Watching Daily At My Gates

March 1 Read Psalm 9

Psalm 9:1-2: This Psalm starts with a declaration of praise. David will praise God for the mercies that he has given him. In reading through the Psalm we see that David wrote this after enduring affliction and being delivered by God. We, too, while living an antithetical life will endure affliction on this earth. Will we be able to praise God during such affliction? Do you remember that Paul and Silas sang Psalms as they lay in the Philippian jail? Let us live lives in which we are constantly magnifying the praise of God. Let us do that tomorrow as we enter the courts of praise. Sing Psalter 16:1 and 17:1.

March 2 Read James 5:1-11

Psalm 9:3-4: Here we see David’s knowledge of the enemies that were around him. But his experience was that God protected him from those enemies. Not only did God protect him, but God also showed those enemies that David had done that which was right in his life and therefore was deserving of that protection. When we live a life marked by the antithesis, we can be assured that God will protect us and will justify us. When we refuse to live the antithetical life, God will chastise us in this life. Today as we frequent the house of God we must account before him of our actions. How do we stand? Will God say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant”? Sing Psalter 16:2 and 17:2.

March 3 Read Habakkuk 1:5-12

Psalm 9:5-8: The first two verses of this section shows us what God will do to his enemies. Are the enemies of God our enemies for his sake? Or do we join with the world and go against our God? It is a fearful thing to be judged by God and found wanting. But we have the beautiful promise found in the last two verses. Our covenant God, Jehovah, endures for ever. His justice is righteous. And because Christ has died for us, we know that we are innocent before the righteous judge. These two sections put together give us direction for daily life. They are good for us to consider as we begin our work week. Let us flee evil and seek that which is good. Sing Psalter 16:3.

March 4 Read II Corinthians 4:1-11

Psalm 9:9-10: Do you know God’s name? Some of you may be saying, “Of course I know the name of God, who doesn’t?” But do you know his name from experience? Do you have the confidence that God is your God and heavenly Father? If you do, then you have a beautiful refuge during times of affliction. You have a safe haven in which to flee. You will have someone in which to trust when situations become very bad. You have the blessing that God will not forsake you no matter what your circumstances are. How can you know God’s name? Verse 10 tells us to seek him. That is our command from God. Are we seeking him? Sing Psalter 16:4 and Psalter 17:3-4. (Maybe try the second tune today.)

March 5 Read Ephesians 5:15-21

Psalm 9:11-12: These verses, like the first two, speak of singing the praises of God. These, however, emphasize singing with God’s people. We are blessed in our schools that we have this opportunity for our children and young people. As adults we need to make more opportunities to sing with God’s people so that we speak of his great works which he has done for us. Verse 12 tells us why we must do this. Our songs are remembered by God as he avenges wrongs done by the wicked to his people. We must sing songs that portray us as humble saints declaring a majestic God. Let us make an effort to sing among God’s people often. Sing Psalter 16:5 and 17:5.

March 6 Read Matthew 20:29-34

Psalm 9:13-14: God’s mercy can be expressed as his compassion toward his people. We need that compassion for two reasons. First of all, it is our sins which rise up against us prevailing day by day. Secondly we need mercy because of the troubles caused by God’s enemies. The Old Testament saint had the picture of the high priest pouring the blood of atonement upon the mercy seat each year. Hebrews 4 teaches us to approach the throne of grace in order to find mercy. Verse 14 tells us the reason for desiring mercy from God’s enemies. We need this mercy so we can praise God by showing the joy of our salvation. Let this be our daily desire. Sing Psalter 16:6.

March 7 Read Proverbs 4:14-19

Psalm 9:15-16: Here in these verses we read of the end of the wicked. Those who continue in the way of sin only have their own wickedness to look forward to. God will continue to trap them in this wickedness. This is the testimony of Scripture. Think of Cain, Esau, Ahab, and Judas. They had no hope and only became more and more ensnared in sin. What does this tell us? Do we shake our heads and thank God that we are not like these men? We’d better not as Romans 3 tells us that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” If you are walking in sin, beloved people of God, flee from it to him and ask for his guidance that you not become trapped in it. Sing Psalter 16:7.

March 8 Read Deuteronomy 15:7-11

Psalm 9:17-18: Verse 17 continues the thought of the previous verses. Those who do not repent from their sin go to hell! This is the clear teaching of Scripture. In verse 18 we have the poor used as a picture of the people of God. As a rule God’s people are not the rich of the world. A materially rich Christian has a great obligation before God. He cannot buy his way into heaven; he must use his wealth in the service of God. One way that we must use our financial gifts is to care for the poor in the church. They are there; the passage we read today tells that to us. Christ tells us that also. The poor is anyone who has less than we do and are in need. God cares for the poor, and he expects us to do the same. We are poor spiritually, and he gave us his only Son to die for our salvation. Are we grateful? Then let us care for the poor. Sing Psalter 16:8.

