19 APRIL 365 Days with Calvin

Weapons of the Wicked

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. Isaiah 54:17

suggested further reading: Psalm 31

Even though wicked men exert themselves to the utmost, they will gain nothing, for their attacks are guided and restrained by the secret purpose of God. The prophet makes use of the word every here, meaning that wicked men have every means of attempting many and diversified methods for destroying the church, but their efforts shall be vain and fruitless, for the Lord will restrain them. Heaven permits them, indeed, to a great extent, to try the patience of believers, but, when God so wills, he strips them of their strength and armor.

Having spoken in general of the weapons that wicked men use to attack the church, Isaiah specifically mentions the tongue, because no other weapon is so deadly and destructive. Not only do the wicked revile, slander, and defame the servants of God, but, as far as lies in their power, they extinguish the truth of God and alienate the hearts of men from it. That can distress us more than if life were taken from us a hundred times. Good and upright men find slander more distressing and more painful than any stroke to the body. Therefore Isaiah has good reason for mentioning this deadly weapon of the tongue.

The wicked may assail us by arms, and by the tongue, and by weapons of every kind, yet we can rely on this prediction of the prophet and hope that we shall be victorious, for victory is here promised to us. Since we are certain of victory, we ought to fight valiantly and with unshaken courage.

for meditation: If the attacks of the enemy are in God’s hands and guided by his will, why do we fear them? Their destruction and the ultimate victory of God’s people is assured. Let us seek more grace to dispense with our anxieties and trust his wisdom.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 128). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

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