Watching Daily At My Gates

The Song of Zion

“A Psalter–Psalm Devotional of Praise to Our Sovereign Covenant God”

January 16 Read Psalm 42:2; Psalter 114:1; 115:1; 116:2; 117:1; 118:1; Amos 8:11-14

The land may burst with an abundance of crops, your garage may house two new cars, your house may be large and luxurious, but a spiritual famine may be ravaging you life. Nothing is more terrifying to the child of God than a famine of God’s Word. Five Psalter numbers are devoted to the expression of this fear and the comfort of God’s promises. We easily take it for granted that we have an abundance of spiritual food and drink each week. Pray that God never take away His Word to chastise us for our indifference. Pray that our elders may be strengthened in their work of maintaining the preaching and discipline in our churches. Sing the Psalter numbers.

January 17 Read Psalm 42:3; Psalter 114:2; 2 Peter 3:1-7

As the world round about us continues to become more intolerant of the true church of God they become more bold in their scoffing “Where is thy God.” Give thanks unto God for the church where we can hear the reassuring Word of God. But do you ever wonder why we are such a minority? Does it make your faith waver? Even the so-called “church world” is quickly calling God’s Word a myth and that it is foolish to expect a literal return of Christ. How much more difficult it would be if our churches were forced into hiding and we were scattered and alone. Turn then to 2 Peter where God calls us to remember the faithful promises of God. Sing the Psalter.

January 18 Read Psalm 42:4; Psalter 114:3; 118:2; Acts 2:43-47

David is filled with grief when he thinks of the former days when he led the people to worship God. He was content and satisfied then. Do we look forward to and cherish the Lord’s Day? The early Church desired to gather with God’s people every day and show forth their thankfulness. May we also be filled with a desire to be with the people of God to hear God’s Word. May every day be a day in which we do our work in thankfulness to God for our salvation. May we never look back with regret because we did not use the Lord’s Day to serve Him but rather to satisfy our own desires. Sing the Psalter.

January 19 Read Psalm 42:5; Psalter 114:4; 116:3; 118:3; 2 Peter 1:1-16

David became very lonely and depressed when he was forced to flee from the gathering of God’s people. The disciples and early church would also easily slip into sadness after Jesus ascended into heaven. But God has given unto us the gift of memory and spiritual knowledge of God by which we cling to His promises. He will never forsake us. We will see His face. He reveals His love in the way of delivering us from trouble. Pray for faith which gives hope. Sing the Psalter numbers.

January 20 Read Psalm 42:6; Psalter 114:5; 118:3; Jonah 2:1-7

God is everywhere present. No matter where we are God is there and He hears our every word and knows our every thought. This truth is a great comfort to every believer because when we are far from home, lost, or unable to be with God’s people in church, then we always have an opportunity to find comfort in the knowledge of this truth. Remember this truth. We do not know when it may be the only thing we have. Cherish each day you have in the comfort of your home and the house of God. Pray for the faith that will uphold you in the day of great need. Sing the Psalter numbers.

January 21 Read Psalm 42:7; Psalter 114:6; 115:2; 117:2; Acts 27:16-25

David compares his feelings to those of a sailor out in the sea in the middle of a storm. The storm-tossed sea is often used in Scripture to describe turmoil. Unceasing waves of grief loosen every fiber of strength. The only comfort when we are completely undone is to trust in God. God revealed to Paul that all the troubles he endured were for his salvation. We are made weak so that God’s strength is magnified in us. We must remember also that God does not leave His people in despair. God will always send his Word of comfort and will gather us into his presence of everlasting joy and peace. Sing the Psalter numbers.

January 22 Read Psalm 42:8; Psalter 114:7; 115:3; 117:3; Acts 16:22-32

The song of Zion is a very precious gift. We do well to spend much time learning Psalter numbers and teaching them to our children. The saints who lie day and night on their bed in the rest home cling to those songs and sing them in the night for comfort. The Psalms are a great gift of God. He speaks to us through them and uses them to bring joy into our hearts. May we be diligent to learn them and teach them to the children. Sing the Psalter numbers.

