January 18, 2019

Nothing Else Than God Himself

Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Ps. 124:8 

This was supposedly John Calvin's favorite verse of scripture, and it is the verse he used to open every one of his worship services. So there is no better commentary available on it than what Calvin himself said. Here it is (at least the second half of it):
David here extends to the state of the Church in all ages that which the faithful had already experienced. As I interpret the verse, he not only gives thanks to God for one benefit, but affirms that the Church cannot continue safe except in so far as she is protected by the hand of God. His object is to animate the children of God with the assured hope, that their life is in perfect safety under the divine guardianship. The contrast between the help of God, and other resources in which the world vainly confides, as we have seen in Psalm 20:7, Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the Name of the Lord our God, is to be noticed, that the faithful, purged from all false confidence, may betake themselves exclusively to his succor, and depending upon it, may fearlessly despise whatever Satan and the world may plot against them. The Name of God is nothing else than God himself; yet it tacitly conveys a significant idea, implying that as he has disclosed to us his grace by his word, we have ready access to him, so that in seeking him we need not go to a distance, or follow long circuitous paths. Nor is it without cause that the Psalmist again honors God with the title of Creator. We know with what disquietude our minds are agitated till they have raised the power of God to its appropriate elevation, that, the whole world being put under, it alone may be pre-eminent; which cannot be the case unless we are persuaded that all things are subject to his will. He did not show once and in a moment his power in the creation of the world and then withdraw it, but he continually demonstrates it in the government of the world. Moreover, although all men freely and loudly confess that God is the Creator of heaven and of earth, so that even the most wicked are ashamed to withhold from him the honor of this title, yet no sooner does any terror present itself to us than we are convicted of unbelief in hardly setting any value whatever upon the help which he has to bestow.
My God, Father, and Savior, since you have been pleased to give me the grace to come through the night to the present day, now grant that I may employ it entirely in your service, so that all my works may be to the glory of your Name and the edification of my neighbors. As you have been pleased to make your sun shine upon the earth to give us bodily light, grant the light of your Spirit to illumine my understanding and my heart. And because it means nothing to begin well if one does not persevere, I ask that you would continue to increase your grace in me until you have led me into full communion with your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who is the true Sun of our souls, shining day and night, eternally and without end. Hear me, merciful Father, by our Lord Jesus Christ, in whose Name I pray...

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