Watching Daily At My Gates

March 6 Read Psalm 58

Some may say today that this portion of Scripture has no relevance in today’s world. We have no business praying for the confounding and even the demise of those who oppress us. They point out that Christ says that we should love our enemies. That is their mistake. The Psalmist calls for vengeance upon God’s enemies, those that use his name and attributes in a wrong way. We have the right and even the duty to pray that God vindicate his most holy name. We have the right and even the duty to reprove those who use God’s name and attributes in a wrong way. When we do this, we will find that there is a blessed reward for the righteous from the righteous judge who watches over us. Sing Psalter 156.

March 7 Read Psalm 59:1-7

Here we have another Psalm in which we are reasonably sure we know its circumstances. David is trapped in his own house by Saul’s men. He turns to God in prayer for deliverance against those ungodly men. Is this our reaction when we fall into trouble at others’ hands? Do we kneel down in prayer for deliverance, or do we try to work our way out of the problem by our own strength? Or, worse yet, do we join the wicked to prey upon others? Here again, we find another imprecatory Psalm for our instruction. Let us listen to its words, and let us learn to pray for the defeat of God’s enemies. In this way we will find the refuge and strength we need for any time of trouble. Sing Psalter 157:1-4.

March 8 Read Psalm 59:8-17

Notice the first words of the first two verses of this section. First of all you have the word “but”. That word signifies that there is some sort of change coming in the passage. In the previous verses David exposes the wickedness of those who hate him for Christ’s sake. In verse 8 we see that he knows that God will laugh at their attempts to put him to scorn. Verse 9 begins with the word “because.” David knows why he can wait upon Jehovah. Jehovah is his strength and defense. Do we wait upon our God in the same way? Do we sing of his power and mercy even in the morning when we do not know what the day will bring? Let us call upon the name of our God often because he is our help and our salvation. Sing Psalter 157:5-9.

March 9 Read Psalm 60

Once again David shows to Israel and to the church of all ages what must be the proper response of the child of God when he is in distress because of enemies of the church. Because God has claimed for himself a people, he will always be their help and their shield. We can and must always display the banner of truth that he has given to us. This banner will lead us in the fight of faith throughout our lives here on this earth. After David asks the question of who will lead him, he answers it the only way that it can be answered. Because the help of man is vain, we must rely on our only deliverer God Almighty. Through him we will do valiantly in all battles. Blessed be the name of God who is truth. Sing Psalter 158.

March 10 Read Psalm 61

Notice the progression in this Psalm. David starts out with a prayer because of the sorrow he feels in his soul. He quickly realizes that the only cure for that sorrow is the house of God. In that house he knows that God keeps his promises, and in thanksgiving he breaks out into singing. Can we say that this is our experience? When we are feeling low, do we go to our God in prayer? Do we realize that peace comes when we attend the house of God twice each week? Then do we break out into singing? God is our shelter; he will protect us under his wings. Therefore let us seek him in prayer and in his house each Sabbath. Sing Psalter 159.

March 11 Read Psalm 62:1-6

Do we wait upon our God for salvation? Or are we caught up in this world of “do it yourself”; you cannot trust anyone? David saw that waiting upon God and putting his trust in him alone was the only way of spiritual blessedness. When we wait upon God and put our trust in him, then we will know that all things will work out for good. But we will have to learn that they work out for good in God’s time and not ours. Let us wait upon God because he is our help, our defense, and our salvation against all which might oppress and oppose us in this world. Sing Psalter 161:1-4.

March 12 Read Psalm 62:7-12

In situations that confront us in this world, we always have two choices. We can put our trust in the sovereign God, or we can put our trust in something else. That something else might be in ourselves, another man, some sinful deed, or something of this earth. If our choice is from the second list, we are going to be sorely disappointed. As David says, “Power belongeth unto God.” If all power is in him, our trust should be in him to deliver us out of any of life’s situations. There is a final comforting thought in the Psalm. Not only is power of God; so is mercy. Because he is a merciful God, he sees us in Christ and rewards us on account of Christ’s blood. What an expression of mercy! Sing Psalter 161:5-9.

March 13 Read Psalm 63

The Psalmist is encouraged by two different ways of communicating with and worshipping Jehovah. First, there is the formal worship of attending the house of God. When the Psalm was written, David was in the wilderness. He had no possibility of going to the official place of worship. This was not his doing but God’s. David looks at the physical wilderness as a picture of the spiritual wilderness in which the absence from God’s house left him. Secondly, there is the worship of private meditation or devotions. David drew from that strength and we should too. They are not a substitute for the official worship. They need to be used as a supplement. May we ever seek to worship our God at every opportunity. Sing Psalter 164.

