by John Calvin
He says to himself, 'God has forgotten; he covers his face and never sees.' The ungodly, when all things happen to them according to their wishes, form such a judgment of their prosperity as to persuade themselves that God is in a manner bound or obliged to them. Whence it comes to pass, that they live in a state of constant security, because they do not reflect, that after God has long exercised patience towards them, they will undergo a solemn reckoning, and that their condemnation will be the more terrible, the greater the long-suffering of God.
Why does the wicked man revile God? It is, indeed, superfluous to bring arguments before God, for the purpose of persuading him to grant us what we ask; but still he permits us to make use of them, and to speak to him in prayer, as familiarly as a son speaks to an earthly father. It should always be observed, that the use of praying is, that God may be the witness of all our affections; not that they would otherwise be hidden from him, but when we pour out our hearts before him, our cares are hereby greatly lightened, and our confidence of obtaining our requests increases. Since it is the peculiar province of God to take cognisance of all wrongs, David says that it is impossible for God to shut his eyes when the ungodly are wrecklessly and without restraint committing their outrages.
The LORD is King for ever and ever. By the title of King, David vindicates God's claim to the government of the world, and when he describes him as King for ever and ever, this shows how absurd it is to think to shut him up within the narrow limits of time. As the course of human life is short, even those who sway the sceptre over the greatest empires, being but mortal men, very often disappoint the expectations of their servants, as we are taught in Psalm 146:3-4, 'Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.' We ought to entertain more exalted and honourable conceptions of our heavenly King; for although he does not immediately execute his judgments, yet he has always the full and the perfect power of doing so. He reigns not for himself in particular; it is for us that he reigns for ever and ever.
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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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