January 23 Read Psalm 42:9; Psalter 114:8; Matthew 26:38-44

God is our Rock. We know it, yet we often see how weak our flesh is. We know God does not forget us, yet we are filled with fear and sorrow when the enemy comes against us. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. It is important for us to know how weak we are in ourselves. The disciples also needed to be taught that the salvation of Christ is by grace alone. May God fill you with a spirit that is indeed willing so that you cry diligently to God in your time of need. He will show his power and grace in our weak flesh. Sing the Psalter.

January 24 Read Psalm 42:10; Psalter 114:9; 1 Timothy 4

The scoffing of the wicked is a most piercing arrow of the devil. The wicked know they will be punished and they can’t stand the presence of those redeemed. They especially delight when our sins bring us to sorrow. They take advantage of the weakness of our flesh and ask, “where is the God that is supposed to save you?” They want to take you into their own way toward destruction. We can expect more taunting by the world as the end of the world draws nearer. Do you know where God is? Let us make our calling and election sure by diligent study of God’s word and attentive ears in the House of God. Then, though we cry out to God, we cling more tightly to our God and abhor sin. Sing the Psalter.

January 25 Read Psalm 42:11; Psalter 114:10; 115:4; 116:4; 117:4; 1 John 3:16-24

Hope in God is essential as we live in this world of sin. Hope is a central theme in this Psalm and therefore is included in many of the Psalter numbers we sing. Our hope is rooted in the love of God manifest in the cross. Do you desire a firm hope? We must know the truth of God’s salvation and we must love one another; then hope will also dwell within your heart. Crucify your sinful pride, reach out to the brother and sister in the Lord in love. Hope in God and He will lift up your soul from despair. Sing the Psalter.

January 26 Read Psalm 43:1; Psalter 119:1; 120:1; 1 Peter 2:20-25

The Christian will be unjustly accused. We will suffer the unjust blows of wicked men when we do the right. Our calling is not to fight back and take justice into our own hands. Christ is our example. We must do well and if we suffer at the hands of wicked men for doing well, we are to take it patiently. Christ committed Himself to God Who judges righteously. Come to God with your cries of injustice. It is not sign of weakness, but our humble submission is our glory. We glory in our God for He will be glorified in all things. Sing the Psalter numbers.

January 27 Read Psalm 43:2; Psalter 119:2; 120:2; Ephesians 6:10-18

Do not expect an easy life once you put on the whole armor of God. The armor is not to make life easy, it is for fighting and protecting our life with God. Knowing God will keep and protect us, we may wonder why it would appear at times that God abandons us. Be assured, it is not because God has indeed abandoned us, but rather because our eyes do not always see the ways of God. We must live by faith in obedience to God. We must not let our fears and feelings guide our actions. Take the armor of God and fight. Pray always for perseverance. God will send relief. Sing the Psalter.

January 28 Read Psalm 43:3; Psalter 119:3; Psalter 120:3; John 1:1-14

When we experience the heat of our spiritual battles and God seems to have abandoned us, rest assured that it is not as we think, but it is our own blindness. Pray for the light of God which will guide us to peace and fellowship with God. Those who cry to God in their distress are those who were born “not of the will of man, but of God.” God will never forsake His elect children. He has given us the Light of the Gospel: our salvation by grace alone in Christ. Give thanks to God today for the sound doctrines of grace which we hear from our pulpits. May God continue to bless us with the pure preaching of His Word. Sing the Psalter.

January 29 Read Psalm 43:4; Psalter 119:4; 120:4; Romans 5:1-11

Deliverance from our sorrows and troubles will bring us to offer up our sacrifice of thankful obedience to God. Deliverance works in us joy and peace that can not be comprehended. Indeed the ways of God are marvelous. Seek the joy that we have alone in God. Seek for this joy in the knowledge of God gained through your tribulations. Seek for this joy in the knowledge of God gained through a study of His salvation in Christ. Sing the Psalter.

January 30 Read Psalm 43:5; Psalter 119:5; 1 Kings 19:13-18

Is your soul cast down and disquieted? Depression often strikes after a time of great joy and spiritual strength. Elijah could not even ask himself the question, “Why is my soul cast down?” It is a question that we must face because the child of God has no reason to be depressed. Depression may be a chemical imbalance within our body, but at bottom it is a problem with sin. Our corrupt mind is responsible even for the chemical imbalances within our bodies. Pray that God may seek you out in our times of depression and show us our sins. Sing the Psalter.

January 31 Read Psalm 43:5; Psalter 119:6; Psalter 120

Psalter 120 included this verse in the chorus as a constant reminder to hope in God. Hope is not merely a wish as the word is commonly used today. We may say that we hope for sunshine without being certain that sunshine will come. Spiritual hope is certain. We hope in God in the sense of longing for a quick return to His fellowship. Our hope is rooted in the promises of God. We live by faith. All of our life is a life of hope in God. Hope is a very important subject for the believer. Hope was the constant source of joy for the Psalmist as we saw in Psalm 42:5 and 11. May God give you hope for this new year. Sing the Psalter.



Reprinted from February 1998.

Watching Daily At My Gates

The Song of Zion

“A Psalter–Psalm Devotional of Praise to Our Sovereign Covenant God”

February 1-12 by Mike Feenstra

February 1 Read Psalm 44:1-8; Psalm 44:1-2

“Yea, for Thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” This is the evaluation of Israel by the Psalmist in Psalm 44. How could this be since God had promised Israel that He would give them Canaan for an everlasting inheritance? Had God forgotten His covenant? Had he delivered Israel from Egypt and planted them in Canaan only to let them be overrun and mocked by the surrounding nations? How could God let this happen to His chosen people? Was not His own Name at stake? These and many other related questions often rise in our hearts when we read in Scripture of the church amid persecution. And from Psalm 44, we know that the Psalmist had the same questions. What are the answers to these questions? In our devotionals on Psalm 44, we will seek the answers to these critical questions which have troubled the Church of Christ for ages. Try to find the answers from Scripture for yourself as we go along. Sing Psalter 121:1.

February 2 Read Psalm 80; Psalm 44:3

The inspired Psalmist begins our Psalm with a wonderful confession of God’s covenant faithfulness toward Israel. He knows the covenant which God established with his fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He knows that God promised to Israel the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession. How does he know all this? The answer is that he was taught by his fathers of Israel’s victories through God’s outstretched arm. We sing of those victories in Psalter 121:1 with these words, “The nations were crushed and expelled by Thy hand, Cast out that Thy people might dwell in their land.” How is this possible? Only in Jehovah God: “But Thy right hand saved and the light of Thy face, Because of Thy favor and wonderful grace” (St. 2). Indeed, only through God’s sovereign grace do we defeat our foes including those that persecute us. Sing Psalter 121:2.

February 3 Read I Samuel 17:38-50; Psalm 44:4-5

By recounting before God his past favor toward Israel, the Psalmist in verse 4 cries to God to deliver Israel again for His Name’s sake. His cry to God is one that the Church has always made, and one that we will also make in the last days. It is this: “God, Thou hast established Thy covenant with our fathers and Thou hast delivered them. Now we are persecuted because we confess Thy Name as our fathers did. Why dost Thou allow the wicked to persecute us and drag Thy Name in the mud?” (See vss. 13,14; Cp. Psalm 74). We find the answer in David’s defeat of Goliath. There God showed to all the world that He will not tolerate the mocking of His Name. He will assuredly glorify His Name by delivering us from the derision of our persecutors. Let this be our comfort in the dark days to come. Sing Psalter 121:3.