March 14 Read Psalm 64

We can easily separate this Psalm into two parts. The first is verses 1-6; the second is verses 7-10. Notice the dividing word that begins verse 7. The first part of the Psalm is a prayer that David may be avenged of his enemies. His focus is on enemies that wound him with the tongue. While we might think, “words can never hurt us,” often the opposite is true. Not only do they wound us internally, but they also can have an affect on our external state. We have but one recourse. We must go to our God in prayer in the confidence that he will deliver us. After such a deliverance we will be glad in him, trust in him and glory in him. Let this be our confidence as we live our lives in this wicked world. Sing Psalter 165.

March 15 Read Psalm 65:1-5

Who in this world can praise God? Only those whom he has chosen in his love and tender mercies. This idea is worthy of our thought every day. Our sins themselves make us unworthy to praise him. However, Christ has made it possible to praise God every day of our lives. God has chosen us and calls us to worship him each week. But he also calls us to worship and praise him every day as well. He is our salvation and we can have the confidence that he will hear us wherever we are, and whenever we cry unto him. Sing Psalter 166.

March 16 Read Psalm 65:6-13

One of the reasons we praise God is that not only is he the creator of all things, but also by his providence he causes all things to continue to exist. This is a great comfort to us. As we look around the world of nature, and this alone should encourage us to do so, we can see how great our God is. He cares for us in our needs just as he cares for the plants and animals that he has made. As we see the seasons change every year, we have a concrete message from God that he cares for us and that he is worthy of our praise. Let us sing along with creation the praise of the creator. Sing Psalter 167.

March 17 Read Psalm 66:1-7

Notice the four commands that begin this Psalm. We are called to make a joyful noise, sing, say, and come and see. We do the first three because of the results of the fourth one. When the nations saw God’s works they had an attitude of fear in that they were afraid of Israel’s God. When Israel saw those works, they should have had an attitude of fear that is being in awe of those works. What is our reaction when we see the works of God? Do we confess that they are God’s works? Do we break forth into singing, praise, and worship. Our God is great in the heavens; let us fear him in all his works. Sing Psalter 173.

March 18 Read Psalm 66:8-12

After directing us to speak well of God and praise his name, the Psalmist now turns to the works of God in our lives. He focuses our attention on God’s sovereignty and providence. God directs not only our spiritual lives but also our physical lives. The writer obviously went through some hard times in his life, but he is able to confess that those times were for his good. He knew the same truth as Paul confesses in Romans 8:28. This must be our comfort when we go through trials. The trials are from God, he will bring us through them, and He turns them for our good. Sing Psalter 174.

March 19 Read Psalm 66:13-20

This Psalm closes with words that we all need to hear and to which we all must heed. After considering many things, we must never forsake the going into God’s house for worship. The only possibility of not going to that house is when God prevents us from attending his worship services. This he does through sickness, the infirmities of old age, or works of necessity or mercy. We need to worship him in the manner in which he has prescribed in his Word. In his house of prayer, we offer our prayers to him with a right heart. When our hearts are right, we can do this in the confidence that he will hear and answer our prayers. Let us not neglect the means of grace he has given to us. Sing Psalter 175.

March 20 Read Psalm 67

The word bless means “to speak well of.” We see it used three ways in Scripture. For example in Psalm 103 we call upon our souls to bless the Lord. Jacob when he greets Pharaoh blesses him. And as we have it in this Psalm we ask God to bless us. We want his blessing upon us so that he will be known among the nations. Do we think of that when we encounter God’s blessing? Do we spread the “good news” to those who are around us both near and far? In spreading the gospel we hasten the day that God’s name will be known throughout the world and hasten the day of Christ’s return. Bless us, O God, for Thy name’s sake. Sing Psalter 173.

March 21 Read Psalm 68:1-6

Here we see God avenging his beloved covenant people before the face of enemies. The enemies are driven away, and God’s people are left to praise our majestic God. We do this, of course, by singing his praises. There is no better way to sing those praises than to use the words that he has given to us. Verses 5 and 6 show the compassionate God who is ours. He takes care of his people who are oppressed in this world. Orphans, widows, and those without families are brought into his gracious care. Let us thank him for the undeserved goodness that he showers down upon us every day. Sing Psalter 179.

