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Daily Devotion


They Must First Hear His Word

December 09, 2018
By Martin Luther

Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol Him, all peoples! For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!



They Must First Hear His Word

Now if all heathen are to praise God, this assumes that He has become their God. If He is to be their God, then they must know Him, believe in Him, and give up all idolatry. One cannot praise God with an idolatrous mouth or an unbelieving heart. And if they are to believe, they must first hear His Word and thereby receive the Holy Spirit, who through faith purifies and enlightens their hearts. One cannot come to faith or lay hold on the Holy Spirit without hearing the Word first, as St. Paul has said (Romans 10:14): "How are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard?" and (Galatians 3:2): "You have received the Spirit through the proclamation of faith." If they are to hear His Word, then preachers must be sent to proclaim God's Word to them; for not all the heathen can come to Jerusalem or make a living among the small company of the Jews. Therefore the psalmist does not say: "Come to Jerusalem, all heathen!" He lets them stay where they are and calls upon them, wherever they may be, to praise God.

From Commentary on Psalm 117 (Luther's Works 14:9)

December 9