Luther's Song About the Devil

During our time in Germany we spent a day in Wittenberg seeing all the Martin Luther sites.

During our time talking about Luther, we discussed the songs he wrote that became such a huge part of the Protestant Reformation, the most famous hymn being "A Mighty Fortress."

I love "A Mighty Fortress." But my students didn't know the song, so I sang through the first verse of the song for them.

And singing through the song, having written a book about Old Scratch, I realized just how much the song is about the devil, especially the first and third verses:
A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing:
Our helper He, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work his woe;
His craft and power are great,
And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,—
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! His doom is sure,—
One little word shall fell him.
If you know anything about the spiritual life of Martin Luther, you know these are fitting lyrics for his life. Luther routinely wrestled with the devil, once famously throwing an ink pot at him.

"A Mighty Fortress" is a great Christus Victor hymn, it's an anthem of spiritual warfare.

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