O LORD, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, shine forth! Rise up, O judge of the earth; repay to the proud what they deserve!
A Prayer for the Pious
This psalm is clearly a prayer that is common to all the pious children of God and members of His spiritual people, to be prayed against all their persecutors. Therefore it can be prayed from the beginning of the world to its end by all pious and devout people, be they Jews, Christians, or patriarchs. For they all have to suffer from the two groups of persecutors about whom this psalm complains: first, the tyrants, who use force to persecute the body on account of the Word; secondly, the false teachers, heretics, and sectarians, who use lies and mockery to persecute the soul. For this reason we, too, may pray this psalm in our day against both groups. . .. Here "God of vengeance" means "the one who takes vengeance." For the Scriptures give Him His names on the basis of His works. But because no one but God can do such works, no one but God is entitled to the names that are based on such works. No one but God can give comfort, hope, patience, and the like; thus also no one but God can punish sin and avenge evil.
From Four Psalms of Comfort, on Psalm 94 (Luther's Works 14:243-44)
The wicked sprout like grass.... The righteous flourish like the palm tree.
PSALM 92:7, 12
Withering Grass and Blooming Palm
Why? Because the palm blooms all the time, in summer as well as in winter, while the grass does not bloom throughout the summer, and there is none at all in the winter. So the righteous in this life always bloom in spirit, both in adversity and in prosperity, and after this, forever, because the spirit is life eternal. The ungodly, however, bloom only in prosperity, but not even throughout that period. Death and adversity take him away because he has only the life of the flesh.
From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 92 (Luther's Works 11:233)
How great are Your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep!
The Wisdom of God
Who would know that those who are humiliated, afflicted, rejected, and killed visibly, are at the same time exceedingly exalted, consoled, taken up, and made inwardly alive, unless he were taught by the Spirit through faith? And who would think that those who are visibly exalted, honored, strengthened, and made alive, are in the same degree wretchedly cast down, despised, weakened, and killed inwardly, unless the wisdom of the Spirit taught him? Thus it pleased God through the foolishness of the cross (1 Corinthians 1:21) to save the believers and by the wisdom of salvation to condemn the unbelieving. This is because by such wisdom they did not know God in the wisdom of God, for they could come out of such wisdom into the wisdom of God and thus know God. For as the things which the flesh savors for itself are good, so the things which the spirit savors for itself are much better. Of which they ought to have acknowledged these as a figure and a thing signified, and because they were unwilling, they are now compelled under their opposite to acknowledge God in the wisdom of God.
From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 92 (Luther's Works 11:231)
You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
The Strength of the Christian
Let us remain in the purity of Christian faith, in order that we may be children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not according to the flesh but rather according to the spirit. For if I believe the promise of God, I am certain that my life is pleasing to God and is superior to all the orders, since it makes a heavenly man, a conqueror of death, an heir of eternal life, and one who tramples the devil underfoot, as is stated in Psalm 91:13: "You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and serpent you will trample underfoot." This is the strength and particular power of Christians.
From Lectures on Genesis (Luther's Works 8:167-68)