Watching Daily At My Gates

May 16 Read Psalm 119:1-8

The word blessed can also be translated happy. So in verses 1 and 2 we see that the happy ones are those who walk in the way of the law of God. This long Psalm lays out for us the way that we should walk either young or old. The Psalmist realizes that he cannot walk in God’s law on his own. We see this in verse 5. We, too, must depend on the Holy Spirit to guide us in the proper way. May we make that part of our daily prayers. When we walk in God’s law we will praise him with our whole being and we will have the assurance that he will not forsake us. Sing Psalter 321.

May 17 Read Psalm 119:9-16

This section of Psalm 119 is full of gems. Young people must start out with verse 9. There is only one right answer to the question posed at the beginning of that verse. It is not multiple choice or true/false. Verse 11 continues to give wise counsel for God’s people of all ages. Do you want to know why you must memorize God’s word? It is not so that you can win trivia games, but so that you may flee from sin. And then in verse 15 we see the object of our devotions. They are not so that we can exalt ourselves, but so that God can teach us the right way. Ponder these things, people of God, and seek his Word always. Sing Psalter 322.

May 18 Read Psalm 119:17-24

It should be our testimony that we are strangers on the earth. This Psalmist testified to that truth. The writer of Hebrews 11 also states that as he describes Abraham’s family’s life. Do we live that way? Or do we join with the world in all sorts of activities and events, and no one knows that we are different? If we live the life of a stranger and pilgrim, we will need God’s law every day. We will need that law to keep us through the onslaughts of the wicked. With that law at our side and in our hearts, we will know what to speak and how to act at all times. Let that law be your delight and counselor. Sing Psalter 323

May 19 Read Psalm 119:25-32

The Psalmist realizes that a sin that besets him and all of us is the sin of lying. In that sin we repudiate God’s law in all that we do. When we lie, God’s law is cast aside like an old rag. When we choose the way of truth, which is living in accordance to God’s law; then God will enlarge our hearts, that is, make us to live a life pleasing to him. As we go through life, let us seek God’s law, understand that law, and talk of that law to all that are around us. Sing Psalter 324.

May 20 Read Psalm 119:33-40

As we read in Hebrews 12, life can be compared to a journey or a long race. What will make it so that we can finish the race? The answer is found in verse 33. We need to run the race in the way of God’s law. When we have learned that law from the mouth and hand of the Great Teacher, then we can keep that law to the very end of the race. In that keeping we will finish the race and be able to receive the prize won for us by Christ. As we observe that law, we must turn away from all types of wickedness. Let us long after that law and in that way be made alive in righteousness now and in eternity. Sing Psalter 325.

May 21 Read Psalm 119:41-48

Are we ready to speak of God’s Word and Law before all kinds of men? Do we speak of it daily in the workplace, at school, or where we are enjoying recreation? This part of the Psalm says that we must be ready to speak of that Word before kings. We may not let whom we are talking to dictate of what we speak. Even before those whom God has placed in authority, we must speak of God’s Word. If we cannot or will not do it now, we will not be ready for the trials that will come upon us in the last days. We must learn that law, love that law, and be ready at all times to give an answer for the reason of the hope which lies within us. Sing Psalter 326.

May 22 Read Psalm 119:49-56

The Psalmist recounts the comfort he had in times of affliction. He may have been tempted to lose hope in God. He was afflicted in many ways. The wicked were out to do him harm and were openly breaking God’s law. He also needed help at night. He received comfort in all these afflictions. What was the way of that comfort? That way was in the keeping of God’s law. We, too, can have that kind of a comfort. We, too, can be comforted when it appears that afflictions from any and every corner press in upon us. That comfort is found when we keep all of God’s law. Let us daily pray for the grace to find that comfort in this way. Sing Psalter 327.

May 23 Read Psalm 119:57-64

There are two ideas on which I wish for us to focus today. First of all verse 59. There the psalmist says that he turned his feet to God’s testimonies. Our feet are the vehicles which take us places. If we allow our feet to take us places unfit for the child of God we have not turned them to his law. Secondly, reread verse 63. Who are our companions? Are they those who fear God’s name? Are they those who lead us in places that our feet should not be? As we go through life we must make choices. We should let the law of Jehovah be our guide and lead us onto paths where we find fit companions. Sing Psalter 328.

