In Psalm 89 the author, as used by God, speaks of David; and what he writes about him, as a child of God, is very beautiful. He begins the Psalm by declaring that he will sing of God's mercies and faithfulness. Yesterday we noted that he wrote that they who hear the joyful sound are blessed. In verse 28 he writes of that blessedness: "My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him." Plainly he is speaking here of David, whom he had mentioned in verse 20.
Take hold of this wonderful truth. It is true not only for David, but for every elect child of God. God's mercy will be kept for everyone for whom Christ died. He does not say that God will keep His mercy from us, but keep it for us. "From" is quite different from "for." He will never, no never, keep His mercy from us, but ever and forever deal with us in that mercy.
It may at times look as though God withdrew His mercy, or forgot what He promised. Diseases and bereavements, afflictions and miseries, may cause us to question His mercy. But, as Paul wrote in II Corinthians 4:17 , "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." This is true because His mercy faileth never.
When presently the Antichrist is here, and we cannot buy or sell, and thus will have no food, and so will begin to starve to death because we will not take the mark of the beast on our right hand or forehead, remember that God's mercy will be kept upon us forever. His covenant stands, and no one can make Him change the smallest part of its promise.
His Son suffered terrible agony on His cross; but it brought us heavenly blessedness. Even as we do not question God's mercy when we see His Son on the cross for our salvation, we should not question it when He sends us the afflictions that work for us that far more exceeding glory.
Read: Psalm 136
Quote for Reflection:
If edification of the church proceeds from Christ alone, he has surely a right to prescribe in what manner it shall be edified. But Paul expressly states, that, according to the command of Christ, no real union or perfection is attained, but by the outward preaching. We must allow ourselves to be ruled and taught by men. This is the universal rule, which extends equally to the highest and to the lowest. The church is the common mother of all the godly, which bears, nourishes, and brings up children to God, kings and peasants alike; and this is done by the ministry. Those who neglect or despise this order choose to be wiser than Christ. Woe to the pride of such men! It is, no doubt, a thing in itself possible that divine influence alone should make us perfect without human assistance. But the present inquiry is not what the power of God can accomplish, but what is the will of God and the appointment of Christ. In employing human instruments for accomplishing their salvation, God has conferred on men no ordinary favor. Nor can any exercise be found better adapted to promote unity than to gather around the common doctrine — the standard of our General.
— John Calvin, on Ephesians 4:12