by John Calvin
You have delivered me from the attacks of the people; you have made me the head of nations. As the kingdom of David was a type under which the Holy Spirit intended to shadow forth to us the kingdom of Christ, let us remember that, both in erecting and preserving it, it is necessary for God not only to stretch forth his arm and fight against avowed enemies, who from without rise up against him, but also to repress the tumults and strifes which may take place within the Church. This was clearly shown in the person of Christ from the beginning. In the first place, he met with much opposition from the infatuated obstinacy of those of his own nation. In the next place, the experience of all ages shows that the dissensions and strifes with which hypocrites rend and mangle the Church, are not less hurtful in undermining the kingdom of Christ, (if God do not interpose his hand to prevent their injurious effects,) than the violent efforts of his enemies. Accordingly, God to advance and maintain the kingdom of his own Son, not only overthrows before him external enemies, but also delivers him from domestic contentions; that is to say, from those within his kingdom, which is the Church.
People I did not know are subject to me. The conquests of David and the submission of the people to him, were only an obscure figure in which God has exhibited to us some faint representation of the boundless dominion of his own Son, whose kingdom extends -from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same - (Mal. 1:11), and comprehends the whole world.
As soon as they hear me, they obey me. This applies more truly to the person of Christ, who, by means of his word, subdues the world to himself, and, at the simple hearing of his name, makes those obedient to him who before had been rebels against him. In like manner, David had acquired to himself so great a name by arms and warlike powers, that many of his enemies, subdued by fear, submitted themselves to him. And in this God exhibited a type of the conquest which Christ would make of the Gentiles, who, by the preaching of the Gospel alone, were subdued, and brought voluntarily to submit to his dominion; for the obedience of faith in which the dominion of Christ is founded -comes by hearing - (Rom. 10:17).
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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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