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My God and My Protector

August 29, 2018
By Martin Luther

Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; You have given the command to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.

PSALM 71:3  

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My God and My Protector

Note the remarkable construction of the statement. He does not say, "Be unto me merely a protector" or "merely a God," but both at the same time. He is embattled by great danger, and the matter of this battle is so difficult that he cannot survive unless God is the protector. For the strength by which the world is overcome is a divine strength, and one cannot stand by any protection except the divine. But how shall he who has made flesh his arm say this word? Therefore he must first forsake all and turn to God alone. Then follows and a fortified place where I may steadfastly defend myself, so that I who have already been saved by Thee in hope may also be saved in reality. For salvation in hope is in vain unless one arrives at the reality. But for this purpose God the protector and a fortified place are necessary, so that what is hoped for may not be lost or driven out by temptation.

From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 71, where the comments follow the Latin translation, which reads: "Be Thou unto me a God, a protector, and a place of strength: that Thou mayst make me safe." (Luther's Works 10:396)

August 29

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