by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God. And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. —Ezekiel 2:4, 5
We may learn from this place, that although the impious furiously endeavor to reject the doctrine of God, yet they obtain no other end than the more complete manifestation of their own wickedness. Hence also we may learn that God's doctrine is precious to himself, and that he cannot bear us to despise it.
The wicked then can never escape punishment when they treat with contempt the divine teaching, for it is as if they trampled upon inestimable treasure. Those who are left without the law and the prophets shall not escape God's hand, because their conscience is sufficient to take away all excuse (Rom. 2:12).
But when God invites men to himself, and approaches near them, and offers himself to them in a peculiar manner as their Father and Teacher, if they reject so remarkable a benefit, truly their ingratitude is worthy of the utmost severity.
For as often as God raises up prophets for us and faithful ministers of his doctrine, let this which has just been said come into our minds; unless we embrace such a benefit, we at length shall know that a prophet has been among us, because God will exact fearful vengeance for the contempt of his great loving-kindness. —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.