by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. —Psalm 49:14
As the wicked must all be prostrated before the Lord Jesus Christ, and made his footstool, his members will share in the victory of their Head. It is stated that this will be in the morning—a beautiful and striking metaphor. Surrounded as we are by darkness, our life is here compared to the night, or to a sleep, an image which is specially applicable to the ungodly, who lie as it were in a deep slumber, but not inapplicable to the people of God, such being the dark mist which rests upon all things in this world, that even their minds, except in so far as they are illuminated from above, are partially enveloped in it.
Here we "see only as through a glass darkly," and the coming of the Lord will resemble the morning, when both the elect and reprobate will awake. The former will then cast aside their lethargy and sloth, and being freed from the darkness which rested upon them, will behold Christ the Sun of Righteousness face to face, with the full effulgence of life which resides in him.
The others, who lie at present in a state of total darkness, will be aroused from their stupidity, and begin to discover a new life, of which they had previously no apprehension. We need to be reminded of this event, not only because corruption presses us downwards and obscures our faith, but because there are men who profanely argue against another life, from the continued course of things in the world, scoffing, as Peter foretold (II Peter 3:4) at the promise of a resurrection, and pointing, in derision, to the unvarying regularity of nature through the ages.
We may arm ourselves against their arguments by what the Psalmist here declares, that, sunk as the world is in darkness, there will dawn ere long a new morning, which will introduce us to a better and an eternal existence. —Commentaries
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.