March 9 Read Psalm 9

Psalm 9:19-20: The Psalmist finishes this Psalm by asking God to judge the wicked. This is an imprecatory prayer. This is not popular today. We are told to love, love, love. But loving sin is hatred against God and the neighbor. Must we pray such prayers? Yes, we must. Why? First of all because they are given to us as examples in Scripture. Secondly by praying such prayers, we show that we wish God’s name to be hallowed. As we see sin around us, we must not glory in that sin, but we must not ignore it either. God’s enemies blaspheme his name. We must pray that for the glory of his name, God will punish them and give to us the salvation wrought for us by Christ on the cross. Let us do it today as we meet with the believers of God and throughout our lives. Sing Psalter 16:9.

March 10 Read Psalm 10

Psalm 10:1-2 a: Once again we see the Psalmist crying to God for relief. He feels that God’s people who are always the poor of the land are being oppressed by the wicked. He prays that God would deliver them for his name’s sake. Do we make this our prayer? When we are oppressed because of our faith do we ask God for divine deliverance? Even though we do not live in the day and age when we can see God using the armies of Israel to bring vengeance, we must pray this prayer in the faith that God will deliver us. We must not rely on our strength or cunning, but rather we must throw ourselves upon God’s grace and mercy for deliverance. Sing the first stanzas of Psalter 18 & 19.

March 11 Read I Kings 21:1-14

Psalm 10:2 b: In this passage, taken from the history of God’s people, we see a poor righteous man preyed on by a wicked queen. He was afflicted and eventually killed because he stood for his faith. He would not sell his inheritance. People of God, are we ready to make Naboth’s stand ours? Young people, will you cancel your wedding plans because your intended will not share in your faith? Business men, can you let a business deal fall through because to carry it out would cause you to compromise your faith? We must have the faith of Naboth in these matters and also in the matters of praying to God to stop the advance of the wicked in our lives. The wicked’s traps are crafty, but we must believe that God works all things for our salvation. Sing Psalter 18:2.

March 12 Read I Kings 21:15-29

Psalm 10:3-6: In the conclusion of the chapter that we began yesterday, we see God bringing justice for Naboth. No, he did not receive it in this life, but it was received nonetheless. In the verses of Psalm 10, we see the impunity of the wicked. They care not for God or his ways. They are crafty and seek to bring us down. We must pray daily for safety from such a foe. We must also realize that this safety does not always come in what we may think is the best way. Naboth’s deliverance was through death. Ours may be through other circumstances that we have trouble understanding. Not only must we pray for deliverance, but we must also pray for the grace to accept any deliverance God has decreed for us. Sing Psalter 18:3.

March 13 Read James 3:5-12

Psalm 10:7-8: One of the most damaging weapons the wicked has at his disposal is the tongue. In this day and age in which language and communication is so available and so widely used, the tongue can cause much damage to the child of God. As we draw nearer and nearer to the end of time, we must realize the wicked will say things to cause the church much harm. They will use the language of the court and news media to stop the advance of the gospel. There are two lessons for us in these verses. First of all, we must recognize our enemy and pray for grace to withstand him. Secondly, we must not fall prey to this sin ourselves as we go about our daily lives. Sing Psalter 18:4.

March 14 Read I Peter 5:5-11

Psalm 10:9-11: In I Peter 5:8 the devil is described as a roaring lion. This is the same language used in Psalm 10 to describe our enemies in this world. Even as a lion crouches in hiding waiting for his prey, so do Satan and all his hosts which includes the wicked in this life. Lions wait for the weak to kill and so do the wicked. We must constantly be sober and vigilant in our daily lives. Young people, are you watching for the traps of Satan as you engage in entertainment? Are you looking for Satan’s traps as you choose friend? Parents, are you carrying out your baptismal vows as you help your children avoid the places lions are often hiding? Let us pray to God for such grace. Sing Psalter 18:5.

March 15 Read John 17:6-19

Psalm 10:12-13: In his high priestly prayer our Savior asked his father who is our father for Christ’s sake to watch over us. Christ knew the troubles that we would face. He knew the wiles of Satan personally and experientially. He knew that it would be so difficult for us that he made it part of one of the last prayers he prayed before he faced great affliction. We can and must be thankful for such care from our elder Brother. We, too, must make petition to God that he would keep us from evil. Notice that we are not taken from the world. He has placed us here for a purpose. We must live out that purpose but in the trust he will care for us and protect us from all evil. Sing Psalter 18:6 and 19:2.

