Abide in Christ

Psalm 84:11-12

Jehovah God is our sun and shield.* The idea conveyed by the comparison derived from the sun is, that as the sun by his light vivifies, nourishes, and rejoices the world, so the benign countenance of God fills with joy the hearts of his people, or rather, that they neither live nor breathe except in so far as he shines upon them. By the term shield is meant, that our salvation, which would otherwise be perilled by countless dangers, is in perfect safety under his protection. The favour of God in communicating life to us would be far from adequate to the exigencies of our condition, unless at the same time, in the midst of so many dangers, he interposed his power as a buckler to defend us.

The LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. After God has once taken the faithful into his favour, he will advance them to high honour, and never cease to enrich them with his blessings. God’s bounty can never be exhausted, but flows without intermission. We learn from these words, that whatever excellence may be in us proceeds solely from the grace of God. They contain, at the same time, this special mark, by which the genuine worshippers of God may be distinguished from others, That their life is framed and regulated according to the principles of strict integrity.

O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you. This exclamation with which David ends the psalm, seems to refer to the season of his banishment. He had previously described the blessedness of those who dwell in the courts of the Lord, and now he avows, that although he was for a time deprived of that privilege, he was far from being altogether miserable, because he was supported by the best of all consolations, that which arose from beholding from a distance the grace of God. So long as we are deprived of God’s benefits, we must necessarily groan and be sad in heart. But that the sense of our distresses may not overwhelm us, we ought to impress it upon our minds, that even in the midst of our calamities we do not cease to be happy, when faith and patience are in exercise.

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