April 12th, 2009

"God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

Now for something a little different. A devotional message that has already been written, and in the form of a song. Read the verse, actually read the entire Psalm 46, it isn't very long. Then let the words of Martin Luther comment on it.

Words & Music:
      Martin Luther, 1529 translated from German to
      English by Frederic H. Hedge, 1853.
      This song has been called "the greatest hymn of the greatest man of the
      greatest period of German history" and the "Battle Hymn of the
      This hymn was sung at the funeral of American president Dwight
      Eisenhower at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, March
      Frederic H. Hedge (1805-1890)

In 1720 a remarkable revival be­gan in a town in Moravia. Jesuits
  opposed it, and the meetings were prohibited. Those who still assembled
  were seized and imprisoned in stables and cellars. At David Nitschmann's
  house, where a hundred and fifty persons gathered, the police broke in
  and seized the books. Not dismayed, the congregation struck up the
  stanzas of Luther's hymn,
          Twenty heads of families were for this sent to jail, including Nitschmann,
  who was treated with special severity. He finally escaped, fled to the
  Moravians at Herrnhut, be­came a bishop, and afterwards joined the
  Wesleys in 1735 in their expedition to Savannah, Georgia.<br>
  Sankey, p. 106

1. A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

2. Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God's own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

3. And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

4. That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God's truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

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