6 MARCH 365 Days with Calvin

Keeping an Eternal Perspective

For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4

suggested further reading: Luke 12:16–21

We know that people who have completed the circle of life are forthwith taken out of the world, yet the knowledge of this frailty fails to make a deep impression on our hearts because we do not lift our eyes above the world. Moses awakens us by showing us the eternal perspective of God, without which we do not perceive how speedily our life vanishes away.

The imagination that we shall have a long life is like a profound sleep in which we are all benumbed. Only meditating upon the heavenly life can swallow up this foolish fancy respecting the length of our continuance upon earth. To those who are blind to eternity, Moses presents the view of God as Judge. “O Lord!” he seems to say, “If men would only reflect upon that eternity from which Thou beholdest the inconstant circling of the world, they would not make so great an account of the present life.”

The reason that unbelievers indulge in pleasures is that they have their hearts too much set upon the world and do not taste the pleasures of a celestial eternity.

Hence we learn the application of this teaching. Why do we have such great anxiety about our life that nothing satisfies us? Do we continually molest ourselves because we foolishly imagine that we shall nestle in this world forever?

Moses does not only contrast a thousand years with one day; he also contrasts them with yesterday, which is already gone. For whatever is still before our eyes captivates our minds. But we are less affected with the recollection of what is past. So, let us elevate our minds by faith to God’s heavenly throne, from which he declares that this earthly life is nothing compared with what is yet to come.

for meditation: Maintaining an eternal perspective is difficult. But isn’t our failure to do so the reason why we find ourselves falling into worldliness so often? Yesterday is past. We must keep the next thousand years in perspective.[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 84). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

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