by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. —Isaiah 41:17
"I Jehovah will listen to them." God declares that he will relieve them, when they are brought to this needy condition; and hence we ought to learn to whom this promise belongs, namely, to those who, having been reduced to extremity, are as it were parched with thirst and almost fainting.
Hence also we see that the Church does not always possess an abundance of blessings, but sometimes feels the pressure of great poverty, that she may be driven by these spurs to call upon God. For we commonly fall into slothfulness, when everything moves on according to our wish.
It is therefore advantageous to us to thirst and hunger, that we may learn to flee to the Lord with our whole heart. In a word, we need to be deeply affected with a conviction of our poverty, that we may feel the Lord's assistance.
The Prophet unquestionably intended, by this circumstance, partly to illustrate the greatness of the favor, and partly to advise the people not to lose heart on account of their poverty. —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.