is a complete period whose end will be shortly before Christ returns. This is the amillennial view of eschatology. We know the day will come when Satan will cast all his fury upon the church. That time will be short, and then the end will come. Satan will be relegated to hell forever and the saints will join together in eternal praise in heaven. Is this your desire? Is this for what you pray when you say “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done?” Christ is coming; are we watching and praying? Sing Psalter 183.
December 18 Read Revelation 21
After Satan, his hosts, and all his followers are cast into hell, the church is brought together as the glorious body she is. The bride will meet the Lamb and the two will live together in everlasting bliss in heaven. This is the culmination of the last verse of Psalm 23. This is the final fulfillment of Jesus’ shout of victory on the cross; “It is finished.” This is the result of the suffering the people of God face and have faced on earth. Now the prayers of the martyrs are answered. Now the church will truly see that her life on this earth is but a journey, a pilgrimage, with its end elsewhere. May we anxiously await the day that is the realization of God’s aim for creation. Sing Psalter 124.
December 19 Read Revelation 22
Jesus’ revelation to John is finished with this chapter. That it is Jesus’ revelation is shown in the names Alpha and Omega. After giving to John a final look into the glory that awaits the bride, John, the churches in Asia, and the church of all ages are reminded that scripture is the word of God and may not be changed or interpreted according to man’s whim. The fact that man may not add or subtract anything to or from the book shows to us that it is totally God’s word. May we ever cherish this word, which shows to us God’s way of salvation for the elect. May we ever recite the words, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:” and may we know that we “will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Sing Psalter 55.
December 20 Read Psalm 119:1–16
The psalmist, thought by many to be David, writes about God’s law. As you read through this acrostic, you find many nuggets of gold thought about the word of God. He starts out by saying that those who keep the law of God are blessed or happy. Just as a fish is happy only in the water, so the child of God is happy only when he is walking in the law of his God. In the second section we find that it is not just the mature Christian who benefits in keeping the law, it is the young as well. Young people, is walking in God’s way your delight? Do you commit his word to your heart that you might not sin against him? All of us need to meditate on God’s law, for in it we will have gladness of heart. Sing Psalters 321 and 322.
December 21 Read Psalm 119:17–24
The first two verses of this section should be parts of our daily morning prayers. Only when God is gracious to a person will that person find joy and peace in his life. We can ask for this grace only by grace, as it is given only to those who have been elected by grace. Only when our eyes are opened by grace can we see the beauty that is found in the word of God. We need that word to guide us though our journey on this earth because we are strangers and pilgrims here. May we have the zeal to walk according to God’s law all through our lives. Sing Psalter 323.
December 22 Read Psalm 119:25–32
There are times in our lives in which we despair. These feelings can be caused by many things, whether those causes are spiritual, emotional, physical, or from outside forces. The child of God must have one response. We must turn to God first and foremost. Though we may need a medical doctor for some of these causes, we still must see that our hope comes from God. When we understand God’s law and his way for us, then we will see that he and his works are most wondrous. When we face such trials and afflictions, we must look outward and upward, for our help comes from Jehovah who made heaven and earth. Sing Psalter 324.
December 23 Read Psalm 119:33–48
After we look to God for guidance in our troubles, we see that in his word is the way that we must go. Notice that the psalmist once more implores God to help him, and that imploring is for help in understanding the law of God. We cannot keep our Bibles closed and expect peace in our ways. Daily devotions and frequent study of the scriptures give us what we need throughout our lives. Walking in God’s law gives us life, just as a fish is at liberty swimming in its watery home. Much study of God’s word will give us the confidence to speak to those who may be afflicting us, or it may give us confidence to speak to anyone who needs to hear of God and his goodness. People of God, immerse yourselves in the scriptures, and in doing so you will find your way. Sing Psalters 235 and 326.
December 24 Read Psalm 119:49–56
God’s people endure affliction in their lives. For some it occurs very often; for others, it may be for a short, intense time. If David is the psalmist, we can see him writing these words. Consider David’s history: he knew affliction. Even in his affliction, David knew where to turn—to the word of God. Is that where you go for comfort, people of God? Do you open your Bibles after a short prayer to God that he will reveal to you words of comfort that can be found in no other place? Do you have sleepless nights? Do you consider God’s word? Whatever afflictions we may have, we can have the assurance scripture will speak to us words of truth. Sing Psalter 327.
December 25 Read Psalm 119:57–64
As we continue on our journey through this gem of scripture, we can see the psalmist’s spiritual progression. He has reached a point where he has a renewed confidence in God’s law. In whatever circumstance he found himself, he turned to God’s law, and there he found the instruction he needed to face life’s obstacles. He saw that the earth was full of God’s mercies. Like Jeremiah he could confess that God’s mercies were new every morning. He could arise at midnight and give praise to God, no matter what the situation may have been. Is this our realization? Constant and repeated journeys through God’s word will provide to us this comfort and assurance. Sing Psalter 328
December 26 Read Psalm 119:65–80
God has made us and has ordained for us all circumstances in our lives. When we confess that God is our creator, we realize that we are nothing of ourselves. This is against all present thought of today’s worldly philosophy. When we confess that God brings into our lives all that happens to us, we realize that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” Understanding these two truths makes us turn to the word of God for comfort in whatever may afflict us. As we hear what the Spirit says to us, we gain a comfort that far exceeds anything the world has to offer. Seek God, read his word, and be comforted. Sing Psalter 329 and 330.
December 27 Read Psalm 119:81–88
It is easy to see that the psalmist has profited from a life of affliction at the hands of others. While we would never desire such a life, we can see how God does use it for our profit. Just as an injured muscle is repaired through proper physical therapy, so our souls can be repaired through the therapy of the word of God. This alone should send us to our Bibles often. This alone should make us never let it grow dusty on our shelves. When we have become strong in the word of God, we will quickly flee to it at all times. Let us open our Bibles often each day, knowing that in it we will find help in our times of need. Sing Psalter 331.
