by John Calvin
He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior. The more effectually to move the minds of the Israelites, David declares that nothing is more desirable than to be numbered among the flock of God, and to be members of the church. We must here consider that there is an implied contrast between true Israelites and those of them who were degenerate and bastards. The more license the wicked give themselves, the more presumptuous are they in pretending to the name of God, as if he were under obligation to them, because they are adorned with the same outward symbols of badges as true believers.
And when he speaks of blessing, he intimates that it is not those who boast of being the servants of God, while they have only the name, who shall be partakers of the promised blessing, but those only who answer to their calling with their whole heart, and without hypocrisy. It is, as we have already observed, a very powerful inducement to godliness and an upright life, when the faithful are assured that they do not lose their labour in following righteousness, since God has in reserve for them a blessing which cannot fail them.
He intends to show on the one hand, that it is not to be expected that the fruit or reward of righteousness will be bestowed on those who unrighteously profane God's sacred worship; and on the other hand, that it is impossible for God to disappoint his true worshippers; for it is his peculiar office to give evidence of his righteousness by doing them good.
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. Selah. The Psalmist has limited the name of holy generation to the true observers of the law; as if he had said, All who have sprung from Abraham, according to the flesh, are not, on that account, his legitimate children. It is as if David had said here, Although circumcision distinguishes all the seed of Jacob according to the flesh from the Gentiles, yet we can only distinguish the chosen people by the fear and reverence of God, as Christ said, 'Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!' (John 1:47).
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.
Click here for background on the Daily Devotional.