May 21, 2020

Fountain of Life

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
—Psalm 36:7-9

The image of the fountain as the source of life is not a common one in the psalms. It occurs here in Psalm 36:9, and later, God is referred to as Israel's fountain (68:26). Elsewhere in the Bible, it's used twice by Jeremiah. But John Calvin loved this image in relation to God and used it frequently in his writings. So here's an excellent example. Though he doesn't refer to any particular passage of scripture, it seems as though he might be writing about today's passage from the psalter:
Although our mind cannot conceive of the Divine without worshiping, it will still not be sufficient simply to believe that he is the only Being worthy of adoration and worship unless we are also persuaded that he is the fountain of all goodness, and that we must seek everything in him, and in none but him.  [Institutes 1.2.1, alt.]
If God is the source of all that is, and if all light is but a reflection of the Divine, why do I keep seeking fulfillment in that which is not God? If God is both the source and goal of life, why do I not seek to spend every moment in God's presence? It is enough to say, with Peter, "Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life."

In your creative power, you are the fountain of life, O God; and in the light of your redemptive power in Christ, I perceive all other light. Hold me in your everlasting arms always and forever; in the Name of him who taught me to pray: Our Father...

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