by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: —Psalm 148:11-13a
"Kings of earth." He now turns his address to men, with a respect to whom it was that he called for a declaration of God's praises from creatures, both above and from beneath.
As kings and princes are blinded by the dazzling influence of their station, so as to think the world was made for them, and to despise God in the pride of their hearts, he particularly calls them to this duty; and, by mentioning them first, he reproves their ingratitude in withholding their tribute of praise when they are under greater obligations than others.
As all men originally stand upon a level as to condition, the higher persons have risen, and the nearer they have been brought to God, the more sacredly are they bound to proclaim his goodness.
The more intolerable is the wickedness of kings and princes who claim exemption from the common rule, when they ought rather to inculcate it upon others and lead the way. He could have addressed his exhortation at once summarily to all men, as indeed he mentions peoples in general terms; but by thrice specifying princes he suggests that they are slow to discharge the duty, and need to be urged to it.
Then follows a division according to age and sex, to show that all without exception are created for this end, and should unitedly devote their energies to it.
As to old men, the more God has lengthened their lives the more should they be exercised in singing his praises; but he joins the young men with them, for though they have less experience from continued habit, it will be inexcusable for them if they do not acknowledge the great mercy of God in the vigor of their lives.
Even the young women who are not so liberally educated as the male sex, being considered born for domestic offices, will omit their duty if they do not join with the rest of the Church in praising God. It follows that all from the least to the greatest are bound by this common rule —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.