I was reading through the Psalms and came across the following:
“O Jehovah, how many are Your works! You have made all of them in wisdom; the earth is full of Your possessions” (Psalm 104:24).
And then one of my favorite writers (not the heretical content of his theology obviously, but the way in which he writes; the way he puts or says things) states the following:
“The prophet also, by the same eulogium, reproves the madness of those who dream, that the world has been brought into its present form by chance, as Epicurus raved about the elements being composed of atoms. As it is an imagination more than irrational to suppose, that a fabric so elegant, and of such surpassing embellishment, was put together by the fortuitous concourse of atoms, the prophet here bids us attend more carefully to the wisdom of God, and to that wonderful skill which shines forth in the whole government of the world” (John Calvin).
A familiar phrase: “fortuitous concourse of atoms.” Interesting how Calvin does not “feel the need” to spend much time with the “materialism” of one Epicurus. Indeed it is “more than irrational” to assert that libraries build themselves and books write themselves.
“This is the sea, great and wide on both hands; there are creeping things even without number; living things, small and great. There the ships go; You formed this great sea-animal to play in it” (Psalm 104:25-26).
“After having treated of the evidences which the earth affords of the glory of God, the prophet goes down into the sea, and teaches us that it is a new mirror in which may be beheld the divine power and wisdom. Although the sea were not inhabited by fishes, yet the mere view of its vastness would excite our wonder, especially when at one time it swells with the winds and tempests, while at another it is calm and unruffled. Again, although navigation is an art which has been acquired by the skill of men, yet it depends on the providence of God, who has granted to men a passage through the mighty deep…As its movements not only throw the sea into great agitation, but also strike with alarm the hearts of men, the prophet, by the word sport, intimates that these its movements are only sport in respect of God; as if he had said, The sea is given to the leviathans, as a field in which to exercise themselves” (John Calvin).
Calvin’s commentary continued:
“The glory of Jehovah shall be forever; Jehovah shall rejoice in His works” (Psalm 104:31).
“It is no small honor that God for our sake has so magnificently adorned the world, in order that we may not only be spectators of this beauteous theater, but also enjoy the multiplied abundance and variety of good things which are presented to us in it. Our gratitude in yielding to God the praise which is his due, is regarded by him as a singular recompense. What the Psalmist adds, Let Jehovah rejoice in his works, is not superfluous; for he desires that the order which God has established from the beginning may be continued in the lawful use of his gifts” (Calvin).
“I will sing to Jehovah during my life; I will sing praise to my God while I exist. My thoughts on Him shall be sweet; I will be glad in Jehovah” (Psalm 104:33-34).
“Here the Psalmist points out to others their duty by his own example, declaring, that throughout the whole course of his life he will proclaim the praises of God without ever growing weary of that exercise…the end for which we are created is, that the divine name may be celebrated by us on the earth” (Calvin).
“Let sinners be consumed out of the earth and let the wicked be no more; bless Jehovah, O my soul; praise Jehovah!” (Psalm 104:35).
“This imprecation depends on the last clause of the 31st verse, Let Jehovah rejoice in his works As the wicked infect the world with their pollutions, the consequence is, that God has less delight in his own workmanship, and is even almost displeased with it. It is impossible, but that this uncleanness, which, being extended and diffused through every part of the world, vitiates and corrupts such a noble product of his hands, must be offensive to him. Since then the wicked, by their perverse abuse of God’s gifts, cause the world in a manner to degenerate and fall away from its first original, the prophet justly desires that they may be exterminated, until the race of them entirely fail. Let us then take care so to weigh the providence of God, as that being wholly devoted to obeying him, we may rightly and purely use the benefits which he sanctities for our enjoying them. Farther, let us be grieved, that such precious treasures are wickedly squandered away, and let us regard it as monstrous and detestable, that men not only forget their Maker, but also, as it were, purposely turn to a perverse and an unworthy end, whatever good things he has bestowed upon them” (John Calvin; underlining mine–CD).
My comment on the underlined portion above: Obviously displeasure in the preceptive sense, for certainly God DOES rejoice and take pleasure in the destruction that His hands perform:
“And it shall be, as Jehovah rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you, so Jehovah shall rejoice over you to destroy you, and to lay you waste. And you shall be plucked from the land you are going to possess. And Jehovah shall scatter you among all people, from one end of the earth even to the other, and you shall serve other gods there, wood and stone, which you have not known, nor your fathers” (Deuteronomy 28:63-64).
“And Jehovah said to Moses, Get up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, So says Jehovah the God of the Hebrews, Send away My people that they may serve Me. For at this time I am going to send all My plagues to your heart, and on your servants, and on your people, so that you may know that none is like Me in all the land. For now I have sent forth My hand and have stricken you and your people with pestilence, and you have been destroyed from the earth. And for this reason I have made you stand, in order to cause you to see My power, and in order to declare My name in all the land. You still are exalting yourself against My people, so as not to send them away” (Exodus 9:13-17).
“For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘For this very thing I raised you up, so that I might display My power in you, and so that My name might be publicized in all the earth.’ So, then, to whom He desires, He shows mercy. And to whom He desires, He hardens. You will then say to me, Why does He yet find fault? For who has resisted His will? Yes, rather, O man, who are you answering against God? Shall the thing formed say to the One forming it, Why did You make me like this?” (Romans 9:17-20).
“Why does He yet find fault” is the fashionable Calvinist meme. Though admittedly anachronistic for me to say, Pharaoh was the fashionable Calvinist of his day.