May 24 Read Psalm 119:65-72

Does God do “bad” things to his people? The answer to that is an emphatic no! Take a minute to remember Romans 8:28. Look it up; ponder it; savor it. In this portion of Psalm 119 we see more proof that “bad” things are for God’s peoples’ good. Those afflictions, as they are called here, help us to keep God’s Word, and they also help us to learn God’s Word. Verse 68 tells us that not only is God good but he does good. Would he not do good unto his people? We might not always understand the why of those afflictions, but we can trust that they are for our profit. As we go through life, we can always know that God loves us and does good for us. Sing Psalter 329.

May 25 Read Psalm 119:73-80

Notice verse 74. Here is a statement that we do not focus on very much or very often. Are God’s people glad to see us because we hope in his Word? Does the fact that we hope in his Word bubble out of us so that the saints are made glad by our appearance? There is a connection between that verse and the next one. The connection is that even though God has afflicted us, we still can hope in God. This is not a light matter. This matter is only one that can take place by faith. Only by way of God’s lovingkindness is his law our delight. Let us make verse 80 our daily prayer so that we might show forth God’s faithfulness to us each day of our lives. Sing Psalter 330.

May 26 Read Psalm 119:81-88

We see many evidences of the troubles that the Psalmist was experiencing. The writer was no different than any of us. We, too, have afflictions in this life. It does not matter what our age or what our station and calling in this life is. We have afflictions. God does not leave us alone. He brings to us his Word. In that Word and especially in that law, he gives to us all the comfort necessary to live as we await the day of rejoicing. We are being made ready for heaven. Like the caterpillar that unfolds into the beautiful butterfly or moth, we are being made ready for a beautiful life of glory. May God’s Word sustain us. May we, like the Psalmist, not forsake the law of our gracious God. Sing Psalter 331.

May 27 Read Psalm 119:89-96

What a beautiful thought it is that God’s Word is settled in heaven! The idea of settled is established. But it is an establishment with comfort. That Word comforts us each and every day of our lives. It also gives to us the comfort that our covenant God who made the heaven and earth is in control of all things so that nothing happens by chance but all is carried out by his fatherly hand. Because we are his, we can have the confidence that all things work together for our good and his glory. As we read God’s Word, and as we live out of that Word, we can have the assurance that it gives to us spiritual life now and through all eternity. Sing Psalter 332.

May 28 Read Psalm 119:97-104

The Psalmist has experienced the benefits of knowing God’s law and seeing its profit in his daily life. He then breaks out in the song of praise “O how love I thy law.” Is this our experience? Do we see how God’s law is applicable in our lives, and how it gives to us the true wisdom? God is the best teacher with the best subject material. When we immerse ourselves in the study of his law, we learn what is most important in this life. God’s law will taste better than any earthly food as it will be our food for eternity. Let us learn that law, live out of that law, and hope in that law forever. Sing Psalter 333.

May 29 Read Psalm 119:105-112

There are two verses to which I wish to call to your attention in this section. First of all there is verse 105. We live in a world of darkness. This darkness descended upon it at the fall. The only means by which the child of God can make his way in that darkness is with the light of God’s word—Christ himself. This is also the testimony of John 1. Secondly look at verse 111. When we think of heritages, we often think of possessions. The law is one of those possessions that has been given to us from our covenant God and handed down through the line of continued generations. Do we treat it as a treasure? If we do, it will be the joy of our heart. Sing Psalter 334.

May 30 Read Psalm 119:113-120

Do we always hate vain or empty thoughts? There are many of them around us. Some of them are offered up in the guise of fun. Others are out and out sin. We need to pray often to God that he holds us up. Those vain thoughts will weigh us down and cause us not to walk in his law. Those fears mentioned in verse 120 are the fears that keep us from sin. God’s law shows us that we must stay away from sin, or we will become like the wicked. As Solomon says, “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Let us do this each and every day. Sing Psalter 335.

