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12

Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord,

the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.

 


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12. Blessed are the people whose God is Jehovah. This verse excellently agrees with the preceding, because it would profit us little to observe what is said of the stability of God’s counsel if that counsel referred not to us. The prophet, therefore, in proclaiming that they are blessed whom God receives into his protection, reminds us that the counsel which he had just mentioned is not a secret which remains always hidden in God, but is displayed in the existence and protection of the Church, and may there be beheld. Thus we see, that it is not those who coldly speculate about the power of God, but those alone who apply it to their own present benefit, who rightly acknowledge God as the Governor of the world. Moreover, when the Psalmist places all our blessedness in this, that Jehovah is our God, in touching upon the fountain of divine love towards us, he comprehends, in one word, whatever is wont to be desired to make life happy. For when God condescends to undertake the care of our salvation, to cherish us under his wings, to provide for our necessities, to aid us in all our dangers, all this depends on our adoption by him. But lest it should be thought that men obtain so great a good by their own efforts and industry, David teaches us expressly that it proceeds from the fountain of God’s gracious electing love that we are accounted the people of God. It is indeed true, that, in the person of Adam, men were created at first for the very purpose that they should be the sons of God; but the estrangement which followed upon sin deprived us of that great blessing. Until God, therefore, freely adopt us, we are all by nature wretched, and we have no other entrance to or means of attaining happiness but this, that God, of his own good pleasure, should choose us who are altogether unworthy. It appears, accordingly, how foolishly they corrupt this passage, who transfer to men what the prophet here ascribes to God, as if men would choose God for their inheritance. I own, indeed, that it is by faith that we distinguish the true God from idols; but this principle is always to be held fast, that we have no interest in him at all unless he prevent us by his grace.




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