Watching Daily At My Gates

June 14 Read Proverbs 3:1-6

Notice verses 5 and 6. Here we are commanded to trust only in God. We are not to think that we can live our lives on our own. If this is our thought, we will surely fail. When we read through the Bible, we might wonder why we would place our trust in anything or anyone other than Jehovah. But we must remember that we have our old nature inside of us. That nature wants to be number one. That nature wants credit for the way that we live. We need to have complete trust in God. When we do, he will give to us the peace that we need. He will give to us the confidence to live a life pleasing to him. One of the ways that we do this is to live out of God’s law. May this be our goal throughout all of our lives. Sing Psalter 73.

June 15 Read Proverbs 3:7-12

The book of Proverbs is full of little gems to which we would do well to pay heed. In verse 9, Solomon gives to his son and the church instruction about giving. We need this instruction. We are inclined to think that our money is ours to do with as we please. Like everything else, money is God’s good gift to us. With it we need to honor him. We do this with our first fruits, not the leftovers. We can be assured that if we do not honor God in this way, he will not honor us. The words of the final two verses of this section are for all believers. We are all chastened, and that is good, because by that chastening we know that he loves us. Sing Psalter 137.

June 16 Read Proverbs 3:13-20

There are two thoughts in today’s passage of Scripture. First of all, we see the value that Solomon places on wisdom. He compares it to any of the riches that are valued in the world and can find nothing with which it compares. Do we find such a conclusion in our lives? Are we able to place the wisdom of Jehovah above anything that we value in this life, even life itself? Secondly, we see that by this wisdom all things happen in this world. This “all things” includes the elements of weather. How many times do we say, “It’s raining, snowing, cold, etc.” God, by his wisdom, which is essentially Christ, brings all weather to us. How great our God is! Let us value his wisdom far above any other. Sing Psalter 40.

June 17 Read Proverbs 3:21-26

The words of Christ are our guide in all situations. This is the testimony of the Psalmist in Psalms 19 and 119, and this is the testimony of Solomon in this book. With true wisdom leading us, we will not fear any situation that may occur in our lives. The last verse of this section shows to us that we must trust in Jehovah at all times. Self-confidence will not lead us very far. Confidence in a sinful man or in some creature will not preserve us. The confidence we must have must be found in Jehovah, our strength and our redeemer. When he is our confidence, we can be assured that we will have nothing to fear. Sing Psalter 120.

June 18 Read Proverbs 3:27-35

Solomon makes a few comments on how, by using wisdom correctly, we should live with our neighbors. The second of the “great” commandments is to love our neighbor as ourselves. We see some practical applications of this principle in these verses. Do we show that we love our neighbor? Are we ready to help him at any time with anything? We should not be asking the question, “What is in it for me?” We should be asking the question, “How do I glorify God?” When we seek our neighbor’s good, we seek God’s glory, and as our beloved Heidelberg Catechism puts it, “by our godly walk others may be led to him.” Sing Psalter 24.

June 19 Read Proverbs 4:1-9

In this chapter Solomon sums up many of the thoughts found earlier in the book of Proverbs as well as later on in the book. His admonition to his son, which should be all fathers’ admonition to their children, is to get the wisdom of Jehovah. That wisdom is the means that will carry them through all of their lives. Solomon had much worldly wisdom. As the Bible tells us, he was the wisest man that ever lived. The most valuable wisdom given to him by God was, however, the wisdom that was the principal thing. May all the elect young people seek God’s wisdom. In this way God will be glorified and the church will be blessed. Sing Psalter 322.

June 20 Read Proverbs 4:10-18

Solomon continues to give his son and us instruction concerning the right path for us to follow. This is the path of wisdom, which is the path that is lit by the Word of God. Many times in Scripture we can find allusions to that path. All that we know about roads on this earth and traveling on such roads can be applied to the path that leads us to heaven. There are good roads on this earth, and there are bad roads. There is a good road on which the righteous must travel, and there is an evil road that we must avoid at all costs. That good road has as its end the perfect day. That day is the one when Christ will return on the clouds of heaven to lead us to our eternal destination. Let us walk, people of God, in the way of wisdom. Sing Psalter 333.

June 21 Read Proverbs 4:19-27

In contrast to the way of the righteous is the way of the wicked. This is according to the antithesis that God has placed before us. In walking on the correct path, we must be antithetical in our lives. We must daily say yes to the things of God and no to the things of the world. This means that when we are on the path that leads to eternal glory, we may not step off of that path. We must look ahead to the new Jerusalem and ignore any sinful pleasures of this earth. This must be done with our whole beings as evidenced by the number of body parts Solomon uses to describe our necessary walk. May God grant to us the grace needed to walk the antithetical walk on our journey in this life. Sing Psalter 70.

