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Daily Devotion


The Beginning of Deliverance

October 09, 2018
By Martin Luther

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

PSALM 90:12


The Beginning of Deliverance

From the beginning of his prayer to this point Moses stressed the truth that another life succeeds this life—however, not just another life, but a life either of wrath or of grace. For otherwise it would be meaningless to call upon a King who dwells beyond this life, yes, even beyond this world, if there were no other life and no other world. . .. Therefore Moses prays that the Lord would teach us to number our days. This is not to be understood in the sense that he wishes to know the day or hour of his death, but that he and all human beings might truly consider how miserable and tragic life is, that it vanishes like a shadow, and that one must spend eternity subject either to wrath or to grace. . .. Therefore, O God, preserve us in the wisdom Thou hast taught us, that is, preserve us in Thy fear. For the "beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10), or the highest wisdom, is the "fear of God," to know God's wrath and, as a result, to live and to perform everything we do with humble hearts. . .. We should cling to the truth that it is not a damnable thing to feel God's wrath, but that this feeling is the beginning of deliverance, which cannot be gained without constant prayer. This feeling is a singular gift of God, which reason does not grasp or understand. Otherwise Moses would not plead with so much fervency that this wisdom be given.

From Commentary on Psalm 90 (Luther's Works 13:126, 128, 129-30)

October 9