March 22 Read Psalm 68:7-19

After showing to us why we should sing God’s praise in a general way, the Psalmist now shows us from Israel’s history why we should praise Jehovah. Israel’s was a typical history; it pointed ahead to Christ and his work for the church. Israel’s traversing of the various wildernesses is a picture of the life of each one of us. We have our wildernesses and troublesome spots in those wildernesses. Israel coming to live in Mount Zion is the picture of our going to heaven to live in the New Zion and the New Jerusalem. There is also a picture of Christ’s ascension as he goes before us preparing our place and giving to us all the benefits of salvation. Let us rejoice, people of God, and let us sing songs of thanksgiving to our King! Sing Psalter 180.

March 23 Read Psalm 68:20-26

Our life on this earth is a battle. It is a battle against sin and Satan. In this battle we look for a leader to rescue us from these foes. That leader is God, the God of our salvation. He will wound those enemies who, because they are his enemies, fight against us. What is the result of those victories? First of all, the enemies must know that God is God. They must know that we are his particular people. Secondly, God’s people speak well of him in their songs and in their prayers. Is this our prayer life? Is this the subject of our songs? Sing Psalter 181.

March 24 Read Psalm 68:27-35

This Psalm concludes with a continuation of the battle between God’s people and Satan’s forces. We see a description of those forces in verse 30. They are described as spearmen and bulls seeking to hurt and destroy God’s people. God’s victory over such a force is so great that all will bow the knee to God. This will not be in obedience but in submission. God’s people react to the victory as well. Their reaction is that of singing God’s praises to him who gives to them victory over Satan, his forces, death and hell. This is the confession in this Psalm and is also Paul’s confession in I Corinthians 15. Take time to read that chapter and let it guide your praise of Jehovah. Sing Psalter 182.

March 25 Read Psalm 69:1-12

David, as a type of Christ, pens these words that not only accurately describe the depths of Christ’s suffering, but also are words which the disciples remembered that showed to them that he was the Christ. Like David we must look at the sins that we commit, confess them, and turn to Christ, our deliverer. David, ever the humble one, is worried that God’s church will be adversely affected by his sin. Do we show that concern for those around us? David knew that he must draw near and wait for God in his distress. Do we? Let us patiently wait for our deliverer to take us from this valley of the shadow of death. Sing Psalter 184.

March 26 Read Psalm 69:13-21

David, as the type of Christ, prays in this Messianic Psalm for deliverance from the hands of his enemies. Christ prayed for another way, if possible, but ended his prayer “Thy will be done.” We, too, must pray. We must never think that we are able, by our own strength, to rescue ourselves from any dire straits that we may be facing. Our heavenly Father and our elder Brother will deliver us. Christ knows our needs as he faced them on our behalf. God’s lovingkindness is good; his mercies are everlasting and endless. Let us go to him daily in prayer and seek the deliverance that only he can give. Sing Psalter 185.

March 27 Read Psalm 69:22-29

This Messianic Psalm is also imprecatory by nature. Again, we must remember that imprecatory Psalms are not Psalms seeking revenge, but those who seek the glory of God’s name through the destruction of those who hate that name. When Jesus faced the hateful mobs in Jerusalem, he, too, prayed that his Father’s name be glorified. His Father answered him just as he will answer our petitions. From the vivid description of the reprobate’s demise, comes the still small voice of verse 29. Let us humble ourselves and invoke God’s name to the end that we may praise him forever. Sing Psalter 186.

March 28 Read Psalm 69:30-36

As the Psalmist concludes this Psalm, he gives a grand declaration of praise to God. He realizes, as we must, that our singing is a means of gratitude to God. It is such a means that it is better than all the works that we can do. We see this, in verse 31 where the Psalmist says that praise is better than sacrifice. This praise also serves other purposes. It gives to others encouragement in their situations. It builds up the church, as we know that God will hear that praise. Finally in the confidence that God will preserve his church, he proclaims his hope in the covenant promises that God has given to us. May this be our attitude as we seek our God daily. Sing Psalter 187.

March 29 Read Psalm 70

This Psalm is similar to words written at the end of Psalm 40. Speculation is because the end of Psalm 69 appears to be written at the end of David’s life that this is another Psalm written as David was fleeing from Absalom. Whatever the circumstances, David needed to pray the same prayer that he had prayed before. Those needs still needed to be brought to God’s throne of grace. While our prayers are not to be repetitious, quite often we have the same needs day by day or week by week. Let us follow David’s example and bring those needs to God in prayer. Sing Psalter 188.

