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Daily Devotional

August 12

Day 224: Psalm 91:5-7

by John Calvin

You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day. The Psalmist continues to insist upon the truth which we have just adverted to, that, if we confide with implicit reliance upon the protection of God, we will be secure from every temptation and assault of Satan. It is of importance to remember, that those whom God has taken under his care are in a state of the most absolute safety. Even those who have reached the most advanced experience find nothing more difficult than to rely upon Divine deliverance; and more especially when, overtaken by some of the many forms in which danger and death await us in this world, doubts will insinuate themselves into our hearts, giving rise to fear and disquietude. There was reason, therefore, why the Psalmist should enter upon a specification of different evils, encouraging the Lord’s people to look for more than one mode of deliverance, and to bear up under various and accumulated calamities. Mention is made of the fear of the night, because men are naturally apprehensive in the dark, or because the night exposes us to dangers of different kinds, and our fears are apt at such a season to magnify any sound or disturbance. There is no kind of calamity which the shield of the Almighty cannot ward off and repel.

A thousand may fall at your side. The Psalmist proceeds to show that, though the state of all men may to appearance be alike, the believer has the special privilege of being exempted from evils of an imminent and impending nature; for it might be objected that he was but man, and, as such, exposed with others to death in its thousand different forms. To correct this mistake, the Psalmist does not hesitate to assert that, when universal ruin prevails around, we are privileged with a special exemption which secures our safety in the midst of dangers.


Welcome to a one-year devotional by John Calvin (1509-1564) on the Psalms. We are indebted to P & R Publishing for permission to use this copyrighted material from John Calvin: A Heart Aflame on the OPC Web site. In addition to viewing the daily devotional reading here, you may like to purchase a copy of the book A Heart Aflame from P & R Publishing or your local bookstore.

John Calvin, A Heart Aflame: Daily Readings from Calvin on the Psalms, is copyright © 1999 by P & R Publishing Company, all rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise—except for brief quotations for the purpose of review or comment, without the prior permission of the publisher, P & R Publishing Company, P.O. Box 817, Phillipsburg, New Jersey 08865-0817.

Unless marked by an asterisk, italic Scripture excerpts preceding Calvin's exposition are from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House, all rights reserved. Phrases of Scripture within Calvin's exposition are based on an unidentified older translation, or in rare instances modified to conform to the NIV excerpts preceding Calvin's exposition.

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