June 22 Read Proverbs 5:1-6

Another analogy that Solomon uses to explain to God’s people about true wisdom is that of a woman. A wise woman is a prize that should be eagerly sought after. The woman who portrays foolishness is one from whom we should vigorously flee. When we examine Solomon’s portrayal of her, we should shudder. She is grotesque. Nevertheless, she has charms that would entice the staunchest of Christians. Our defense must be the knowledge of God’s Word and complete reliance upon our Savior. Let us seek him with all our energies and flee from the wisdom of the world. Sing Psalter 64.

June 23 Read Proverbs 5:7-14

Solomon continues with his instruction on following the wisdom of Jehovah and fleeing from the wisdom of the wickedness of this world. He shows how following the wicked wisdom will lead to all kinds of evils on this earth. Solomon is not just worried about earthly troubles; he looks ahead to life after death. Those who do not walk the right path will not end in heaven. We need this admonition, and we need it daily. We are prone to wickedness. It is only by God’s grace that we walk on the path that leads to glory. Let us strive to live a sanctified life of thankfulness to our God every day. Sing Psalter 33.

June 24 Read Proverbs 5:15-23

Notice verse 21. We may think that we are acting in secret sometimes, but in actuality all of our actions are open to the eyes of the all-seeing God. As we are under his gaze, what does he see? Does he see his covenant people walking in ways to glorify him, or does he see those who seek to glorify Satan? Our sins, as the Psalmist says, “rise up against us, prevailing day by day.” What a wonderful thing it is to know that our God is a merciful God, and even though he sees us as we are, he sees us through the blood of his Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us walk in a way pleasing to our merciful God. Sing Psalter 170.

June 25 Read Proverbs 6:1-11

One of Solomon’s well-known proverbs is found in verse 6, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard.” God has provided for us in his creation many examples and means of instruction in how we must live. Even the tiniest of creatures can teach us and can put us to shame. Each of us, from the very young to the very old, has work on this earth. It may be the work of school, of an occupation, in the home, or especially in the church. Are we diligent in that work or are we lazy? Do we glorify God in our work or not? These are the questions that we must answer now so that we can give an answer in the day of judgment. Sing Psalter 305.

June 26 Read Proverbs 6:12-19

Among the sins examined in the book of Proverbs are sins of the tongue. There are many ways in which we can use our tongues sinfully. Three of them are found in the seven things that are an abomination to Jehovah. In these verses we find a lying tongue, a false witness, and he that soweth discord among the brethren. Any of them by themselves can cause havoc in God’s church. Take them together and the trouble multiplies. We must struggle daily to control our tongues. We must work on using our tongue to glorify God and him alone. This takes grace, and for it we must come to our God in prayer. Let us do this often and seek to use our tongue in a right way. Sing Psalter 105.

June 27 Read Proverbs 6:20-35

Among the commandments given to God’s people is the seventh “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” This commandment is not heeded very well today. Whether it be broken in its basest form or, as practiced throughout the world, including the church, in divorce, we act as if God does not care if we break this commandment. God has given to us the institution of marriage as a symbol of the relationship between Christ and his church. As with all earthly pictures, it is tainted by sin; but yet it is God-given, and it is our responsibility to keep it. As we look for the new Jerusalem where we can participate in the one great wedding feast, let us live pure lives on this earth. Sing Psalter 360.

June 28 Read Proverbs 7:1-10

In this chapter we have a comparison between the wisdom which comes from God and the wisdom of the world. One leads unto life and the other unto death. God’s wisdom is found in the keeping of his commandments that are the sure pathway to eternal joy. The other is the breaking of every commandment and the pathway to eternal destruction. While one may appear more appealing, that is all that it is-appearances. People of God, let us follow the pathway to life that is highlighted by the fear of Jehovah. Sing Psalter 32.

June 29 Read Proverbs 7:11-20

Does God see all things? The evil woman in this passage thinks not or cares not. She will do her evil because the master of the house is gone. She will use that enticement to tempt the child of God to sin. Then we must go back to the question, “Does God see all things?” The answer is, of course, “Yes, he does.” Our God is an all-knowing God who sees every action of those on earth. We must walk a holy life before the eyes of the all-seeing God. We must be holy before him who is thrice holy. Let us pray often each day to walk in holiness. Sing Psalter 61.

June 30 Read Proverbs 7:21-27

Solomon becomes very direct with his admonition to his children. He describes the evil way in which the world wishes us to walk, and not only the temporal effects of continuing on that way, but also the eternal effects. Parents and other adults, we must point out to our children the evil present in this world, and we must do so, sometimes, with a very graphic explanation. Children and young people, those older than you have been placed in authority for just this purpose. Let us pray for the grace to walk in the way ordained by Jehovah. Sing Psalter 278.