March 30 Read Psalm 71:1-13

Here again we have a prayer of David as he faced opposition in his life. David learned the lesson well of trusting in Jehovah and going to him in prayer. Notice the various attributes of God mentioned in these verses. We can go to God in prayer with utmost confidence because he is willing and able to deliver us from all tribulation. Our prayer lives must be carried out with that confidence. We must pray in faith as the chief means of thankfulness to God for the great deliverance from our sins. Let us approach God’s throne of grace in the confidence that we will find mercy in our times of need. Sing Psalter 190.

March 31 Read Psalm 71:14-24

Notice how this section begins with that little word “but.” It does not matter in what situation we find ourselves, we can hope continually in Jehovah. And in hoping in him, we can praise him daily. Most of us have been taught from our youth about the great Jehovah. As we age we see clearly the meaning of those lessons. However, we never quit learning about God. David realizes that he has work to do even when he is old. Parents and grandparents, our work is never finished. We must continue to show the youth around us God’s great praise. Sing Psalter 191.

April 1 Read Psalm 72:1-7

Commentators disagree on the author of this Psalm. While some say it is David writing to Solomon, others say it is Solomon’s work. No matter who the author is, you can definitely see a Messianic character throughout. Christ the King will bring peace to this world of sin and troubles. This peace is not found in worldwide peace as we know that will not happen until his second coming, and he gathers his own to him. This peace is the peace found in the believer’s heart no matter in what circumstances he may find himself. God’s people have peace as they know that Christ is ruling over all things. Let this be our comfort now and in the days to come. Sing Psalter 193.

April 2 Read Psalm 72:8-15

As we continue this Psalm of praise for Christ and about Christ, we see that his kingdom is a worldwide kingdom. Not only shall his people come from all nations of the world, all nations of the world shall bow their knee before him. Their obeisance will not be in love but in acknowledgement of his sovereignty. The second half of this section gives to God’s people, who are often the poor and downtrodden, utmost comfort. Christ is their champion. He will avenge their distress in the day that he comes to gather his own unto himself. Let these words be upon our lips and hearts as we live in this world of sin and evil. Sing Psalter 194.

April 3 Read Psalm 72:16-20

Most of us in the Protestant Reformed Churches sing one of the versifications of verses 18 and 19. As we sing these words do we contemplate their meaning? Does the fact that Christ’s name will endure forever bring to us utmost comfort? Are we moved by the knowledge that men from all nations will speak well of our Lord? Are we jealous and zealous for the name of Jehovah God who has done the wondrous thing of giving to us salvation through the death of his Son? Do we glorify him wherever we are? Do we glorify him no matter what the time is? This is what we, the redeemed, must do. Let us sing this doxology with meaning and let us live out of its truths. Sing Psalter 195.

April 4 Read Psalm 73: 1-9

This Psalm of Asaph is one that the Christian should turn to often during his lifetime. It helps to answer the question, “Why?” Notice the premise with which the Psalmist starts. God is good to his people—to those with clean hearts. This truth he knows. It is the next word, “but,” that shows to us his frame of mind. God is good to those who have clean hearts, but mine is not. He then recounts the troubles that he finds himself in. Some of the troubles are undoubtedly real; some are probably imagined. Is not this our lot in life? As read these words, we need to go back to verse 1 and remember it. Sing Psalter 201.

April 5 Read Psalm 73:10-20

When we left the Psalmist and ourselves yesterday, we were in the depths of despair. “Woe is me,” was all that we could say. That frame of mind continues in these words. We even say, “Is God even watching?” Pretty soon we begin saying, “I did this, and I did that, and look where it got me.” Finally when we reach that lowest point, God forces us into his house. That is where we find solace for our woes. Then we remember that God is sovereign and that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” The wicked will get their reward, and God will give to his people the reward of comfort and peace by his Holy Spirit. Sing Psalter 203.

April 6 Read Psalm 73:21-28

As the Psalmist finishes this Psalm of self-examination, he realizes that he was foolish to question God. He had left the realization that it was God who gives to him the victory over sin, doubt, and even the wicked. He realizes that God has not left him, but he has left God. When this becomes his and our understanding, then the peace that passes understanding will flood our souls. Even when we faint, God is our strength. He will bring us through this valley of the shadow of death and will take us to glory. It does not matter your age. We all must walk in this way. When we say, “it is good to draw near to God,” we will be able to trust him no matter where he leads us. Sing Psalter 204.