A Mighty Fortress

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A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; our helper he amid the flood of mortal ills prevaling. For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe; his craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing, were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing. Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is he; The Lord of Hosts, his name, from age to age the same, and he must win the battle.

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.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth; the Spirit and the gifts are ours, thru him who with us sideth. Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still; his kingdom is forever.

by Martin Luther

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2 responses »

  1. This is one of my favorite hymns. I love it even more in German… I find that when I read the same hymn in the original language it just really comes to life for me.

    He starts with “Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott.” In German, the word “feste” implies that it is a stronghold that is inacessable, impregnable and not able to be captured. The song starts by acknowledging the absolute power of God over invading forces. It then goes on to talk about how God freely helps us in our need (our helper He admidst the flood…)

    Verse 2: In our might it is not possible to do anything, we’re lost if we rely on that. After talking about our weakness and inability to win the battle, the song returns to God’s power… He is the one who must “win the battle” (or in German, he must not give up the battle field)

    How glad I am that the power of Satan and demons in this world is not greater than the power of our almighty God. No one can penetrate His fortified city… and we are safe, for we are in union with Him.

    God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. (Psalm 46:1-3)

  2. One of my favorite hymns too! Mmmm! Delicious!

    While I was on “vacation,” I found these truths to be VERY TRUE! There is a very real battle being waged. The Enemy is strong and not to be underestimated – his one goal is to defame God’s glory and destroy all sources of God’s glorification (including God’s own children and God’s will) so that he instead may receive glory and praise. Yet Our God is stronger still and can never be overestimated! The Enemy shudders at the name of Jesus and flees, searching for a place to hide, though there be none in all of God’s creation and beyond (Ps. 139)! With God as my strength, my portion, and my reward, whom shall I fear?

    Thank you for posting this in paragraph form. I often enjoy reading the hymns, and this format promotes such reading.

    Sarah

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