Your word, O LORD, [endures forever]. As we see nothing constant or of long continuance upon earth, the prophet elevates our minds to heaven, that they may fix their anchor there. David, no doubt, might have said, as he had done in many other places, that the whole order of the world bears testimony to the stedfastness of God's word—that word which is most true. But as there is reason to fear that the minds of the godly would hang in uncertainty if they rested the proof of God's truth upon the state of the world, in which such manifold disorders prevail; by placing God's truth in the heavens, he allots it to a habitation subject to no changes. That no person then may estimate God's word from the various vicissitudes which meet his eye in this world, heaven is tacitly set in opposition to the earth. Our salvation, as if it had been said, being shut up in Gods word, is not subject to change, as all earthly things are, but is anchored in a safe and peaceful haven. The same truth the prophet Isaiah teaches in somewhat different words: "All flesh is grass, and goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field" (Isa. 40:6), he means, according to the apostle Peter's exposition (1 Peter 1:24), that the certainty of salvation is to be sought in the word, and, therefore, that they do wrong who settle their minds upon the world; for the stedfastness of God's word far transcends the stability of the world.
The prophet, on the one hand, exhorts us to rise above the whole world by faith, so that the word of God may be found by experience to be adequate, as it really is adequate, to sustain our faith; and, on the other hand, he warns us that we have no excuse, if, by the very sight of the earth, we do not discover the truth of God, since legible traces of it are to be found at our feet. In the first clause, men are called back from the vanity of their own understanding; and, in the other, their weakness is relieved, that they may have a foretaste upon earth of what is to be found more fully in heaven.
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.
© 2023 The Orthodox Presbyterian Church