Abide in Christ

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd. This psalm is neither intermingled with prayers, nor does it complain of miseries for the purpose of obtaining relief; but it contains simply a thanksgiving, from which it appears that it was composed when David had obtained peaceable possession of the kingdom, and lived in prosperity and in the enjoyment of all he could desire.

Although God, by his benefits, gently allures us to himself, as it were by a taste of his fatherly sweetness, yet there is nothing into which we more easily fall than into forgetfulness of him, when we are in the enjoyment of peace and comfort. Yea, when we are in the enjoyment of peace and comfort. Yea, prosperity not only so intoxicates many, as to carry them beyond all bounds in their mirth, but it also engenders insolence, which makes them proudly rise up and break forh against God. Accordingly, there is scarcely a hundredth part of those who enjoy in abundance the good things of God, who keep themselves in his fear, and live in the exercise of humility and temperance, which would be so becoming. For this reason, we ought the more carefully to mark the example which is here set before us by David, who, elevated to the dignity of sovereign power, surrounded with the splendour of richs and honours, possessed of the greatest abundance of temporal good things, and in the midst of princely pleasures, not only testifies that he is mindful of God, but calling to rememberance the benefits which God had conferred upon him, makes them ladders by which he may ascend nearer to him. By this means he not only bridles the watonness of his flesh, but also excites himself with the greater earnestness of gratitude, and the other exercises of godliness, as appears from the concluding sentence of the psalm, where he says, “I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah for a length of days.” In like manner, in the 18th psalm, which was composed at a period in his life when he was applaiuede on every side, by calling himself the sevant of God, he showed the humility and simplicity of heart to which he had attained, and, at the same time, oopenly testified his gratitude, by applying himslef to the celbration of the praises of God.

Heart Aflame: Daily Readings from Calvin on the Psalms by John Calvin