July 1 Read Proverbs 8:1-11

From a lurid description of the world’s folly come the beautiful words of chapter 8. In it we find words describing the wisdom which comes from above. As we read these words, we find that wisdom here is personified, and the person shown is none other than Christ. Verses 10 and 11 should give to us the goal of education and work ambitions. That goal should not be the gathering of riches, but rather the amassing of the knowledge from on high. That knowledge is a plain not incomprehensible knowledge. It is the knowledge that leads to a blessed end. Students and people of God of all ages must train their minds and hearts to seek after this wisdom. May this be our goal; may this be our prayer. Sing Psalter 53.

July 2 Read Proverbs 8:12-21

The benefits of having and using true wisdom are espoused in this section of Proverbs 8. As we walk in this world, we need to walk a walk of sanctification. How may this be done? Only by having and using the wisdom described here. As you compare the effects of true wisdom and the evil described in the preceding chapter, you can see the extreme difference. While one seems “fun” for the moment, the effects of both are long lasting. Let us seek this wisdom early, and by God’s grace we will find a way that will keep us from the evil one. Sing Psalter 355.

July 3 Read Proverbs 8:22-31

Here again we have another text that shows God to be the creator of the world. Many in the world would remove the first chapters of Genesis from our Bibles. If they would really study Scripture they would find that they would have to remove much more than that. Christ was the Word that was spoken to cause all things to come into being. Christ was the Word who was made flesh and was crucified for our sakes. You cannot have one without the other. This chapter makes that plain. Let us rejoice in Christ our Creator and Savior every day of our lives. Let us live those lives in the consciousness of how wonderful he is. Sing Psalter 85.

July 4 Read Proverbs 8:32-36

Solomon finishes up this beautiful chapter with admonition for children. Those who say that it is not important for children and young people to be taught the ways of the Lord or that they must have time to “sow wild oats” are very mistaken. Elsewhere in this book of wisdom, Solomon exhorts us to “Train up a child…” Children and young people must be taught wisdom and must learn to seek after it. The Holy Spirit through Solomon gives to us the reason in verse 35. Let us work hard at helping our children and young people to find wisdom and to stay on its paths. In doing this both they and we will be blessed. Sing Psalter 425.

July 5 Read Proverbs 9:1-9

Wisdom also is portrayed as a woman. She uses similar methods as the evil woman, but her goal is not the same. Her goal is to help those whom God has chosen to walk in that wisdom. In the remainder of the book of Proverbs we are instructed in how we must walk in that true wisdom which comes from above. The first admonition is to forsake those who are fools. We cannot change them; they will only hinder or endanger us. Let us heed Solomon’s wisdom to forsake the foolish and to go in the way of understanding. Sing Psalter 391.

July 6 Read Proverbs 9:10-18

It is so important that we walk in the right way. Solomon shows to us this importance as he reiterates some of the thoughts that we have encountered earlier in the book of Proverbs. You have here the difference between the right way-the way of Jehovah, and the wrong way-the way of Satan. Each of these ways has an end. That end is for eternity. The end of the way of wisdom is life everlasting in sweet communion with God. The end of the way of folly is a place in the depths of hell far from God. Young people, you must look for the right way. Parents and other adults, you must help the young people find that way by direction and example. Let us seek the wisdom of God and impress it upon all those comprehended in the covenant. Sing Psalter 384.

July 7 Read Proverbs 10:1-10

We begin a different section of the book of Proverbs. While each of these verses may look as if it is unconnected to the rest, we must see that it is Solomon’s admonition to his son and God’s admonition to us. Each of these verses are Hebrew poetical device-antithetical parallelism. Notice the word but that is found in each one. By understanding this device, we can understand more clearly the verse’s teaching. The second half of the verse is the opposite of the first. They give to us the positive and negative teaching about a similar thought. May we be as the wise son who gathereth in the summer. May we glean from God’s Word all the nuggets of wisdom found in it. Sing Psalter 336.

July 8 Read Proverbs 10:11-21

A main thought in this section of Proverbs is wise use of the tongue. In the Ten Commandments there are two commandments that govern our tongues-the third and the ninth. Our beloved Heidelberg Catechism also includes the tongue in its exposition of others of the commandments such as the sixth. James, in his epistle to the church, also speaks of the sins of the tongue. We need, first of all, to guard our tongue. We must make sure that we love God and the neighbor with every word that we say. Secondly, we need to use our tongue to promote the glory of God at all times. Read through these verses over and over, and see all the ways that we can do these things. Then work hard at using the tongue in right ways. Sing Psalter 313.

July 9 Read Proverbs 10:22-32

All around us in nature are evidences of God’s will for the world. As we watch the wind we not only see a picture of the Holy Spirit, but we also see the emptiness of those who walk in wicked ways. They exist, they die, and they are gone. The righteous, however, are for ever because, like the rock, God has established them. Christ is the sure cornerstone upon which all the other stones of the church are set. The wicked cannot be part of that foundation because there is no strength in their ways. Read through these verses once more and see what morsels of delicious food you can glean. Sing Psalter 285.