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Fire and Wind

August 12, 2018
By Martin Luther

As smoke is driven away, so You shall drive them away; as wax melts before fire, so the wicked shall perish before God!

PSALM 68:2

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Fire and Wind

Here we find two beautiful similes. Smoke is dissipated by the wind, wax is melted by fire. This is an allusion to the Holy Spirit, who is a fire and a wind (Luke 3:16-17). . This wind and this fire came from heaven to earth after Christ's resurrection and now converts the world through the Gospel. For such great enemies, who presume to contend against heaven and earth, it must be a disgrace to be compared to smoke and wax. Smoke rises, flutters about freely in the air, and acts as if it wanted to blind the sun and to storm heaven itself. But actually what does it amount to? A mere breath of air will dissipate this arrogant smoke, and no one knows what has become of it. Similarly, all the enemies of the truth plot pretentiously and rage furiously; but in the end they fare the way the smoke does against the wind and the sky. . . . Wax is heavy and hard, comparable to stone or wood; but, faced by fire, it flows away like water, yes, it is consumed and disappears. Likewise all enemies of the truth flourish at first. In the beginning they seem more solid than the Rock, Christ Himself (1 Corinthians 10:4). But when they encounter the fire of the divine Word and Spirit (Jeremiah 23:29; Luke 3:16), that is the end for them—a merciful end if they choose, an unmerciful one if they refuse.

From Commentary on Psalm 68 (Luther's Works 13:3-4)

August 12

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