by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off. —Psalm 138
The meaning is, that though God's glory is far above all heavens, the distance at which he is placed does not prevent his governing the world by his providence. God is highly exalted, but he sees afar off, so that he needs not change place when he would condescend to take care of us.
We on our part are poor and lowly, but our wretched condition is no reason why God will not concern himself about us. While we view with admiration the immensity of his glory as raised above all heavens, we must not disbelieve his willingness to foster us under his fatherly care.
The two things are, with great propriety, joined together here by David, that, on the one hand, when we think of God's majesty we should not be terrified into a forgetfulness of his goodness and kindness, nor, on the other, lose our reverence for his majesty in contemplating the condescension of his mercy. —Commentaries
John Calvin was the premier theologian of the Reformation, but also a pious and godly Christian pastor who endeavored throughout his life to point men and women to Christ. We are grateful to Reformation Heritage Books for permission to use John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart as our daily devotional for 2013 on the OPC Web site. You can currently obtain a printed copy of that book from Reformation Heritage Books.
Dr. Joel Beeke, who is editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, has this to say:
"Calvin shows us the piety of a Reformed theologian who speaks from the heart. Having tasted the goodness and grace of God in Jesus Christ, he pursued piety by seeking to know and do God’s will every day. He communed with Christ, practicing repentance, self-denial, and cross-bearing. Moreover, his theology worked itself out in heart-felt, Christ-honoring piety. The selections of this devotional bear this out, and hopefully will be used by God to direct pious hearts in our own day."
These devotional readings from John Calvin were compiled by John H. Kromminga. Be sure to read his "Introduction" to John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart.