by John Calvin
But the LORD is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked. Although God may seem to dissemble for a time, yet he never forgets his righteousness, so as to withhold relief from his afflicted people. Paul in like manner adduces the same reason why God will not always suffer them to be persecuted (2 Thess. 1:6-7)—"Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us." ["God is just: he will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well."] It is a point worthy of special notice, that the welfare of the Church is inseparably connected with the righteousness of God. The prophet, also, wisely teaches us that the reason why the enemies of the Church did not prevail, was because God brought to nothing their enterprises, and did not suffer them to go beyond what he had determined in his own mind.
As the Psalmist has borrowed this illustration of his doctrine from the affairs of ordinary life, we are taught that whenever there is a hopeful prospect of a good harvest, we ought to beseech God, whose peculiar province it is to impart fertility to the earth, that he would give full effect to his blessing. And considering that the fruits of the earth are exposed to so many hazards, it is certainly strange that we are not stirred up to engage in the exercise of prayer from the absolute necessity of these to man and beast. Nor does the Psalmist, in speaking of passers-by blessing the reapers, speak exclusively of the children of God, who are truly taught by his word that the fruitfulness of the earth is owing to his goodness; but he also comprehends worldly men in whom the same knowledge is implanted naturally. In conclusion, provided we not only dwell in the Church of the Lord, but also labour to have a place among the number of her genuine citizens, we will be able to despise all the might of our enemies fearlessly; for although they may flourish and have a great outward show for a time, yet they are but barren grass, on which the curse of heaven rests.
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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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