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Daily Devotion

Daily Devotional

The Departure of Death

August 19, 2018
By Martin Luther

Our God is a God of salvation, and to GOD, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.

PSALM 68:20

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The Departure of Death

There is a difference between "the Lord of life" and "the Lord of the departure of death," for this is said more specifically concerning the future immortality and incorruption. . . . The "departure of death" is a going out of death altogether and a going into the total life. This is what it means for death to be swallowed up, not just to be bitten, but to be swallowed up in victory and to be left altogether behind the back. This is now going on in the spirit, but in the future it will also happen in the body, and so the Lord Jesus is truly the God of life, and not of life only, but also of the departure of death, that is, of immortal life without the admixture of death or mortality, but life pure and simple. Thus we may go out of death, and death itself may depart, that is, be done with. For the departure is the end. The Lord is the End and Finisher of death. Yet at the same time redemption is given expression by it. For the Lord of life is understood as the Creator of life. But the Lord of the departure of death is the Recreator of the life that has fallen into death. So Psalm 65:8: "Thou wilt make the outgoings of the morning and the evening joyful," that is, "the fact that the spirit and the flesh go out from death is a sweet message, and through it Thou wilt make Thy faithful ones joyful."

From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 68 (Luther's Works 10:337-38)

August 19

Snatched from Death

August 18, 2018
By Martin Luther

Our God is a God of salvation; and to GOD, the Lord, belongs escape from death.

PSALM 68:20 (RSV)

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Snatched from Death

It would have been bootless if He had assumed our burden and conquered death only for Himself. But as matters stand, He presented us with His victory, conquering sin and death in our behalf, so that we, who were held captive by the evil spirit and lived in sin and death without any God and Lord, henceforth would have our own Lord and God, who reigns over us in such a manner that through Him we were saved and escaped death. What more fervent wish does mankind entertain than deliverance from death? And now our God has become just such a Lord and God, who satisfies this ardent longing of all men for escape from death and for salvation. As this verse sets forth, His kingdom means nothing else than accomplishing our salvation and being a God who snatches us from death.

From Commentary on Psalm 68 (Luther's Works 13:22)

August 18

Ready for Battle

August 17, 2018
By Martin Luther

The Lord gives the word; the women who announce the news are a great host.

PSALM 68:11

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Ready for Battle

The psalmist uses a martial term: "great is the host," not a rabble but a host armed and arrayed for battle. Here we find an intimation that the Word of God does not generate peace but strife on earth. This is borne out by Christ's words in Matthew 10:34: "I have not come to bring peace on earth, but a sword." The soldiers and the warfare of the New Testament are not of a secular but of a spiritual nature. And the weapons are not sword and armor, steed and mount, but solely the Word of God, as St. Paul declares, 2 Corinthians 10:4: "For the weapons of our warfare are not physical, but have divine power to destroy strongholds." Therefore, although the psalmist uses the military term "hosts," he also calls them "evangelists," whose weapons are the Word and its proclamation. It is clear that the Gospel alone conquers the world for the faith.

From Commentary on Psalm 68 (Luther's Works 13:12)

August 17

Thy Loving-Kindness

August 16, 2018
By Martin Luther

Your flock found a dwelling in it; in Your goodness, O God, You provided for the needy.

PSALM 68:10

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Thy Loving-Kindness

 Since the members of Christ's flock are subjected to much suffering for their faith's sake and are humbled and oppressed and despised by all, God manifests His loving-kindness toward them so that after much humiliation they taste and experience ever more how good, loving, and kind God is. Thus the many abasements and sufferings teach the simple believers to become ever better acquainted with God, to trust Him and believe in Him and thereby grow strong and rich and established in their confidence in God's kindness. This is what the psalmist means when he says: "In Thy goodness, O God, Thou wilt provide for the humbled." That is: "Through his humiliation and suffering, Thy goodness, O God, will find a way to him. He will now surrender his own goodness and no longer count it gain, solely intent upon collecting a treasure for himself in Thy goodness." This is nothing else than a growth in faith (Romans 5:3-4). To this the flock of Moses, the works-righteous, and the disciples of the Law will never attain; for it must be effected by faith and the free rain. Thus man prepares nothing but evil for himself. All the good accruing to him comes from God.

From Commentary on Psalm 68 (Luther's Works 13:11-12)

August 16

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