December 28 Read Psalm 119:89–96
God’s word is everlasting; of that the Christian should have no doubt. Because his word is everlasting, we can rest assured that he will be faithful to us, even as he has been faithful to past generations. God’s faithfulness to Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jeremiah, Daniel, and to many others is ours as well. As we read this psalm and all other scripture, we cannot but be impressed with this fact. Nothing in history can change it, because history is God’s. As we live our lives, having a firm hold on God’s commandments will guide us through whatever way he leads us. Thanks be to God! Sing Psalter 332.
December 29 Read Psalm 119:97–112
The first verses of each of these sections of this Psalm are probably two of the most familiar ones to God’s people. Read them again. De we love God’s law as the psalmist did? Is it our mediation all the day? In this world’s busy life sadly it is sometimes easy to not meditate on God’s law. We might read it “quick a minute,” but then do we meditate on it? We must, because it is the only light on our dark and winding pathway in this life. It takes time to understand how to make the light shine. It is important that children hide God’s word in their hearts, because only then will it be a lamp to their feet as life progresses. What a treasure God’s word is to us. Let us meditate on it often so that it will shine brightly upon life’s pathway. Sing Psalters 333 and 334.
December 30 Read Psalm 119:113–120
In this portion of the psalm the writer states his thesis in the first verse. He then goes on to describe the struggles the righteous have with the wicked in this world. There is one constant throughout this struggle. That constant is the word of God. Do you have that constant in your life? Does the Bible remain an integral part in the activities of your day? We must turn to God’s word early in the morning, throughout the day, and as we end that day. Only then will we find confidence in our battles against sin, Satan, and his hosts. Being armed with the sword of the Spirit is a necessity in our lives. Sing Psalter 335.
December 31 Read Psalm 119:121–128
The first half of this section describes the covenantal relationship that the child of God has with his God. In that relationship he is God’s servant. But the covenant is more than just a cold, businesslike relationship; it is a relationship built upon the unchangeableness of God’s word. In that word God declares that he has made us his friend-servant. We sing in that old hymn, “What a friend we have in Jesus.” On this basis we can say with the psalmist, “It is time for thee to work.” We can cast all of our burdens upon our maker because we can have the assurance that he cares for us. We can be “careful for nothing” because Jehovah is at hand. Let us love God’s word and hate every false way. Sing Psalter 336.
January 1 Read Psalm 119:129–136
There are three emotions in this section of the psalm. First, we see the longing the psalmist has for God’s word. Like the psalmist in Psalm 42, the writer pants after God’s word. He sees in it the solace for all his troubles. Second, we see the sorrow he has for the desecration of God’s name. We see this so vividly stated in the last verse of the section. Finally, we see his trust in that word for his deliverance. His prayer is that God order his way. He does not trust in himself for help but places all of his trust in God. Do we share these emotions. Do we long for that word? Does sin against God’s holy name grieve us? Do we pray that God direct our feet? When these are our thoughts we will find ourselves truly blessed. Sing Psalter 337.
January 2 Read Psalm 119:137–144
Count the number of times the words righteous or righteousness are used in this section of Psalm 119. The writer obviously does not see that righteousness coming from himself, but he sees that it is to be found only in God and in his word. This was the experience of Martin Luther as he searched the scriptures to find peace in his life. When he discovered the gem, “The just shall live by faith,” he also found that man’s righteousness is not of himself, but only is from God through his Son who died that we may live. While the writer of the psalm did not have as full a revelation as Luther did, he understood that to be self-righteous would not profit him. Only the truth found in God’s word would serve for his everlasting righteousness. Sing Psalter 338
January 3 Read Psalm 119:145–160
Once again we read the prayers of one of God’s people crying out for help from those who oppose him. His prayers rise up to God at all times of the day and night. In the morning he awakes with prayers for deliverance. In the night when he cannot sleep, he finds solace in prayer. Why is this true? It is true because God’s word is truth. He can depend on the promises found in it. They will never fail. What is our situation, people of God of this era? Do we go to God in prayer often? While we do not have the set times of prayer as Israel of old did, we can, must, and should go to him in prayer. We can do this in the confidence of faith shown to us in God’s word. We can do this no matter what situation faces us in this life. Sing Psalters 339 and 340.
January 4 Read Psalm 119:161–168
This section seems to form a summary of the ones before it. Notice, however, the number the psalmist puts on the times of prayer. Not three, as was commanded by God’s law, but seven, the number of the covenant. The writer feels the friendship and fellowship that is accorded to him by his God. He knows that he has a friend who will not fail in his time of need. Notice that his prayer also looks ahead to salvation. While the psalm is not as rich in the Messianic promises as other portions of scripture are, there is definitely a true knowledge of salvation. Salvation is of God alone and not through man’s work. Notice also in this section the positive aspects of the psalmist’s praying. Only in God can that confidence shine forth. Follow him, people of God, and he will lead you to salvation. Sing Psalter 341.
January 5 Read Psalm 119:169–176
Throughout scripture God’s people are compared to sheep with Christ as our shepherd. Think of Psalm 23; think of John 10 and other places in the gospels where the figure is used. Sheep need a shepherd; they cannot get along without one. The psalmist in this final prayer first prays for understanding of God’s law. Then he prays for deliverance, because as a sheep he has become lost from that word. In the final verse of this section and psalm he realizes that the only way of deliverance is that God brings him back. May we ever seek deliverance from the evils that surround us. May we ever seek to find our help from God, our only deliverer. May we cherish God’s word every day of our lives. Sing Psalter 342.