In Your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; let Your right hand teach You awesome deeds!
Invisible Progress and Success
Rouse yourself. Do not give in to evils, but go forth more boldly against them. Hold on. Do not be disheartened either by contempt or ingratitude within or by agitation and raging without. But think as follows: "When I am weak, I am strongest (2 Corinthians 12:10); when I am suppressed, I rise up, as a palm rises up under its burden." So they thought that we had perished at Augsburg, but there we rose highest of all. Similarly it is in sorrow, when we are the closest to despair, that hope rises the highest. So today, when there is the greatest contempt and weariness with the Word, the true glory of the Word begins. Therefore we should learn to understand this verse as speaking of invisible progress and success. Our King enjoys success and good fortune even though you do not see it. Moreover, it would not be expedient for us to see this success, for then we would be puffed up. Now, however, He raises us up through faith and gives us hope. Even though we see no fruit of the Word, still we can be certain that fruit will not be wanting but will certainly follow; for so it is written here. . .. He is the kind of king who will have success, steadfastness, and victory—if not in this place and time, then at another time and place.
From Lectures on Psalm 45 (Luther's Works 12:220-21)
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One, in Your splendor and majesty! In Your majesty ride out victoriously!
Grain and Wine
Not with might, not with physical armament, not with a warlike attack will Christ save His people. He will do this with beauty and delight. He will save not with the savagery of weapons but with majesty and beauty, as we have it in Psalm 45:4. This is what he here [Zechariah 9:17] calls grain and wine: the Gospel, which is Christ's greatest honor and beauty. With this Gospel He attracts hearts which taste that sweetness of the Gospel. You see, the Gospel is the light and ray in which Christ is glorified, because He now has praises, celebration, magnificence, majesty, beauty, and the thousand things the Psalms call by other names when they describe the beauty of Christ.
From Lectures on Zechariah (Latin) (Luther's Works 20:104)
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One, in Your splendor and majesty!
The power of the Word is shown in this, that Christ fights in us with His armament, "with the breastplate of faith and the sword of the Word" (Ephesians 6:16-17). So we strike the enemy on all sides, first by laying bare his deceit and lies in the heretics, then by snatching up and defending our men so that they may persevere in holy faith and life. . .. You see here what kind of king we have. After He has taught us and poured out His promises on us, and by His Word has transferred us into His kingdom (Colossians 1:13), Satan is immediately there and crucifies us. For "all who wish to live a godly life in Christ must bear persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12); similarly, "through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). But our King will not forsake us. He is present and fights in us against the power of tyrants and against the lies of the devil. Indeed He renders us invincible against the lying teachers and secure against the power of tyrants.
From Lectures on Psalm 45 (Luther's Works 12:216)
Grace is poured upon Your lips; therefore God has blessed You forever.
Fountain of Grace
From [Christ's] mouth, as from some overflowing fountain, the richest promises and teachings stem, and with these He strengthens and comforts souls. So the things you hear daily about this Christ are what the poet depicts, as you see, however briefly, yet with distinctive words and the loveliest poetry: Grace is on the lips of this King, and not only that, it overflows, so that you may understand how abundantly this fountain of grace flows and gushes forth. As though he said: "Our King has wisdom such as no man has, namely, the sweetest and loveliest wisdom; He helps the penitent, comforts the afflicted, recalls the despairing, raises up the fallen and humiliated, justifies sinners, gives life to the dying. And whatever there is in addition to this, that the Word of salvation accomplishes, that He does in rich abundance." It is, therefore, a sweet and delightful wisdom, worthy of such high praise. Therefore He says in Isaiah 50:4: "The Lord has given Me the tongue of those who are taught," the Lord has given Me a fluent tongue, "that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary."
From Lectures on Psalm 45 (Luther's Works 12:211-12)