From Depths of Woe

This is what the Lord GOD showed me: behold, he was forming locusts when the latter growth was just beginning to sprout, and behold, it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings. When they had finished eating the grass of the land, I said, “O Lord GOD, please forgive! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!” The LORD relented concerning this: “It shall not be,” said the LORD.
Amos 7:1–3
From Depths of Woe
Luther’s catechetical hymn for Confession is “From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee” (Lutheran Service Book 607). In that hymn, Luther reminds us, “If Thou rememberest every sin, who then could heaven ever win or stand before Thy presence?” Our sins are great, and we are so very small. How could we stand before the presence of God almighty? We cannot. This was the case in days past as Israel stood before foreign armies and kings in battle. By the world’s standards, Israel should not have won very many battles. We, too, are attacked by enemies so very great and powerful. On all these fronts, we should be flattened and wiped out eternally, but we are sustained only by the blood of Christ. We are sustained and upheld by the righteous right hand of Jesus Christ. Luther’s hymn goes on to say, “Thy love and grace alone avail to blot out my transgression.” This is the God that desires everyone to live. His will is that all repent of their sin, turn from their ways, and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The safe place for Jacob and for you and me is in the arms of Jesus. He pleads for you before the Father and the Father relents. He stops his wrath and showers us instead with love. He calls you his children. How can Jacob stand? Jesus must prop him and you up. It’s all Jesus for you.
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