by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Fire, and hail; snow and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word: —Psalm 148:8
He then ascends to hail, snows, and storms, which he says fulfill the word of God; for it is not by an effect of chance that the heavens are clouded, or that a single drop of rain falls from the clouds, or that the thunders rage, but one and all of these changes depend upon the secret will of God, whether he will show his goodness to the children of men in irrigating the earth, or punish their sins by tempest, hail, or other calamities.
The passage contains instruction of various kinds, as, for example, that when dearth impends, however parched the earth may be by long continued heat, God can promptly send rain which will remove the drought at his pleasure. If from incessant rains, on the other hand, the seed rot in the ground, or the crops do not come to maturity, we should pray for fair weather. If we are alarmed by thunder, we are taught to pray to God, for as it is he who sends it in his anger, so he can still all the troubled elements.
And we are not to take up the narrow view of this truth which irreligious men advocate, that things in nature merely move according to the laws impressed upon them from the beginning, while God stands by idle, but are to hold firmly that God watches over his creatures, and that nothing can take place without his present disposal, as we have seen (Psalm 104:4) that "he maketh the winds his messengers, and his ministers a flaming fire." —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.