February 4 Read Joshua 6; Psalm 44:6-8

Jericho, Gideon and the Midianites, and Hezekiah and Sennacherib (Josh. 6, Jud. 7, & 2 Kings 19 resp.). All monumental victories given to Israel directly by Jehovah. Truly, Israel could sing, “No trust will I place in my strength to defend, Nor yet on my sword as a safeguard depend; In Thee, Who hast saved us and put them to shame, We boast all the day, ever praising Thy Name.” We can be sure that the Psalmist knew the history of these victories well. And even though he was under sore persecution, he boasted in God’s grace and praised Him for His goodness. Is this our attitude when we are afflicted by God? Let us learn from this Psalm patience and trust in God. Sing Psalter 121:4.

February 5 Read Psalm 44:9-19; Psalm 9:9-10

In vs. 9 and following, we read of the persecution that Israel endured for God’s sake. Israel was mocked and reproached by the surrounding nations. They were the byword of their neighbors as Job was. They were as sheep ready to be killed. What a difference from the Israel spoken of in verses 1-8! Why? Why were they afflicted even though they were following His way? This was the same question the Psalmist asked when he stated, “But Thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies” (vs. 9). Had God really cast off His people? Did He forget their affliction and oppression? Surely He did not for God never ceases to watch over His people (Cp. Psalm 94:14). Nevertheless, at that time God did not help them in their affliction and persecution for this reason, so that they would look to Him alone for help. Israel needed to learn to wait on the Lord, and so do we. Sing Psalter 122:1.

February 6 Read Psalm 39; Psalm 44:11-12

In verses 11-12 the Psalmist continues to lay before God the persecution of Israel. The Psalmist illustrates this when he states: “Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat” (Cp. vs. 22). But, note that he recognizes God as the One Who did it, that is, he confesses that God is sovereign over persecution and evil. Many in the church world today will not make this confession. “God does not will affliction and persecution, Satan does!” they say. By this statement they deny the sovereignty of God over evil, the very doctrine that has given the saints of all ages peace in their suffering. Do we love this doctrine as they did? Then, let us defend it even though the vast majority of the churches resist us. Sing Psalter 122:2.

February 7 Read Job 30; Psalm 44:13-14

We read in Psalm 44:13 that Israel was the laughingstock of the heathen round about because those nations knew that Israel was chosen of God. While Israel writhed in pain, the mockers around derided them and blasphemed God’s Name. It is easy for us here to condemn the heathen for their wickedness, but what about us? Are we copying the wicked by persecuting our fellow believers? We do this whenever we mock a brother in Christ who stands up for God. Young people, you do this when you snicker at the good confession of a peer in the society room. This type of persecution stings the heart of the child of God. Therefore, let us be on our guard lest we partake in the evil deeds of the wicked. Sing Psalter 122:3.

February 8 Read John 15:18-27; Psalm 44:15-16

“The voice of blasphemers and scoffers I hear, The foe and avenger against me appear.” The question is: Why? Why are we persecuted? John 15:18-27 provides the answer. It is because we have been chosen out of this world by God and ingrafted into Christ. The world hates us because the world hates Christ. Israel’s wicked neighbors hated them because they were the chosen nation who had Christ in them. If the world hates and persecutes us it only means that we belong to Christ! That is the testimony of John 15:19! Have you ever thought about that! Let this be our assurance when doubt arises in our hearts in the midst of persecution. Sing Psalter 122:4.

February 9 Read 2 Cor. 4:8-18; Psalm 44:17-19

Fellow believers, do you have a heavy burden to bear? Does it sometimes seem as if you are “crushed amid ruins and under death shade”? Do you sometimes wonder why God sends affliction even though you are following His statutes? The Psalmist had these same questions and his afflictions were far worse than ours, because he was severely persecuted. The Apostle Paul answers these questions in II Corinthians 4:18 where he says, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Light! Our afflictions are light? How can that be? It can only be because of the work of Christ on the cross, for through that He gave unto us eternal life. The weight of that eternal life is so infinitely heavy that the afflictions and persecution of this life are as nothing! Hallelujah! Sing Psalter 122:5.