May 31 Read Psalm 119:121-128

As the Psalmist has been led through the way of affliction, he has learned that it is not what he must do for himself but rather what God must do for him. His only escape through every kind of trial is the law and mercy of God. These two ideas are inseparable because both are perfect. We cannot keep that law and it is only because of God’s boundless mercy that we are not consumed by our sins. Do we hate every false way? Do we make this our prayer every day? When we confess that we love God’s commandments above all else, then and only then can we have hope to hate the false way. Sing Psalter 336.

June 1 Read Psalm 119:129-136

As the Psalmist lived with those who were the church, he was distressed when he saw them breaking God’s law. Through many experiences he had learned of the value of that Word, and how it was the way that God’s people should live. Now he saw that law broken and trampled underfoot by those who had been saved by that law. What about us: are we moved to tears by the disregard of God’s law by those around us? Are we zealous that God’s law is handled even as valuable possessions are handled? Let us take comfort that God will use his law for our good and for the good of his church. Let us pray daily that God’s face shine upon us and give to us peace. Sing Psalter 337.

June 2 Read Psalm 119:137-144

One comfort, which the child of God always has, is that no matter what the situation may be, God’s commandments are delightful. As it is stated in the New Testament, God’s law is not grievous. That law, which leads us to Christ, leads us upon a path that has a glorious end. That end is not found in this valley of the shadow of death. That end is in heaven where God will be praised every day. Trouble and anguish may be our lot now, but something far more glorious will be theirs who keep God’s law. Let us pray daily for understanding that we may obtain that eternal life wrought for us by Christ. Sing Psalter 338.

June 3 Read Psalm 119:145-152

In verses 147 and 148 we have the word prevent. In this context it means to anticipate or begin before. The Psalmist here is anticipating a regular time of day, and in anticipating it, he begins his daily devotions before the usual time. We must pray and worship God privately. We do this by reading God’s Word, for in that Word are the wonders of salvation. In that word is the light that will lead us upon the path of this life. Our anticipation of this time of worship shows not only our eagerness for that Word but also our dependence on that Word as our guide. In our leaning upon that Word, we confess that Jehovah is ever near us and will help us in all our needs. His Word is sure and everlasting; of that there is no doubt. Let us worship daily and come before his throne of grace in prayer. Sing Psalter 339.

June 4 Read Psalm 119:153-160

Each of us has been given some affliction in this life. These afflictions pale when compared to the affliction that God’s Son our Savior suffered on our behalf. Our walk in his law leads us to Christ our redeemer. We can face these afflictions and bear them because Jehovah’s tender mercies are great, and as the prophet Jeremiah said, they are “new every morning.” Even in affliction the Psalmist was grieved because sinners walked not in God’s ways. Are we so concerned about God’s word that we can forget our troubles? We must pray to be quickened by God, for in that way we will find the peace and comfort that we need. Sing Psalter 340.

June 5 Read Psalm 119:161-168

While we might say that the Psalmist is boasting in this part of the Psalm, he is not boasting of himself. He realizes that the only way that he can live is through the law of God. Therefore, what appears to be boasting of his works is admiration for the law of God that guides him in all situations. Notice verse 165. Peace is a much sought after commodity. The world wants peace and cannot find it because daily they disregard the law of God. The child of God will walk without peace when he forgets or refuses to walk in that law. May we seek the peace that is everlasting and perfect. May we do this by daily loving God’s law and living our lives out of that law. Sing Psalter 341.

June 6 Read Psalm 119:169-176

As the Psalmist closes this Psalm, he continues to utter forth words of praise and admiration for God’s law. That law is invaluable to our lives. We need to read it, study it, learn it, and use it every day. This section is also a prayer. This, too, we must do each day and often each day. We, too, must confess that we need the hand of God to help us along the twists and turns of life’s paths. Finally, once more he confesses that, because of sin, he goes astray. Do we realize this about ourselves? Are we ready to confess that we have gone astray? Let us, always, pray that God will seek us, take us from our lost condition, and set us on the right path. This is the way to true peace on this earth, and this is the way that will lead us to the coming glory. May we say every day, “O how love I thy law; it is my meditation all the day.” Sing Psalter 342.

