Hymn of the Week - Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal Ė Hymn 203, verse 1)
In 1541, a special service of prayer was held in Wittenberg, Germany. In August of that year, King Ferdinand and his army of European soldiers had suffered a severe defeat by Mohammedan forces from Turkey. In October, a hurricane had destroyed the ships of Emperor Charles V. The service of prayer was prepared by Martin Luther. Most of the music, including this hymn, was arranged for the boys of the choir:
Lord, keep us steadfast in your Word; Curb those who by deceit or sword Would seek to overthrow your Son And to destroy what he has done.
In the original German version of this hymn, the words deceit and sword are more pointed. The original German for deceit pointed to the false teaching of the Roman papacy that our good works play a part in getting us to heaven. The original German for sword called attention specifically to the Turkish army that was threatening to invade.
Situations change. The Turkish army isnít currently threatening to invade Europe. Still, there are continuing dangers to both body and soul around every corner. Only in Godís Word can we hear Godís promise of protection and peace. Only in Godís Word do we find a true guide through the trials and troubles of life. Situations change, but our prayer stays the same: Lord, keep us steadfast in your Word. Godís answer to that prayer stays the same, too. Because of Jesus Christ our Savior, we have Godís promise of protection now and always.
Lord, keep us steadfast in your Word. Amen.
From September through December 2014, the Daily Devotions on Thursday and Friday are based on the Word of God expressed in a Christian Hymn selected each week. All devotions in this series are located here.
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