OCTOBER 19  |  PSALM 112:9–10

He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor. The righteous never lose the fruit and the reward of their liberality. They do not give sparingly and grudgingly, as some do who imagine that they discharge their duty to the poor when they dole out a small pittance to them, but that they give liberally as necessity requires and their means allow; for it may happen that the liberal heart does not possess a large portion of the wealth of this world. The praise which belongs to liberality does not consist in distributing our goods without any regard to the objects upon whom they are conferred, and the purposes to which they are applied, but in relieving the wants of the really necessitous, and in the money being expended on things proper and lawful. God by his benefits preserves the glory of that righteousness which is due to their liberality, and does not disappoint them of their reward, in that he exalts their horn more and more, that is, their power or their prosperous condition.

The wicked man will see and be vexed. Though the wicked may cast off all regard to piety, and banish from their minds all thoughts of human affairs being under the superintending providence of God, they shall yet be made to feel, whether they will or not, that the righteous, in compliance with God’s command, do not vainly devote themselves to the cultivation of charity and mercy. Let them harden themselves as they choose, yet he declares that the honour, which God confers upon his children, shall be exhibited to them, the sight of which shall make them gnash with their teeth, and shall excite an envy that shall consume them by inches.

In conclusion he adds that the wicked shall be disappointed of their desires. They are never content, but are continually thirsting after something, and their confidence is as presumptuous as their avarice is unbounded. And hence, in their foolish expectations, they do not hesitate at grasping at the whole world. But the prophet tells them that God will snatch from them what they imagined was already in their possession, so that they shall always depart destitute and famishing.

*Excerpt taken from page 293 of Heart Aflame: Daily Readings from Calvin in the Psalms by John Calvin, copyright 1999, P&R Publishing, Phillipsburg, NJ.