June 7 Read Psalm 19:1-6

In the Belgic Confession we are shown that God teaches us about himself in two ways. This Psalm bears that truth out. The first is that in nature, we can see God and his glory. And, of course, we have his Word. In the first part of this Psalm we are told to look to the sky to see the glory of God. This can be seen each day and night. At night we see the stars which speak of his infinity and again his glory. In the day when the sky is clear, the brilliant sun shines forth against a sky of crystalline blue. If there are clouds of any type, we again can see God and some of his attributes. That sun is a picture of the Son of God. As the prophet Malachi proclaims, he is the “Sun of righteousness risen with healing in his wings.” Let us daily take the time to admire God’s creation, that “most elegant book.” Sing Psalter 37.

June 8 Read Psalm 19:7-14

After teaching us that the creation, that most excellent book, shows to us God and his glory, the Psalmist turns to the Word of God which must be precious to the child of God. As you read through the first five verses of this section you see that the Psalmist regards that Word very highly. Is this our attitude toward the Word of God? Is it more precious to us than anything that we may desire or possess on this earth? Then the Psalmist realizes that that Word shows to him his sins, and that he must confess those sins and seek God’s forgiveness for them. He also prays that God would keep him from sin. Let us pray those beautiful words of verse 14. Let us, each day of our lives, seek to have our words be acceptable to God our strength and our redeemer. Sing Psalter 38.

June 9 Read Proverbs 1:1-7

The wise king Solomon wanted to instruct his children in the ways of Jehovah. This was a wide-ranging instruction which included doctrine and many aspects of daily life. Solomon had learned that true wisdom only comes from God, and he wishes to instruct covenant youth in that wisdom. The keystone to this chapter is found in verse 7. True wisdom must be based on the fear of Jehovah. If we do not fear our covenant God, we will have nothing. To disdain true wisdom and its accompanying knowledge is to live a life of a fool. Let us ponder the words of the wise king and embrace them all the days of our lives. Sing Psalter 42.

June 10 Read Proverbs 1:8-19

Children and young people are called to walk in the way of the antithesis. They must learn to say yes to the things of God and to say no to the things of Satan. Saying yes to the things of God will give to them the grace needed to live in this life. Of course, grace is given to them by faith in order to say yes to the right things. And that same grace also enables them to say no to the wicked enticements of the world. Parents must always remind the covenant seed to “consent thou not.” Saying no is active; it is not passive. May we pray daily for grace to walk in the path of life. May parents pray for the grace to daily teach their children about that path. In this way God will bless each of us. Sing Psalter 24.

June 11 Read Proverbs 1:20-33

After setting forth the contrast of walking in wisdom and walking in folly, the wise king Solomon shows the folly of not turning to the wisdom that is found in God. As we will discover in a later chapter, this wisdom is Christ himself. There are times in our lives when God calls his people to turn from the folly of their ways. Our failure to do this is also folly. Those who turn will dwell safely all the days of their lives and have a sure dwelling place in the house of the Lord. May we heed his call and walk in wisdom as we live out our lives on this earth. Sing Psalter 146.

June 12 Read Proverbs 2:1-9

Living the Christian life is to live an active life seeking after Jehovah’s wisdom. We must live a life of sanctification “working out our salvation with fear and trembling.” We must listen to his Word as it is found in Scripture, proclaimed on the Sabbath and taught in the catechism room. When we seek the fear of the Lord, then we will find the strait path and narrow gate that is the way to eternal glory. We must seek this way and this wisdom even more zealously than we would seek some earthly riches. We must do this because this way is more precious and has an everlasting value. May God give to us the necessary grace to seek this way always. Sing Psalter 1.

June 13 Read Proverbs 2:10-22

Solomon continues to instruct his son in the folly of following any thing but wisdom’s path. Notice verse 17. Covenant children and young people have been, by grace, given a guide that will direct them all of their lives. This guide, God’s Word, will lead them unfailingly on the right path. To ignore it is sure failure in this life and, of course, the life to come. This instruction is found in the friendship of God and his people. When we follow this guide, great blessings will be ours. Sing Psalter 428.