Late Night Company

Daily Reformation, Psalm 19:1-14

From the Reformer

…true and pure religion was so revealed in the Law, that God’s face in a manner shone forth therein. The case was different with the Gentiles, who, although they might rashly make to themselves false gods, still would not do so before the face of God, which was unknown to them. Let us then understand, after all, that those alone are accounted the legitimate worshipers of God who bid adieu to all figments, and cleave to Him alone. Nor can it be doubted that these words comprehend the inward worship of God, since this commandment differs from the next, whereby external idolatry will be seen to be condemned. It is sufficiently notorious, that men may make to themselves gods in other ways besides in statues, and pictures, and in visible forms. If any should adore the angels instead of God, or should foolishly imagine any other secret divinity, none will deny that he would offend against this Law. God, therefore, calls for the affections of the heart, that He alone may be spiritually worshiped; and the expression “before my face,” may be not inaptly referred to this; because, although their impiety, who secretly turn aside to false worship, and cherish their errors within their own bosoms, may be able to evade the eyes of men, yet their hypocrisy and treachery will not escape the notice of God. Hence, again, it follows, that the one God is not rightly worshiped, unless He be separated from all figments. Wherefore it is not enough to make use of His name, unless all corruptions opposed to His word be laid aside; and thence we arrive at the distinction between true religion and false superstitions; for since God has prescribed to us how He would be worshiped by us, whenever we turn away in the very smallest degree from this rule, we make to ourselves other gods, and degrade Him from His right place.

—John Calvin, Harmony of the Law (Ex 20:3)

Pulling It Together

She woke up almost every night, unable to go back to sleep. For years she had lived alone, since her husband had left and her children were grown. So it was no bother to anyone when she began to sing hymns and pray and recite scripture—especially the Psalms—in her sleepless nights. She knew her children fell asleep with the television on and often awoke in the night to the loud claims of some infomercial. She, however, found comfort in the promises of God’s word. The Lord was foremost in her mind even when she was weary and so, there in the long, dark nights, she discovered she was not as alone in that old house as she had thought.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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