by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake. —Isaiah 37:35
"For my own sake." When he says that he will do this "for his own sake," he calls on Hezekiah and all believers to remember his gracious covenant.
In order to prevent them from despairing, he shows that God will be their defender, not because he finds any cause in them, but rather because he looks to himself; first that he may adhere firmly to his purpose, not to cast away the posterity of Abraham which he adopted, not to abolish religious worship, not to blot out the remembrance of his name on the earth by destroying his sanctuary; and, secondly, not to expose his name to the jeers and blasphemies of the nations.
And these words contain an implied reproof which that nation ought to have felt to be severe, and justly; because the good king had more difficulty in pacifying them than in repelling the enemy; for they distrusted and stormed and thought that no hope of safety was left for them.
The Lord, therefore, did not look at the merits of the people or of any other person, but only had regard to his own glory; for the contrast which is expressed by Ezekiel must be here understood, "Not for your sakes, 0 house of Israel, will I do this, but for my own sake" (Ezek. 36:22).
Now, since we have the same argument to plead in the present day, let us not hesitate to make use of this shield against our sins, "Though we most highly deserve a thousand deaths, yet it is enough for God to look to his goodness and faithfulness, that he may fulfill what he has promised."
Though it is of no advantage to hypocrites that God is the continual protector of his Church, yet the elect will always have this as a very safe refuge, that although they bring nothing of their own to appease the wrath of God, yet since God, moved by nothing else than his infinite goodness, built his Church and determined to defend it, he will never suffer it to perish. —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.