March 16 Read II Kings 9:22-29

Psalm 10:14: Later on in the history of Israel, we see that God did see Ahab and Jezebel’s treachery against Naboth. We see that by using Jehu as his divinely-ordained instrument that he carried out justice against wicked people who boasted that God did not see their work. What a great comfort it is to know that our all-seeing God knows all that is happening and will care for us! We must know that he sees our needs and cares for our needs in the way that is best for us. We must also know that he sees our deeds and will chastise us when we fall into sin. Hagar knew this as she fled from Sarah; we must know this as well and live our lives accordingly. Sing Psalter 18:7 and 19:3.

March 17 Read Revelation 19:7-16

Psalm 10:15-16: As we come to the end of this Psalm we come to the Psalmist’s grand conclusion. He first repeats his plea that God will bring judgment upon the wicked. He does this, however, because he has a sure confidence in God. This confidence is based on the confession that God is King for ever! This is the confidence which must be ours as we face the difficult days which lie ahead. This will be the churches triumphant cry as it enters heaven. This is for what we look forward. No matter how dark it seems now, we know from creation that it is always darkest before the dawn. Christ will return and we will join with all the saints which have gone before us and praise God, the king, forever. Sing Psalter 18:8.

March 18 Read Psalm 10

Psalm 10:17-18: The concluding words of this Psalm are a continuation of the two verses we considered yesterday. For the past nine days we have been looking at this prayer of a child of God. It is a prayer that is not heard much today because the nominal Christian does not want to believe that people are enemies of God’s church. But it is a prayer that we must pray and that we can pray. It has a beautiful ending. Jehovah loves righteousness. Does he see us as righteous? Yes, he does through the blood of Christ. Will he see us doing righteous works? Sing Psalter 18:9 and 19:4-5.

March 19 Read Psalm 11

Psalm 11:1-3: People of God, is your trust in Jehovah the I Am That I Am? Do you truly trust him to deliver you from all evil? It appears that in this Psalm David is once more being harassed by Satan through an enemy. Satan does that to us as well though he may use the material goods of this life or the problems of this life to cause us to flee from God’s care. David asks a question in the third verse. It is a rhetorical question to which there is only one answer. We can do nothing unless God is with us. Let us make that our confidence and hope. Sing Psalter 20:1.

March 20 Read Hebrews 4:11-16

Psalm 11:4-5: People of God, do we live in the realization that God looks upon our deeds and judges them according to his holy law? These verses speak of the trying of both the wicked and the righteous. David knew that God would try those wicked who were oppressing him. This was a comfort for him. But David also knew that his life was open before the almighty judge of heaven and earth. We, too, must know and confess this daily. This should help us live a walk of gratitude before Jehovah God. Pray for the help needed to walk this way and do not despair when evil seems to get the upper hand. Our God is on his throne. Sing Psalter 20:2.

March 21 Read Psalm 11

Psalm 11:6-7: David concludes this short Psalm with the verses of our meditation for today. Young people, as you prepare for your activities of tonight, read these verses and ponder on their meaning for you. Verse 6 gives you no reason to gloat. Your old man of sin is described in that verse. The condemnation described there would be yours except for the grace of God. Verse seven says that our God loveth righteousness. Will he see any in you tonight? No, this righteousness is not of the flesh but because of the quickening Spirit which dwells in you. Do not quench the Spirit tonight, but rather let fruits of repentance rule your actions. Sing Psalter 20:3.

March 22 Read Read Psalm 12

Psalm 12:1-2: David looked around him and seemingly saw that there was only wicked on this earth. These wicked made themselves known with sins of the tongue. These sins caused David to cry to God for deliverance. He could see no other way out. David was concerned for the well-being of the church. Is this our concern as well? Do we make this our prayer daily? Are our ministers, elders, and deacons named in our prayers as they should be? Tomorrow we will attend the house of God. We need to stop and thank God for such a refuge in this world of lying and deceit. Let us make the house of God our care as we pray daily. Sing Psalter 21:1.

March 23 Read Acts 5:1-11

Psalm 12:3-4: Yesterday we began speaking about the sin spoken of in this Psalm. We discovered that the wicked use the tongue to cause much hurt to the righteous. Today’s reading points out how Satan takes this sin and brings it into the church. As we attend the house of God today, we look for truth. Satan would have the lie preached. He causes men to say, “I am God,” and, “I will do what I want.” These sins are prevalent in the world around us. We must not make them our sins. We must not glorify this sin through our use of the music and the entertainment of this day. Television programs are based on these sins. Let us look for truth and not the lie. We can only do this by looking to Jehovah. Let us constantly pray for grace to do this. Sing Psalter 21:2.