February 10 Read Psalm 44:20-26; Psalm 44:20, 21, 26

The final section of Psalm 44 records for us the Psalmist’s cry to God for deliverance. He begins in verses 20-21 with this declaration: “If we have forgotten the Name of our God…Shall not God search this out?” By these words the Psalmist states by implication that Israel was not afflicted for their sin, but because they were confessing God’s Name. We can see this also by what he says in verse 22: “Yea for Thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” Amid these troubles the Psalmist cries, “Arise for our help, and redeem us for Thy mercies’ sake.” The Psalmist does this with the confidence that God will surely save them. Even when it seems as if God is hiding His face from us, let us also have confidence that He will save us. Sing Psalter 123:1.

February 11 Read Romans 8:28-36; Psalm 44:22, 23, 26

“Arise, cast us not off for ever.” Such was the cry of the Psalmist in verse 23. How often have you felt this way when afflictions rose up against you? During those afflictions did it feel as if God forgot you? In that difficult time, what was one of the Scripture passages that comforted your soul? Was it Romans 8:28-39? I venture to say that it was, for in Romans 8 Paul writes that no affliction or persecution can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus. What a comfort! God, Who elected us before the foundations of the world, has promised to us that He will preserve us to the end. That preservation He has accomplished through the death of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Who shall separate us from the love of God? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Absolutely nothing! And this because Christ has ingrafted us into Himself forever to remain! Sing Psalter 123:2.

February 12 Read Romans 8:37-39; Psalm 44:24-26

In our text for today we find the Psalmist lying with his face down in the dirt, unable to rise because of the oppression of the enemy. In this adversity he asks God, “Wherefore hidest Thou Thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression? (vs. 24)” This is a cry that many saints have made during the fires of persecution when the cause of Christ seemed to have been lost. This is a cry that we will make to God at the end of time when the persecution will be worse than at any time in history. Are we getting ready for those days? Are we seeking to find the answers to the problems of persecution and affliction? Then let us pray to God for His Spirit to lead us in the truth of His Scriptures. And let us call on God to save and preserve us in those last days. Let us do that because we know that in Him we are more than conquerors! Sing Psalter 123:3.

February 13-15 by John Huizenga

February 13 Read Psalm 45; Psalter 124:1

Our Psalter clearly lays out the meaning of this beautiful Psalm in the numbers 124 and 125. The first part of the Psalm is about Christ as King and the second part of the Psalm is about the Church as the bride of Christ. The inspired writer of this Psalm was glad to write down the wonderful revelation of God’s covenant fellowship with His people, the Church, which, as we noticed in Psalm 44, is persecuted and troubled in this world. The word of God revealed to us is so wonderful, it is a shame that everyone in church each Sunday does not sit at the edge of their pew with overflowing hearts and tongues eager to sing God’s praises. We must fight against sin because sin makes us dull and blind. Pray that God opens your eyes today that you might know the majesty and glory of our King. Sing the Psalter.

February 14 Read Psalm 45:2; Psalter 124:2; John 1:1-14

This verse directs our attention to the beauty of Christ our King, especially that beauty which is found in the words which He speaks. Christ is the Word of God. By the Word of God were all things created. By His Word, God made known to his people His eternal good pleasure to bring His people into covenant fellowship with Himself by grace in Christ. Do you see the beauty of Christ? The beauty of Christ comes out in the pure preaching of salvation by grace alone. Be diligent in your study of God’s Word. Pray for the working of His Spirit to enlighten your heart and mind. May Christ be beautiful in your eyes today. Sing the Psalter.

February 15 Read Ps. 45:3; Psltr. 124:3; Rev. 1:12-18

Christ our majestic King is wonderful in His words of grace. He is also equipped with a sword to defend His people from the enemy. He is the One promised to Adam and Eve who would crush the head of the serpent. He has killed death and arose from the grave in victory. He has ascended to the right hand of God in glory. The sun shines with brilliance and fierce heat beyond our comprehension, but it is as nothing compared to the glory of Christ. Today He guards His people from every attempt of Satan to take them from the fold. He preserves His church in the midst of a world swarming with devils. When we see Him come again in judgment, we will stand in awe of His majesty and filled with joy at His coming. Sing the Psalter.