January 25 Daily Devotional

Day 25: Psalm 12

John Calvin


Every man speaks deceit.* As those who are resolved to act truthfully in their intercourse with their neighbours, freely and ingenuously lay open their whole heart; so treacherous and deceitful persons keep a part of their feeling hidden within their own breast, and cover it with the varnish of hypocrisy and a fair outside; so that from their speech we cannot gather any thing certain with respect to their intention. Our speech, therefore, must be sincere in order that it may be as it were a mirror, in which the uprightness of our heart may be beheld.

The words of God are pure words, purified seven times.* God promises nothing in vain, or for the purpose of disappointing man. God is not deceitful, he does not delude or beguile us with empty words, and he does not magnify beyond all measure either his power or his goodness, but whatever he promises in word he will perform in deed. There is no man, it is true, who will not frankly confess that he entertains the same conviction which David here records, that the words of God are pure; but those who while lying in the shade and living at their ease liberally extol by their praises the truth of God's word, when they come to struggle with adversity in good earnest, although they may not venture openly to pour forth blasphemies against God, often charge him with not keeping his word. Whenever he delays his assistance, we call in question his fidelity to his promises and murmur just as if he had deceived us. There is no truth which is more generally received among men than that God is true; but there are a few who frankly give him credit for this when they are in adversity. It is, therefore, highly necessary for us to cut off the occasion of our distrust; and whenever any doubt respecting the faithfulness of God's promises steal in upon us, we ought immediately to lift up against it this shield, that the words of the Lord are pure.

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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