by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble. —Psalm 10:12
"Arise, 0 Jehovah." It is a disease under which men in general labor, to imagine according to the judgment of the flesh, that when God does not execute his judgments, he is sitting idle, or lying at ease.
There is, however, a great difference with respect to this between the faithful and the wicked. The latter cherish the false opinion which is dictated by the weakness of the flesh, and in order to soothe and flatter themselves in their vices, they indulge in slumbering, and render their conscience stupid, until at length, through their wicked obstinacy, they harden themselves into a gross contempt of God. But the former soon shake from their minds that false imagination, and chastise themselves, returning of their own accord to a due consideration of what is the truth on this subject.
Of this we have here set before us a striking example. By speaking of God after the manner of men, the Prophet declares that the same error which he has just now condemned in the despisers of God had gradually stolen in upon his own mind. But he proceeds at once to correct it, and resolutely struggles with himself, and restrains his mind from forming such conceptions of God, as would reflect dishonor upon his righteousness and glory.
It is therefore a temptation to which all men are naturally prone, to begin to doubt of the providence of God, when his hand and judgment are not seen. The godly, however, differ widely from the wicked. The former, by means of faith, check this apprehension of the flesh, while the latter indulge themselves in their froward imaginations. —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.