Psalm 18.3, 16-17
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
Using the example of the psalms, including today’s psalm of David, Martin Luther emphasizes that without calling on the name of God in faith, we stand surrounded by the armies of sin, without hope of victory.
We often think of David as a heroic performer of great deeds of good works, but David recognized that he was overmatched when it came to sin and did not rely on his own strength. In our modern, humanistic age, there are messages all around us of the power of our good works. We can do it. We can save. We can learn. We can fly.
As Christians, we confess our feet are earth bound but, through Christ, we know our feet will one day do better than fly. We will tread the City of God.
Reflection: Three Armies of Sin :: Throwback Thursday
By Martin Luther
Sin has hemmed us in with three strong, mighty armies.
The first is our own flesh, the second the world, the third the evil spirit, by which three we are without ceasing oppressed and troubled; whereby God gives us occasion to do good works without ceasing, namely, to fight with these enemies and sins.
The flesh seeks pleasure and peace, the world seeks riches, favor, power and honor, the evil spirit seeks pride, glory, that a man be well thought of, and other men be despised. And these three are all so powerful that each one of them is alone sufficient to fight a man, and yet there is no way we can overcome them, except only by calling upon the holy Name of God in a firm faith.
As Solomon says, in Proverbs 18, “The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is set aloft.” And David, in Psalm 116, “I will drink the cup of salvation, and call upon the Name of the Lord.” Again, in Psalm 18: “I will call upon the Lord with praise: so shall I be saved from all mine enemies.”
These works and the power of God’s Name have become unknown to us, because we are not accustomed to it, and have never seriously fought with sins, and have not needed His Name, because we are trained only in our self devised works, which we were able to do with our own powers.
*From A Treatise on Good Works, 1520
Prayer: The Greeting
Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to another.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or the land and the earth were born, from age to age you are God. — Psalm 90.1-2
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.
Leviticus 15 (Listen – 4:59)
Psalm 18 (Listen – 5:47)
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