March 24 Read Exodus 3:1-10

Psalm 12:5: Moses tried to help the oppressed Israelites by his own strength. To teach him that this was not God’s way, God drove him into the wilderness. For forty years God taught him the way of meekness and patience that was needed. Then God showed him the burning bush at Sinai. God told Moses that he had seen the plight of Israel and would deliver them. God would deliver them and not Moses. We must keep this before our consciousness daily. God will help us in all kinds of afflictions and will deliver us. He has promised this in his Word and he is faithful to his promises. Sing Psalter 21:3.

March 25 Read Psalm 12

Psalm 12:6-8: The Word to which we referred to yesterday is the Word of God. It is a word that is pure even as silver that has been melted and all impurities have been burned away and removed leaving only pure silver. It is the pure silver to which the word is compared. God’s Word never had any impurities in it. Of this we may be sure. It is as pure as silver that has gone through purification seven times. It will be kept pure by God himself and that Word cannot be corrupted by any generation though they strive mightily to do so. We can confidently turn to the Word of God and receive only truth. We must thank God daily for this gift. Sing Psalter 21:4.

March 26 Read Psalm 13

Psalm 13:1-2: Sometimes God’s ways seem so mysterious to us. We suffer disease and we cannot find the cure. Or we suffer some other affliction with no end in sight. David felt this as he waited for God to give him the throne. He knew that it was his, but yet he had to live a life of much discomfort. David knew that he had to pray to God. We, too, must pray for deliverance. However, we must pray for the grace to have patience and wait upon the Lord. We know that he loves us and will care for us. His way is best; we must wait for it. Sing Psalter 22:1.

March 27 Read Revelation 21:10-27

Psalm 13:3-4: David continues his prayer asking for relief from those that oppress him. He asked God to lighten his eyes. This is an interesting expression. We find much the same idea in the twenty-third verse of the passage we read for today. David needed to know, as we also do, that God is our light. His glory will lighten our way in this life as well in the new heavens and the new earth where there will be no need of a sun. Our eyes are dark and clouded by the sin that is both around us and in us. We need God to make it possible to see the way that he leads us. Sing Psalter 22:2.

March 28 Read Psalm 13

Psalm 13:5-6: That little three letter word “but” begins today’s text. David confesses that he has trusted in God’s mercy and lovingkindness. And because he knows that God will deliver him, he can rejoice in the salvation afforded by God’s mercy. The expression of such rejoicing is by way of song. David is known as the sweet singer of Israel. We must following his example and sing songs of gratitude for our salvation. These songs will not be the world’s music, but these songs will be those which help us to best express our thanksgiving for our salvation. Let us sing these songs often and lustily. Sing Psalter 22:3.

March 29 Read Psalm 14

Psalm 14:1-2: Here we have another Psalm in which David has surveyed the wicked around him and sees their evil. He does this using an anthropomorphism. Even as a king surveys the subjects of his kingdom, God evaluates those who live on this earth. His judgment is that there is none that doeth good. Paul echoes this evaluation in Romans 3 when he states that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. By nature we are included in this all. We sin and come short of the holy God’s glory daily. Only through the blood of Christ can God look on us in his mercy. We must be careful about saying that we are better than our neighbor, or as Nathan said to David; God will say to us, “Thou art the man.” Sing Psalter 23:1-2.

March 30 Read II Timothy 3:1-17

Psalm 14:3-4: David had to deal with evildoers in Israel which did him and the cause of God much harm. Timothy had the same experience in Ephesus. If you read through the two epistles addressed to this young minister, you will see many places where Paul instructs him about this fact. This is the lot of the child of God in the world today. The wicked are all around us. They wish to do the cause of Christ much harm. We might despair that it is not worth it to follow Christ. We must take instruction from these men of faith and call upon God even in this trouble. He will send help to us and preserve us and the cause of the gospel. Make this your prayer today and every day. Sing Psalter 23:3-4.

March 31 Read Psalm 14

Psalm 14:5-7: In these three verses we find three main thoughts. First we see the reason for the wicked’s scorn. They hate us because God is with us. This is as it should be. If we are loved by the world, then we’d better know there is something wrong with our life style. Secondly David longs for the salvation that comes out of Zion. We need to long for that salvation as well. This earth is not our home and we’d better not wish to remain on it. Finally we know that our restoration is sure. God will come and we will rejoice and be glad. Being glad is not something that we can hope for in this vale of tears. Being glad can only come to be when we are joined with God and the lamb in heaven. Sing Psalter 23:5-6.