30 MARCH 365 Days with Calvin

Comfort in the Midst of Death

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. Psalm 138:7

suggested further reading: Psalm 23

Here David declares that God chooses to be his preserver, even if that means bringing him back to life in the midst of his troubles.

The passage well deserves our attention, for by nature we are so averse to suffering that we wish we might live safely beyond the shot of its arrows. We shrink from close contact with even the fear of death as something altogether intolerable. At the slightest approach to danger, we are immoderately afraid, as if our emergencies preclude the hope of divine deliverance.

Faith’s true office is to see life in the midst of death. It is to trust the mercy of God, not to procure us universal exemption from evil, but to quicken us in the midst of death every moment of our lives. For God humbles his children under various trials so that his defense of them may be more remarkable and that he may show himself to be their deliverer as well as their preserver. In the world, believers are constantly exposed to danger. David offers the assurance that he will be safe under God’s protection from all of his enemies and their efforts. He declares his hope is in the hand of God, which is stretched out for his help and will be invincible and victorious over every foe.

From this we are taught that God chooses to exercise his children with continual conflict, so that, having one foot as it were in the grave, they may flee with alarm to hide themselves under his wings, where they may abide in peace.

for meditation: Rather than shrinking from enemies or danger, let us place our confidence in the Lord; he alone is willing and able to save us. This ought to give us a sense of peace, even in a world of trouble where enemies abound. What do you think David meant when he said, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies” (Ps. 23:5a)?[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 108). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

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