by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. —Job 34:22
So then let us know that it is greatly for our profit that God today sends us his Word to enlighten us, that we may consider our sins. Though we have not thought of them for a while, we are reminded of them, so that we may put into practice what Saint Paul urges, namely to humble ourselves, to be ashamed before God, and to condemn ourselves by recognizing the wickedness which is so deeply rooted in us. See, I say, how God works our salvation, by making us feel such a power and effectiveness in his Word that we endeavor to examine our whole life thoroughly, to the end that we may be displeased with ourselves.
But those who are stubborn and despise God, and come like deranged men to fight against him, and cannot endure any warning; he must send them, as unreasonable people, to the day of which Elihu speaks here, where there shall be no darkness or cover so thick, but it shall be laid wide open, in the sight of all creatures. They cannot now endure that God should make them ashamed, that their sins might be buried forever. Nevertheless, in spite of their defiance, angels and devils and men must know their wickedness, and they must be shamed everywhere by this light which discloses all secrets.
Thus you see how we ought to apply this text to our instruction. For surely our Lord's threatening of men with the great day is in order that they should prepare for it; and so the remedy is ready for us. God does not delay to indict us until we appear before him; but executes his jurisdiction daily by the Gospel; as our Lord Jesus Christ says, that when the Holy Spirit comes, he shall judge the world.
Therefore, when the Gospel is preached, God exercises a sovereign jurisdiction, not upon men's bodies, as they are today, but upon their souls; and he wills that we should be condemned thereby to our own welfare. And therefore, seeing that God warns us so much and so often that we must in the end come to the great light, let us not persist in shutting our eyes, nor wilfully be blind when he sends us his Word to disclose our filthiness and to show us that we cannot hide ourselves from his sight.
So let us profit by the means that are given us today. But if we wish to play the wild beasts and always seek foxholes, yet in the end we shall feel that it is not said in vain that there is no darkness before God. For he will make us to behold those things in his countenance and glorious majesty which we refused to see here in the mirror of his Word. —Sermons
John Calvin was the premier theologian of the Reformation, but also a pious and godly Christian pastor who endeavored throughout his life to point men and women to Christ. We are grateful to Reformation Heritage Books for permission to use John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart as our daily devotional for 2013 on the OPC Web site. You can currently obtain a printed copy of that book from Reformation Heritage Books.
Dr. Joel Beeke, who is editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, has this to say:
"Calvin shows us the piety of a Reformed theologian who speaks from the heart. Having tasted the goodness and grace of God in Jesus Christ, he pursued piety by seeking to know and do God’s will every day. He communed with Christ, practicing repentance, self-denial, and cross-bearing. Moreover, his theology worked itself out in heart-felt, Christ-honoring piety. The selections of this devotional bear this out, and hopefully will be used by God to direct pious hearts in our own day."
These devotional readings from John Calvin were compiled by John H. Kromminga. Be sure to read his "Introduction" to John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart.