My enemies turn back: they fall down and are put to flight at your presence. In these words he assigns the reason why he undertakes to sing the praises of God, namely, because he acknowledges that his frequent victories had been achieved, not by his own power, nor by the power of his soldiers, but by the free favour of God. David acted wisely, when, upon seeing his enemies turn their backs, he lifted up the eyes of his mind to God, in order to perceive that victory flowed to him from no other source than from the secret and incomprehensible aid of God. And, doubtless, it is he only who guides the simple by the spirit of wisdom, while he inflicts madness on the crafty, and strikes them with amazement, — who inspires courage the faint and timid, while he causes the boldest to tremble with fear, — who restores to the feeble their strength, while he reduces the strong to weakness, — who upholds the fainthearted by his power, while he makes the sword to fall from the hands of the valiant; — and, finally, who brings the battle to a prosperous or disastrous issue, just as he pleases. When, therefore, we see our enemies overthrown, we must beware of limiting our view to what is visible to the eye of sense, like ungodly men, who, while they see with their bodily eyes, are yet blind; but let us instantly call to our remembrance this truth, that when our enemies turn back, they are put to flight by the presence of the Lord.
You have blotted out their name for ever and ever. This may be understood as meaning, that they were destroyed without any hope of ever being able to rise again, and devoted to everlasting shame. We could not otherwise discern how God buries the name of the ungodly with themselves, did we not hear him declare that the memory of the righteous shall be for ever blessed (Prov. 10:7).
Heart Aflame: Daily Readings from Calvin on the Psalms by John Calvin